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Atkins or Fadkins?



Author:

Karen E. Bledsoe
Biology Department
Western Oregon University
bledsoek@wou.edu

Abstract:

When Mitchell reveals that he is going on a low-carb diet, Janine tries to talk him out of it, telling him that he’s too thin as it is and doesn’t need to loose any weight. Designed to accompany a nonmajors unit on human anatomy and physiology, this interrupted case study has students applying what they learn about human body systems to Mitchell’s fad diet claims and Janine’s sharp criticisms. Supplementary links help students explore new discoveries about appetite-controlling hormones, how body image may influence people’s dietary decisions, and some of the most common diet myths.

Objectives:
  • To properly define “energy” in a physiological sense.
  • To understand the relationship between calories consumed, calories expended, and weight management.
  • To critically analyze health claims using support from scientific sources.
  • To understand how different body systems contribute to homeostasis, particularly endocrine control of homeostasis of appetite, body weight, and blood sugar.
  • To develop empathy for people with weight management difficulties.
Keywords: Diet; weight; body systems; body image; macronutrients; protein; carbohydrate; fat; calorie; Atkin's diet; energy; metabolism; hormone; homeostasis
Topical Area: Scientific argumentation, Scientific method, Social issues
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Interrupted
Language: English
Subject Headings: Biology (General)   Physiology   Nutrition  
Date Posted: 06/26/09
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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I just used “Atkins or Fadkins” for the first time and thought it went pretty well. My husband the physiologist, however, had two quibbles. He says: (1) calories measure heat, not energy, and (2) some energy drinks do their thing with a jolt of caffeine, not sugar, so they may have no calories.


Barbara J. Abraham
Biological Sciences
Hampton University
Hampton, Va
barbara.abraham@hamptonu.edu
10/24/2012



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