Analyzing Dietary/Nutritional Claims

Assignment 1 (Sections A & B):

Section A of this assignment will help you learn to critically analyze the multitude of nutrition information found in the media to determine what has merit and what is nutritional quackery. Section B will also help you learn how to assess your diet compared to Canada’s Food Guide.

You will be submitting both a Microsoft Word document and a Microsoft Excel document, as well as a copy of article from Section A into the assignment 1 submission folder on the Moodle. You are only allowed one drop box submission, so ensure that all files are attached before you click on the submit button.

Marks for Assignment 1 = 42 marks


Include the following with your assignment:

Title Page: Include a title page with your name, student number, course name and section, instructor’s name and date. [1 mark]

Reference list:  include the items referenced in your assignment in APA format (as a minimum, everyone should have the article, the textbook (or course notes), and the Canada’s Food Guide website listed). [1 mark]

A. Analyzing Dietary/Nutritional Claims

You will be given a link to an article via email. You will critique this article only. If you critique an article that was not sent to you via email, it will be concluded that you have copied the assignment from someone. In such a case, a disciplinary action may be taken against you. Please email your instructor if you have not received an article link by Feb 3, @ 2 PM.

A copy of the online article must be submitted with your assignment (include a screen shot of the article, a picture of the article or copy and paste the article into a Microsoft Word document. A weblink to the article does not count) [1 mark].

Write a critique (in point form) about this article. Include the following information:

  1. a.Describe the dietary or nutritional claim made in your article [1 mark].
  2. b.Discuss whether or not this article has the characteristics of valid nutrition information or whether it has the characteristics of nutrition quackery with direct links to your course readings and provide specific examples of each characteristic from your article [6 marks – 1 mark per characteristic with example from your article].  (e.g. “The claim in the article is ‘too good to be true’: the article promises weight loss while you eat chocolate cake everyday”).Consult your course notes for Unit 1 and the corresponding chapter in your textbook, specifically:
  • Consumer Corner: Reading Nutrition News with an Educated Eye
  • Controversy Unit 1:  Sorting the Imposters from the Real Nutrition Experts

– Figure: Earmarks of Nutrition Quackery

– Table: Is this Site Reliable?

  1. Clearly state your conclusion (i.e. is your article an example of valid nutrition information or does it have the characteristics of nutrition quackery?) [1 mark].

Format and Style

Critique Formatting: approximately one-page double spaced (2 pages maximum, not counting reference list), and in point form (i.e. you do not need to write full sentences).  The critique will be marked for spelling, grammar, and clarity (i.e. marks will be deducted for spelling errors, incorrect grammar, etc.). [1 mark]

B. Using Canada’s Food Guide to Evaluate your Diet

Note: Please keep an electronic copy of Section B of this assignment as you will need to use this information with Assignment 2.

  1. a) Record your food and beverage intake for 2 days (record 1 weekday and 1 weekend day). Present the information in Microsoft Excel. Create a new sheet for each day and provide a Total Row (with formulas) for each of the three food groups, as well as Other. [11 marks]

Document the following information:

  • when you ate (the date and time),
  • where you ate (the location),
  • what you ate and drank (include as much detail as possible),
  • how much you ate (be as specific with the amount of food as possible and record all food amounts as cups),
  • how you ate (e.g. slow, fast, distracted, with others, etc.)
  • why you ate (e.g. hungry, food was offered, went out with friends, etc.). Read through the “Be Mindful of Your Eating Habits” section on the Canada Food Guide website for more information:
  • classify which food group the foods you ate/drank was part of (Vegetables & Fruits, Whole Grain Foods or Protein Foods, or if it did not fit into a food group, classify in the “Other” column. Water, plain coffee, and plain tea should be classified in the “Water, plain coffee, tea” column).


  • Estimate the amounts of foods consumed very carefully (weigh or measure foods if possible). Use cups as the measurement for all foods (1 cup = 250 mL, ½ cup = 125 mL, 1 tsp = 5 mL = 1/48 cup, 1 Tbsp = 15 mL = 1/16 cup) and be consistent throughout the assignment.
  • The following video discusses how you can use your hand to estimate the amount of food consumed:
  • Specify brand names, preparation/cooking methods, etc. Include as much detail as possible for the foods / beverages that you consumed (you will need this detail for Assignment 2).
  • For beverages, include water consumption for assessment of your fluid intake
  • This allows you to install Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher and Access. The plan gives you 1TB of OneDrive storage. You may otherwise use open source google sheets.
  • Additional supports for how to create tables in Excel and how to create a Total Row can be found at: See specifically: Add a Total row to a table
  • There is an example of what your excel workbook should look like on UM Learn.
  1. b) Within your Excel spreadsheet, create a Totals sheet to evaluate the adequacy of your diet according to the recommendations from Canada’s Food Guide.  Present your information in a Table [2 marks] and then use this information to create a 2-D Pie Chart in Excel [2 marks]. Copy your Total Row number from each of the two days for each food group into your Totals sheet. Compute an Average formula [=AVERAGE(B2:C2)] to determine the average intake each day. Generate a 2-D Pie Chart using the data from columns A and D.
  2. a) State whether your plate met the proportions recommended on the Eat Well Plate for Vegetables and Fruits, Whole Grain Foods and Protein Foods. Use 5% as the acceptable variance from the recommendation (so if your Vegetable & Fruit intake is 45%, Whole Grain Foods is 28% and Protein Foods intake is 27%, for example, then the recommendations are met since no group is off by more than 5%).  For each food group, list two specific changes that you could make to so that the proportions would better match those on the Eat Well Plate. If you already met the proportions for all of the food groups, list two food choices from each food group that you ate that allowed you to meet the proportions recommended on the Eat Well Plate. [4.5 marks]

Food Group

Proportions met?

Recommended Changes

Vegetables and Fruits

Whole Grain Foods

Protein Foods

  1. For each of the food groups, choose 1 specific recommendation that Canada’s Food Guide (CFG) makes regarding that food group and then discuss one change that you could make to your diet to meet this recommendation in the future. [4.5 marks] Note: you can find the recommendations for the specific food groups in the CFG links in the course notes.

Food Group

One CFG Recommendation

Recommended Change

Vegetables and Fruits

Whole Grain Foods

Protein Foods

  1. a) Choose one of the Mindful Eating practices from your 2-day food record (when you ate, where you ate, what you ate/drank, how you ate, or why you ate) and discuss how you feel it impacted your food intake for the 2 days that you recorded. [2 marks] Note: you can find the information about Mindful Eating practices in the CFG links in the course notes.
  2. b) Compare your dietary intake on the weekday and weekend day that you recorded. Did your diet vary between these two days? Discuss why your diet was different on the weekday compared to the weekend day. [2 marks]

Section B Formatting: Up to two marks will be deducted for incorrect formatting in the Excel spreadsheet or for missing Excel formulas that are outline in the assignment guidelines. See the Sample Excel File on UM Learn for examples of the needed formulas. [2 marks]

link for assignment  :


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