A Light Lunch?
A Case in Calorie Counting
Department of Science
Borough of Manhattan Community College / City University of New York
Ambulatory Care Department
Jamaica Hospital Medical Center
This case study was developed to engage students by making connections between core concepts in chemistry and obesity related factors. The case is in the form of a story between two friends and their underestimation of the calories they consumed in a meal and their overestimation of the efforts needed to maintain a healthy body weight. Concepts taught by the case include use of conversion factors, calculation of percentages and body mass index, and calculations of caloric values of different foods. The case is suitable for use in courses in general, organic, and biological chemistry as well as in undergraduate nutrition courses.
- Use conversion factors to calculate the energy value of different foods.
- Inter-convert energy values given in Calories and kJ.
- Calculate percentages.
- Calculate body mass index (BMI) and understanding its use in categorizing individuals as healthy, overweight, or obese.
- Calculate the amount of Calories burned during walking and understanding effective strategies for weight maintenance.
KeywordsCalories; obesity; dieting; weight loss; body mass index; carbohydrate; protein; fat; trans fat; saturated fat; cholesterol
Educational LevelUndergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Subject HeadingsBiochemistry Organic Chemistry Chemistry (General) Nutrition
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