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How does Melanie’s EER compare with her intake? Is she in energy balance?

How does Melanie’s EER compare with her intake? Is she in energy balance?

Critical Thinking – Balancing Energy: Genetics and Lifestyle

Melanie was always slightly overweight. Because her parents are both obese, no one was surprised. During her freshman year at college, she noticed how her thinner friends ate and spent their free time. She decided to make some changes. Melanie, now 23 years old, is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 155lbs. By recording and analyzing her food intake for 3 days, Melanie determines her typical intake is 2450 kcal/day. By keeping an activity log, she estimates that she gets 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per day. This puts her activity level in the “low-active” category. Melanie has heard that changing her energy balance by even 100 kcals a day can help manage weight. She lists some of her high-calorie choices in the table below.

To increase her activity level to about an hour a day, she begins walking with her roommate three days a week and enrolls in an aerobics class two nights a week. As Melanie begins to lose weight, she wonders if her weight problem is due to the genes she inherited or her lifestyle.

Food

Energy (kcals)

Glazed donut twist, 5 inches

490

Potato chips, 2 oz

300

KFC chicken thigh, extra crispy

380

Tombstone 4-meat pizza, 1 slice

400

Peanut butter chocolate granola bar

190

Breyer’s Reese’s ice cream, 1 cup

340

Snickers, 4oz

540

What is her BMI? Which category does she fall in?

How does Melanie’s EER compare with her intake? Is she in energy balance?

Suggest an alternative for each high calorie food that would provide at least 100 kcals less.

If she maintains her higher activity level (Active category) and reduced intake (by 700 kcals/week), how long will it take her to lose 10lbs?

Do you think Melanie’s weight problem is due to genes she inherited or her lifestyle? Why?