Assignment 1: Critiquing a Canadian Health Article
1. Select a health article of at least 500 words from a popular Canadian newspaper (e.g., Globe and Mail, National Post), magazine (e.g., Chatelaine, Macleans, Canadian Living), or Internet source (e.g., health-related companies). The article should be one that is intended for the general public with a publication date within the past 5 years of today's date and focus on Canadian content. The article must relate to one of the health issues covered in Units 1-6. For example, you might select an article about a program to improve wellness, or one that discusses sexuality, pregnancy and childbirth, nutrition, active living, or weight.
Try to find an article that you are able to critique. For example, articles found on government websites may be difficult to assess for accuracy or gaps in information. Do not use articles from scientific journals or issued by the government for this assignment. Choose your article carefully; assignments that are based on articles that do not meet the criteria outlined here may be returned unmarked.
Note: You must attach or include a copy of the article with your assignment.
2. Research the health issue discussed in your selected article to develop some expertise in this area. Review Hales and Lauzon (2015) and course materials (Foster & Davison, 2015) as well as other resources (e.g., government reports, scientific journal articles) beyond these course materials. Some areas to examine include descriptions of the issue, recent trends, people most commonly affected by the issue, and how the issue impacts the Canadian health and/or social systems.
3. Prepare a 1,500- to 2,000-word (double-spaced, 12 point font, 1 inch margins) essay written as a critique that addresses the following criteria:
a. discussing the health implications of the issue and explaining why it is of concern in Canada.
b. relating the article to the information presented in the course materials (e.g., Hales and Lauzon (2015) and online Study Guide) and describing how it fits within the context of this course. Comparisons made to the course materials should include where there are consistencies and differences in information.
c. highlighting the strengths and limitations of the article.
d. determining whether or not the article contains a particular bias or position. Consider how the facts were presented, the conclusions made, , and if the author's interpretations are consistent with other viewpoints. Also assess whether the article appears to have:
• contradictions and inconsistencies.
• an agenda or interests served by a article.
• certain facts; but ignores or misrepresents others.
• implications ignored and or emphasized.
e. identifying and discussing further information or research that might be needed to better understand and address this health issue.
f. providing overall opinions about the article as an information piece (consider the article's clarity, accuracy, relevance, depth, breadth, and significance) for the intended audience.
Note that critiques that are significantly longer or shorter than the criteria provided for the assignment will have marks deducted. The essay should be written in the first or third person and must contain at least two (2) references to reliable sources (e.g., scientific journal articles, government reports) in addition to Hales and Lauzon (2015) or online course materials. On your cover page include the assignment title, your name and student number, the course number, your tutor's name, the submission date, and the copyright date of this course (2015).
Assignment 2: Personal Health Assessment
When you have completed this assignment, submit it to your tutor for marking and feedback by following the instructions in this drop box.
This assignment has five main steps:
1. Complete your Wellness Inventory.
2. Complete an assessment of your daily food intake using Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide (Health Canada, 2011).
3. Describe and evaluate activities you partake in over a typical week.
4. Measure your waist circumference, waist to hip ratio, and body mass index.
5. Evaluating your overall health based on these various dimensions and measures of health.
Your assignment must come in ONE (1) word document submission and must include:
• A 1,500- 2,500-word (6-10 pages) essay
• Three appended items: 1) Your completed Wellness Inventory; 2) your one-day Food Diary, and 3) your Weekly Physical Activity Record.
Step One: Wellness Inventory
Complete the following questionnaire, based on Dr. Bill Hettler's Six Dimensions of Wellness model, outlined in Chapter 1 of Hales and Lauzon (2015). There are 100 questions in ten sections: physical fitness, nutrition, self-care and safety, environmental wellness, social awareness, emotional awareness and sexuality, emotional management, intellectual wellness, occupational wellness, and spirituality and values.
Indicate your responses by bolding or underlining the appropriate number. If you do not want to respond to a particular question, you can put an "X" in the NA column for "not applicable." (Be sure to consider how this might affect your overall score for that category in your final essay.)
Step 2: Food Intake
For this part of the assignment, compare your eating habits with Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide. Complete a one-day food intake diary using the online form below.
Be specific when describing foods and beverages (e.g., "2% milk" rather than just "milk," "Kellogg's Raisin Bran," not "cereal"). For each food and beverage you list, record the amount consumed in metric measures (e.g., grams, mL). The "Tips for Serving Sizes" below will help you to determine portion sizes and describe the foods eaten. Don't forget to record any nutrient supplements you may be taking. Your tutor will evaluate your food diary on the completeness of its description of the kinds and amounts of foods consumed.
Determine the number of servings from each of the Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide food groups that your intake represents (indicate totals at bottom of table). Compare your intake to the Guide's recommendations that are appropriate for you (based on your age, gender, current weight and physical activity level). The sample food diary below shows how the servings are allocated and totalled.
