complete the following two-part activity (adapted from Exhibit 3 in Chapter 3 of your textbook).
- Identify a person willing to answer some questions about his or her eating habits over the past 24 hours. (Keep in mind that, ideally, you will be able to interact with an older adult for this activity; thus, you should not use yourself or a classmate as your “participant.”) Next, create a table or list to record information (refer to Exhibit 3 in your textbook). Then, ask the following questions of your participant:
- What foods or drinks did you consume?
- How much did you eat? (i.e., not enough, a reasonable amount, too much)
- Where did you eat? (e.g., home, office, car)
- Who with? (e.g., a family member, friend, alone)
- What were you doing? (i.e., activity)
- What was your emotional state? (e.g., happy, sad, anxious)
- Take some time to reflect on the information you have collected, then address the following critical elements:
- Provide specific and detailed information regarding the participant’s eating habits for Questions A through F (above).
- Describe barriers to change that might exist for this participant.
- Describe barriers to change that might relate specifically to age. (In the case of a younger participant: What new barriers might this participant face as he or she ages?)
- Explain why it is difficult to change health behavior, using food and diet as an example.
- Describe some parallels to your own eating habits. (What barriers to change exist in your life?) Use examples from the readings in your explanation.
Expert Solution Preview
In this activity, I interviewed a participant, who is an older adult, about their eating habits over the past 24 hours. The purpose of this activity is to gain insights into an individual’s dietary choices, the factors influencing those choices, and the barriers they may face in changing their eating habits. Through this exercise, we will explore the participant’s eating habits, barriers to change, barriers related to age, the difficulty of changing health behavior, and parallels to our own eating habits.
Question A: What foods or drinks did you consume?
The participant reported consuming a bowl of oatmeal with bananas for breakfast, a grilled chicken salad for lunch, and a salmon fillet with steamed vegetables for dinner. They also had a cup of black coffee and a glass of water throughout the day.
Question B: How much did you eat?
The participant mentioned eating a reasonable amount for each meal, making sure to satisfy their hunger without overeating.
Question C: Where did you eat?
The participant consumed breakfast and dinner at home while having lunch at their workplace cafeteria.
Question D: Who were you with?
During breakfast and dinner, the participant ate with their spouse. However, they had lunch alone as their spouse was not present at their workplace.
Question E: What were you doing?
The participant mentioned that they were watching the news during breakfast, working at their desk during lunch, and relaxing while watching a movie during dinner.
Question F: What was your emotional state?
The participant reported feeling content and relaxed during all three meals. They did not mention any specific emotional triggers or disturbances.
Barriers to Change:
Some potential barriers to change for this participant might include lack of knowledge about healthy food choices, lack of access to fresh and nutritious food options, and difficulty in resisting unhealthy food cravings. Additionally, financial constraints and time constraints can also pose barriers to implementing dietary changes. The participant may also face challenges in breaking long-standing habits and adopting new eating patterns.
Barriers Related to Age:
As individuals age, they may encounter additional barriers to changing their eating habits. These barriers could include decreased mobility, limited cooking abilities, changes in taste preferences, dietary restrictions due to medical conditions, and reduced social support. For instance, older adults may find it challenging to shop for groceries, cook nutritious meals, or maintain a social network that encourages healthy eating habits.
Why is it difficult to change health behavior, using food and diet as an example?
Changing health behavior, particularly in relation to food and diet, can be challenging due to various factors. Firstly, food choices are often deeply rooted in personal habits and cultural traditions, making it difficult to break free from established patterns. Additionally, processed foods and sugary snacks can be highly addictive, leading to cravings and difficulties in adopting healthier alternatives. Moreover, the availability and affordability of unhealthy food options, coupled with the aggressive marketing of such products, make it harder for individuals to make healthier choices. Lastly, emotional factors, such as stress or emotional eating, can significantly impact one’s ability to change their dietary behavior.
Parallels to my own eating habits:
Like the participant, I also face barriers to changing my eating habits. One significant barrier is the influence of social and cultural factors. For example, family gatherings or social events often involve indulgent meals that can be challenging to resist. I also find it difficult to navigate the abundant availability of processed and unhealthy food options, especially when pressed for time. Furthermore, emotional factors, such as stress or boredom, can occasionally lead me to make less healthy food choices. The readings have highlighted the importance of self-awareness, planning, and seeking support in overcoming these barriers and making positive changes in one’s eating habits.