Nutrition class case study

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Jenny and Travis are four months into their freshman year of college. The two have been friends since grade school and find a great deal of comfort in being able to get together for dinner.

Travis loves food, but rarely tries new things. At first, the unfamiliarity of the school dining hall was scary, but once he discovered that he could get a steak and cheese sub seven days a week he was content. For Jenny the adjustment was much more difficult. Jenny has been a semi-vegetarian for many years, and the vegetarian entrees cooked at the dorm are not particularly inspired. Although she eats fish, the cafeteria rarely serves fish that isnât breaded and deep fried. Typically, Jenny sticks to salads with low fat dressing, low-fat yogurt, or a bowl of cereal with low-fat milk for dinner.

âI am starving!â she told Travis one night at dinner. âThere is never anything I want to eat in the dorm and Iâm losing a lot of weight. This winter the colder temperatures are bothering me more than usual and I have been so tired. I cannot wait for this weekend. I am going home to have a home cooked meal.â Jenny could not help but smile as Travisâs eyes lit up at the mention of a home cooked dinner. âYou want to come?â she asked, knowing the answer would be a resounding, âYes.â

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When they arrived the house was filled with the wonderful aromas of home cooking. There were hot rolls, salad with olive oil and vinegar, grilled salmon, and fresh chocolate chip cookies for dessert. They sat down to dinner and after just one bite, Travis decided this was the best meal he had ever had. He did not hesitate to ask for a second helping of everything. Jenny ate a big meal as well. As she spread some margarine on her roll, she could not help but smile seeing her best friend enjoying his dinner.

Then came dessert. Jennyâs parents served the chocolate chip cookies with some low-fat frozen yogurt, both of which were delicious. âNow I made the cookies with real butter,â Jennyâs father reminded his wife who had been cautiously watching her cholesterol. She was stuffed after a big meal anyway, so she skipped the cookies. Still, she enjoyed watching the kids devour their desserts. Travis gracefully thanked Jenny parents for the meal on their way back to school. Her parents told him he could come back any time.


  • Travis eats steak and cheese subs every day of the week. Explain the types of fat, as well as the properties of each type that are found in the sub.
  • Explain why Jenny is feeling tired and more sensitive to the cold temperatures and what dietary factors may have caused some of the symptoms she experienced.
  • What type of fats are found in the salmon and how does it differ from the fat in the steak and cheese sub?
  • What are the benefits of using olive oil to flavor the salad?
  • Margarine on the roll, and butter in the cookies: compare and contrast the two sources of fat
  • The chocolate chip cookie: what other ingredients contain cholesterol?
  • Provide meal alternatives to Travis while he is at school.
  • Discuss ways to decrease your cholesterol intake.
  • List sources of omega-3 and omega 6 if you are a vegetarian and does not eat meat products.
  • Develop a dayâs meal plan (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks that are healthy).

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