best for weight loss and/or health.

Final Paper

There are a number of diets out there that claim to be the best for weight loss and/or health. For example, the paleo diet is quite popular. However, what is the scientific evidence that any of these diets work? What do the proponents of the diets claim as evidence? Is it credible? Your challenge is to take a diet plan that an individual with a particular health need has selected (one will be provided to you) and analyze it for a) the claims made about the diet and b) actual evidence that the diet may or may not work. Included in your analysis should be a discussion of the metabolic pathways that the diet is “supposed” to be changing/improving, any evidence that this may actually occur, and any potential health effects from adhering to this diet. For this paper, we ask you to draw on the knowledge you learned throughout this class to analyze this diet plan. What are its strengths? What are the potential weaknesses? Include both macro and micronutrient analyses. The paper should be a minimum of 1000 words. There is no upper limit. You can also draw diagrams if this helps to make your point.

Guidelines: Assignments should be in Times New Roman 12-point font, double-spaced with one-inch margins and 2000-2500 words. When naming your assignment file, be sure to include your last name and the first initial of your first name and the assignment name (ex. BeckM_Final Paper). References should be formatted according to the American Medical Association (AMA) style guide, and should be submitted on a new page in the document, instead of directly below the assignment text. Using a reference manager such as Refworks or Medeley is highly recommended for formatting references and can help save time. Be sure to spellcheck your paper. Put the total word count after the title of your assignment. Papers that don’t reach the word minimum will receive a 2-point deduction for each 100 missing words.


Description of the diet

What is the individual trying to accomplish with this diet?

How the individual claims the diet is supposed to work

Evidence about whether or not the diet would work

Suggestions for how the diet can be improved to address the particular health problem of the individual

Conclusion paragraph


A friend of yours, Simon, a 43-year old with an inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease), hears that you are taking a nutrition course and asks for dietary advice. Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. There are many complications associated with this disease. Inflammation can occur anywhere in the GI tract from the mouth to the anus. In Simon’s case his intestinal inflammation has be restricted to the terminal ilium. As this is a chronic condition, repeated instances of inflammation, flowed by remission, can result in a narrowing of the intestine (intestinal stricture), thus limiting the size of material that can easily pass through the gut. Simon has a stricture in his ilium. Additionally, Simon believes he is lactose intolerant, a condition common in patients with Crohn’s disease. Simon mentioned that he has lost weight over the past four weeks and frequently has diarrhea. His gastroenterologist has provided him with treatment which has fully controlled his intestinal inflammation and diarrhea, but he is eager to gain the weight that he lost. He has developed a diet plan based on his knowledge of weight gain and recommendations from a reliable website for patients with this disease ( This diet is supposed to help him gain weight and he asks you what you think about it. Although the nutritional information on the website is good, you believe that Simon has misinterpreted some of the recommendations and has developed this diet based on inaccurate preconceived ideas. What do you tell him?

Rules for the diet obtained from the website: To gain weight Simon must consume more calories than he expends during the day (simple energy balance). To do this he needs to consume 2500 calories per day. Start the day with plenty of fiber, usually in the form of a cereal. Take twice as much of the RDA of fiber. Consume partially cooked potatoes as a source of carbohydrates. Eat meats with high fat content. Drink whole milk throughout the day.

Stated Rationale for this diet: Fiber is good for the health of the GI tract. As patients with IBD need to maintain a healthy gut, increased amounts of fiber is recommended. Partially cooked potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates and will help increase muscle mass. In order to reach 2500 calories per day it is important to eat dense meats rich in fat. Whole milk is a good source of fat and should be chosen over skimmed milk as removing fats from milk will decrease the amount of calories consumed.

Specific statements about this diet from the website:

1.     Eat four-six small meals daily.

2.     Stay hydrated by drinking enough to keep your urine light yellow to clear.

3.     Keep a food journal to help keep track of what you eat and symptoms you may experience.

4.     Use simple cooking techniques (boil, grill, steam, poach) to prepare nutritious, healing foods, including grilled filets, poached eggs, steamed veggies, and boiled and mashed potatoes.

5.     Dietary recommendations should be tailored to your individual needs depending on what part of your intestine is affected, your symptoms, disease status, and current nutrition status.

6.     Dietary planning is individualized from patient to patient. Meet with your healthcare team and a dietitian to develop a more personalized approach.

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