Monitoring Food and Its Effects on the Body

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Anatomy and Physiology 2        SBI172        

Laboratory Report


The human body is a complex being. Its ultimate goal is to maintain life and to do so it requires macronutrients (food), oxygen, water, appropriate temperature and atmospheric pressure (Marieb & Hoehn 2010).

In the human body there are constant use of energy to allow the body to function appropriately. Moreover each day cells undergo constant recycling, where millions are reproduced or regenerated to replace the old or injured cells (Marieb & Hoehn 2010). In order to do so macronutrients are required for the chemical reaction to take place.

Henceforth, to maintain a balanced and healthy body, a balanced diet is important according to the research conducted by the National Health and Medical Research Council (2005). There are many macronutrients that contribute to the health of a human being.  These include elements includes protein, carbohydrates, fats, and minerals and vitamins (NHMRC 2005).

It is known that protein is essential to the body as it provides the body material for growth and repair, whereas carbohydrates provide a rich source of energy. Fats also provide a source of energy but it also contains fat-soluble vitamins, where it provides transportation for fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K around the body. Furthermore it also protects the internal organs by cushioning.  Minerals are required for the blood, bone and all cells, whereas vitamins assist enzyme activity and absorption.

These macronutrients becomes involved in several biochemical reactions known as metabolism. This reaction allows the macronutrients to get built up and town down, which then the cells of the body extract the energy from the macronutrients (Marieb & Hoehn 2010).

The basal metabolism is the minimum amount of energy that the body requires at rest to maintain its daily functions (NHMRC 2005). The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the rate of calories spent on basal metabolism. Such activities that the basal metabolism contributes to are those that happens involuntarily or unconsciously such as breathing air and the beating of the heart (NHMRC 2005).

Each human has a different BMR, however it is lowest at rest when a person is sleeping (NHMRC 2005). It is also found to vary with age where a younger person will have a much higher BMR than adults as their body still undergoes rapid cell division, which requires abundant energy, according to Hanson (2003).

However, each person performs daily activity where they are engaged in different exercise and task. When the exercise and tasks are applied, the active metabolic rate (AMR) is used to determine the amount of calories needed in addition to the basal metabolism and energy required for those daily activities (NHMRC 2005).

Though, a medical condition called obesity occurs when there is a high intensive amount of calorie intake above the recommended AMR.

In this report, an investigation will be made to determine how a certain amount of nutrition consumed over a two-week period affects the body and how a change in physical activity affects the required calorie intake for the body to function normally.

It is hypothesis that

a) As the level of physical activity increases, the active metabolic rate also increases.

Though there are some limitation that has to be acknowledge and one of the limitation is only being able to record the food diary for two weeks. Another limitation is not being able to monitor the level of exercise accurately.




The initial step was to maintain an accurate diary of what was consumed daily including both foods and drinks (including beverages). This includes the food’s nutrition content of protein, carbohydrates, fat and alcohol.

After recording the food and drinks consumed for 7 days, the daily percentage of calories that came from the protein, carbohydrate, fat and alcohol was calculated using the calculator and formula below.

Working Out the Number of Calories:

Protein = (amount of grams) x 4 calories

Carbohydrates = (amount of grams) x 4 calories

Fat = (amount of grams) x 9 calories

Alcohol = (amount of grams) x 7 calories

Working Out the Percentage of Calories from:

Protein = (amount of calories from protein)/(overall daily calories) x 100

Carbohydrates = (amount of calories from carbohydrates)/(overall daily calories) x 100

Fat = (amount of calories from fat)/(overall daily calories) x 100

Alcohol = (amount of calories from alcohol)/(overall daily calories) x 100

The stepping scale was used to find the weight in kg. However the height was found by using the pencil to mark directly where the top of the head was vertically reached up to. The measuring tape was then used to measure the height in cm from the ground to the pencil mark.

After that, the basal metabolic rate (BMR) was calculated using the formula below.

Men: 66 + (13.7 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)

Women: 66 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)

After calculating the BMR, the active metabolic rate (AMR) was subsequent calculated using the formula below.

AMR = BMR x conversion factor

Where the conversion factor came from the amount of physical activity that was accomplished during the 7 days period.  Its conversion factor is shown in table 1.1 where it corresponds to the activity level.

Table 1.1

During the next 7 days, the activity level was increased. Again, a food diary of the foods and drinks consumed for that 7 days period was record, along with the protein, carbohydrates, fat and alcohol content. Then the percentage of calories that came from those nutrition components is to be calculated again using the same formula above.

At the end of the 7 days, the BMR was calculated again using the same formula above. Then the AMR was calculated using the same equation above, where the conversion factor (from table 1.1) was different as the activity level was increased.

Limitation in Method

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One of the limitations is the lack of the equipment used to determine the amount of macronutrients in food. Some food has many ingredients mixed in and it is difficult to determine without a given apparatus or technique to determine the correct amount of macronutrients in that particular food. This affects the method as when estimation is made on the content of protein, carbohydrate and fats in the food; the result when calculating the weekly percentage is affected as the level of accuracy on the value is decreased.


Food Dairy

Nutrition Contents


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