Step 3: Physical Activity
Consider a typical week and the activities you do and complete the following physical activity record. Be sure to consider all forms of exercise, including informal activities like washing and waxing a car, washing windows or floors, gardening, pushing a stroller, raking leaves, shovelling snow, walking between classes, and walking up stairs. Indicate the intensity only for those considered cardiorespiratory activities. Use this information to compare your usual level of exercise to the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines (PHAC 2012) and provide a detailed description of your physical activities for a typical week in your essay. (A sample is provided below.)
Step 4: Putting It All Together - Your Personal Health Assessment
Prepare a 1,500- 2,500-word (6-10 pages, double-spaced) essay that addresses each of the items described below. The attachments (e.g., food diary, activity record) are not included in the word or page count noted here. Reports that are significantly longer or shorter will be penalized. This assignment may be written in the first person (i.e., using "I" statements). On your cover page include the assignment title, your name and student number, your tutor's name, the course number, the submission date, and the copyright date of this course (2015). There should be no page numbers indicated on your title page.
Your personal health assessment essay should include all of the following information.
1. Briefly describe your general situation (your age, family structure, work, interests, goals, family health history, etc.)
2. From the individual results of the Wellness Inventory, discuss the following categories: self-care and safety, environmental wellness, social awareness, emotional awareness and sexuality, emotional management, intellectual wellness, occupational wellness, and spirituality and values. Your discussion should include your score for each category as well as your overall composite score. Highlight your strengths and areas for improvement. Questions 3 and 4 (below) will address the physical fitness and nutrition categories.
3. Based on your one-day food record, describe your diet.
a. Indicate if this is a usual day and how it may vary over a week.
b. Discuss how the results of your one-day food diary compared with recommendations of Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide. Identify any food groups for which your diet is not within the recommended range of servings (for your age and gender category). Also, compare your typical diet with the directive statements for each food group located in the side panel of the printed Food Guide.
c. Use the information from the table provided in Unit 3 "Important Nutrients in the Food Groups" and Tables 5-3 and 5-4 (pp. 112-115) of Hales and Lauzon (2015) to identify specific nutrients that may be inadequate in your diet as well as those nutrients that you may be over-consuming. For each, describe why you believe the nutrient is an issue.
d. Refer to your nutrition score from the Wellness Inventory and discuss consistencies/inconsistencies with your one-day food record. Highlight your strengths and areas for improvement.
4. Describe your weight and shape.
a. Calculate your Body Mass Index, and show your calculations (see page 131 of Hales and Lauzon (2015); Unit 2 in the Study Guide).
b. Measure and record your Waist and Hip Circumference and calculate your Waist-to-Hip Ratio (see page 133 of Hales and Lauzon, 2015). For waist circumference, position the measuring tape horizontally at the point of noticeable waist narrowing. This is the narrowest portion of your torso between the ribs and the hips. If you are unable to determine the location of your waist, locate the top of your hipbone and take the waist measurement just above this point. Take the measurement after exhaling normally. For your hip circumference, position the tape around the widest part of your hips (at your pubic bone in front, and where your buttocks are largest in back). If you are pregnant, use your pre-pregnancy estimates for waist and hip circumferences.
c. For each of the above measurements, briefly discuss how your results compare to the recommended standards. Unit 2 of the Study Guide provides ethnic-specific values for waist circumference for your reference.
d. Consider the health risks that are measured by each of the three methods. Do the three measurements lead to the same or different conclusions? If different, please discuss if weight is a health risk or not.
5. Describe aspects of active living.
a. Discuss the results of weekly physical activity record. Compare your usual level of exercise to the recommendations in Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines.
b. Indicate your physical fitness score from the Wellness Inventory. Is it consistent with your conclusions from 5a? Discuss similarities and differences between these two assessments.
c. Provide an estimate of the number of screen time hours you spend. How many hours in a week do you watch television (including DVDs, etc.)? How many hours per week do you spend as leisure-time computer use (e.g., social media such as Facebook, surfing the Internet, playing computer-based games). Leisure-time hours on the computer excludes time spent on activities at work or school. Frequent television viewing is defined as 15 or more hours per week, and frequent computer use as 11 or more hours per week. Does your screen time use interfere with your physical activity?
6. Analyze your overall health status. Use Health Studies 200 course materials as a reference. Discuss what behaviours you might change to achieve a lifestyle that balances the dimensions of wellness. Where applicable, discuss how these behaviour changes may affect your future health. Be sure to consider family health history in the assessment of health risk and need (if any) for behaviour change.
7. Assignment 2 will be graded on both the content and the quality of presentation. Use reference materials as appropriate, and include a proper citation for each reference cited.
The following is a reminder and summary of what you are to submit in ONE file:
• Your essay, which should include an introduction, appropriate evaluation of all dimensions and measures of health indicated, summary/conclusions, and reference list.
• An appendix that includes your completed Wellness Inventory, your one-day Food Diary, and your Weekly Physical Activity Record.