analyze the multitude of nutrition information found in the media to determine what has merit and what is nutritional quackery.

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.

Policy for Late Assignments: 10% of the total marks will be subtracted for each day that the assignment is late (i.e. 10% for 1 day late, 20% for 2 days late, 30% for 3 days late, etc.). If you are unable to complete the assignment due to medical reasons (medical certificate required), compassionate reasons, please contact the instructor (send an email), preferably before the due date.

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

Find an article that makes a dietary or nutritional claim. (e.g. “lose weight while you sleep with ‘x’ diet pill”, “gain muscle mass fast and easy with ‘x’ supplement”, “follow this diet plan to detox your body”, “add ‘x’ super vitamin to your diet to prevent illness”).

The article can be from an online magazine, online newspaper or online advertisement. The article is to be from the popular press (directed at consumers) not the scientific literature.

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. Describe the dietary or nutritional claim made in your article [1 mark].
  2. 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
  1. – Figure: Earmarks of Nutrition Quackery
  2. – 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]

See the next page for section B of Assignment 1.

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 (see example file on UM Learn). Create a new sheet for each day and provide a Total row for each of the three food groups, as well as Others[9 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.)
  • classify which food group the foods you ate/drank was part of (Vegetables & Fruits, Whole Grain Foods or Protein Foods)

Read through the “Be Mindful of Your Eating Habits” section on the Canada Food Guide website for more information:

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