Nutrition case studies case study sample

Based on 2-20 year old male CDC growth chart, Jacob is considered obese. His height indicates he is at the 96th percentile and weight is at the 90th percentile. His BMI is at the 95th percentile (Kuczmarski et al, 2002).
Based on 2-20 year old female CDC growth chart, Mollie is considered to be of normal weight. Her height indicates that she is between the 60th percentile and weight is at the 45th percentile. Her BMI is at the 27th percentile (Kuczmarski et al, 2002).

The three common types of eating disorder includes Binge Eating disorder, Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is one of the disorders of eating. It presents with considerable restriction of food intake and also the irrational fear that the individual is gaining weight. The individual also has a perception of self which is distorted. There is excessive weight loss in the individual. The considerable restriction in the intake of food is as a result of the abnormal fear that the individual has about gaining weight (Powel et al, 2008). Anorexia Nervosa has also been defined as an eating disorder which is characterized by weight loss which is in excess of 15% of expected body weight. Anorexia nervosa is said to be preceded by the individual’s desire to lose an amount of body weight which is insignificant through dieting (Bernstein, 2012). However, as soon as the weight loss is in progress, immunologic and humoral factors may play a role in the maintenance of the condition in the form of production of leptin and alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (Fetissov, 2005).
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder that is characterized by behaviors which the individual uses regularly to get rid of excess calories in the body. These calories have earlier been consumed during previous binge eating sessions. There are two variants of the disorder which is based on the mode of getting rid of the excess calories. The purging type involves the process by which the individual induces vomiting so that the food that has just been eaten is vomited. Other methods of purging include the use of laxatives so as to induce diarrhea. The non-purging variant involves the use of non-purging measures to rid the body of the excess calories. These methods include excessive exercising, the abuse of stimulant agents and also fasting. (Yager, 2013).
Binge eating disorder is an eating disorder that is characterized by the consumption of large amounts of food by an individual within a short time. The disorder is also characterized by the individual having the feeling that they cannot control these binging episodes. The individual also feels remorse after the binging episode. However, the individual continues to binge at regular intervals. Binge eating is an eating disorder that makes people eats large amounts of food even when they are not hungry. The individual suffering from binge eating also eats large amounts of food when they are under emotional stress. The individual also eats faster than normal whenever they are binging, and they also feel painfully full after each binging episode followed by a feeling of depression, guilt, upset or unhappiness after the binging episode.
Based on the case summaries, Mollie seems to be suffering from Anorexia nervosa because she has recently changed her diet to a lacto-vegetarian because she learnt that meat could disrupt her running activities. Moreover she her period has been absent for about 6 months. Her running is obviously meant to reduce her weight and keep her in shape. Her recent effort to reduce her weight even further is a pointer to the fact that she is very concerned about her body image and is thereby engaging in activities that would lead her to lose more weight.
Although, Jacob is overweight, he doesn’t seem to be in any danger of any eating disorder because he does not exhibit any classical predisposing factor or symptoms of any eating disorder.
Cultural factors have been shown to promote some eating disorders in adolescents. the overt promotion of an image which is bordered on thinness as the ideal stature for females has led to an increase in the incidence of some of the eating disorders especially anorexia nervosa and bulimia. The promotion is inherently rooted in the way the media portrait these images. It is important to note that culture in itself is not solely responsible for the development of eating disorders. This factor acts more like a trigger with so many other factors serving as contributory factors. Individual psychology, genetic predisposition and daily family interactions are all factors that can conglomerate to lead to the development of eating disorders while the cultural under printings would just serve as a trigger.
Another factor which makes adolescents susceptible to the development of eating disorders in the issue of peer pressure. Adolescents are very sensitive to the approval they obtain from their peers. They take this approvals or disapprovals seriously. A girl might want to shed some weight just because her friends refer to her as being fat. This in turn, could lead to a dangerous trend in which she continues to diet even when she is not longer overweight.
Adolescents are also susceptible to a number of emotional problems including depression and anxiety. These two mental conditions have also been shown to correlate positively with the development of eating disorders. Individuals sometimes turn to the consumption of food when they are depressed. Also anxiety disorders also tend to present with the individual overeating (ANRED, 2013).
Eating disorders can affect wither males or females because both sexes are predisposed to mental conditions like depression and anxiety? Because of this, both sexes can come down with eating disorders.
Moreover, both males and females can be subject to peer pressure. Therefore, this can be the trigger for the development of eating disorders.
Eating disorders affect females more than males probably because, as stated earlier, they are more concerned with their body image more than males. Moreover, females tend to over exercise more than males which could aid in the development of eating disorders.
For Jacob to remain healthy, he needs to cut down on the consumption of sugary food. Half a cup of the cereal for breakfast, with 1 oz of 2% milk. I would also recommend that the afternoon snack be discontinued altogether. If he is going to eat lunch, there is no need for another snacking session. If he feels the need to eat something, he can eat fruits. 2 apples or fruit salad would do. Jacob’s diet seems to be based on milk because all the meals tend to have milk in it. I would advice him to restrict his intake of milk, preferably only to breakfasts and skip the milk during lunch and dinner.
Mollie seems to be avoiding food high in calorie. For her to stay healthy, she needs to consume food high in calories. One glass of milk in the morning to go with a bowl of sweetened cereal will do just fine. Also for lunch, she can have white bread instead of the whole wheat bread. During her practice sessions, she can have a bottle of fruit juice.


Kuczmarski RJ et al. (2000). CDC growth charts for the United States: Methods and development. National Center for Health Statistics. Vital Health Stat 11(246). 2002
Powel N & Andrzej L (2008). ” Anorexia Nervosa”. Endokrynologia Polska/Polish Journal of Endocrinology 59 (2): 148–155.
Bernistein B (2012). Pediatric Anorexia Nervosa. Medscape Reference.
Fetissov et al (2005). Autoantibodies against neuropeptides are Associated with Psychological Traits in Eating Disorders. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Oct 11 2005; 102(41): 14865-70.
ANRED (2013). Who is at risk for developing an eating disorder?. Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders. Retrieved on 16th July 2013 from