Your new 46-year-old male client has problems with understanding nutrition and how it works to his advantage. He also does not understand the basics of a nutrition label and what macronutrients or micronutrients are. He is further at risk for hypertension due to his family history and genetics (African American) and currently has a body composition (BF) of 28% and really needs to learn the basics of nutrition. How would you begin this assignment? How would you frame and being the conversation with this client?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Based on the family history, genetics, and current body fat percentage, it is clear that this client needs to lose weight. Your overall message will focus on this person's need to pay attention to both diet and exercise. All the exercise in the world won't help if the right amounts...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Based on the family history, genetics, and current body fat percentage, it is clear that this client needs to lose weight. Your overall message will focus on this person's need to pay attention to both diet and exercise. All the exercise in the world won't help if the right amounts and types of food are not being consumed consistently. Additionally, proper diet alone won't undo and fix all of the client's current issues and genetic risk factors.

The client needs to be educated that his current health is at risk. I presume that he is already aware that he needs help, and that is why he is coming to you for nutritional advice and education. That's a good thing because it makes your teaching job that much easier. The question also indicates that your answer should focus on diet.

Start with the 6 nutrients that a body needs. Explain that those nutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. The first three are macronutrients because the body needs them in large amounts, and the final three are micronutrients because the body needs them in smaller amounts.

Next, inform your client about the importance of each nutrient. Give him a basic overview of what each nutrient does for the body. Stress that each of the nutrients is essential for an overall healthy diet. I would definitely stress that "fat" is not a bad word and is not totally something to be avoided. You will need to educate your client on what kinds of fats are most beneficial, and you will need to inform your client how much of each nutrient to consume. This is where your expertise is critical. You need to know how active your client is. Active people can consume more calories than sedentary people. Roughly 50%-60% of a person's daily caloric intake should be carbs. You will need to figure out how many calories your client should be consuming in total based on his activity level. Then break that number down into specific divisions of carbs, proteins, and fats.

Your next task is to inform your client of common dietary sources of each nutrient. Let him know that carbs are found in things like grains, while proteins are found in meats, nuts, and beans. Do the same thing with vitamins and minerals.

Finally, your client should be given an easy way to measure serving size because it is a quick and easy way to roughly keep track of caloric intake in each of the macronutrient categories. For example, the recommended serving size of protein (meat) is three ounces. Most people have no idea what that looks like, so let your client know that a three-ounce serving of protein is similar in size to the palm of his hand or a deck of cards.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team