The Write Weight
Nutrition and Body Image
Department of Biology
Kasey is a busy undergraduate student who is struggling with her body image and wants to lose weight. To aid in this process, Kasey keeps a food and activity journal. Students review Kasey's food and exercise choices, calculate Kasey's daily caloric intake and output to determine if she will lose or gain weight, and give advice to Kasey about her diet, energy levels, caffeine consumption, and body image. This case study was developed for a non-majors, general education course called "Biology of Women" to get students to consider nutrition and activity choices in relationship to body image. The case can be used in any human biology or nutrition class.
- Calculate BMI and determine what range an individual falls within (underweight, normal, overweight, obese).
- Calculate energy intake and output of an individual, given the necessary data.
- Identify problematic behaviors and suggest modifications to one's diet and lifestyle to maintain a healthy weight and adequate energy levels.
- Address the struggles of body image and propose solutions to make positive change.
KeywordsBody image; BMI; energy; nutrition; weight; journal; exercise; calorie; eating disorder; beauty
Educational LevelMiddle school
Subject HeadingsBiology (General) | Nutrition | Physiology | Public Health |
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The following video(s) are recommended for use in association with this case study.
- BMI Animation
This short animation shows a comparison of the change in Body Mass Index (BMI) for a given height and varying weights. It also shows why BMI is inaccurate for muscular people. Running time: 1:23 min. Produced by HHMI BioInteractive.