Kathleen is a 5’6″, 130-pound, 20 year-old college junior. Over the last few years, she has gained and then lost ten to fifteen pounds several times. Recently, she has been trying hard to keep her weight down. Like many college students, Kathleen goes out every weekend and tends to overindulge. During the week, she lives the life of a serious student, eating very little and getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night. By Friday she is ready to have some fun. She usually goes out with friends to a nearby burger or taco shop and then finds a party. At the party Kathleen will have four or five drinks and munch on chips or pretzels. By 3 a.m., when she and her friends are ready to call it a night, they usually are hungry again. This means finding pizza, waffles, or any other food they can find at that hour of the morning. After a late night out, Saturdays are spent catching up on some sorely needed sleep. By Saturday night, she is ready to go out and do it all over again. Sundays are usually spent relaxing at a hearty Sunday brunch, watching movies with her friends accompanied by a giant bowl of popcorn, and finishing homework that’s due Monday morning.
Kathleen realizes that her weekend binges may cause her to gain weight, so she cuts way down on calories Monday through Thursday. Kathleen has been trying to stay active and build up some muscle mass by running. Recently, her strict dieting is making this more difficult. During the week, Kathleen eats so little that she often feels weak or lightheaded, especially following her long distance runs. Although she is running a great deal, her muscles are not getting as large as she had hoped. On Mondays and Tuesdays, her diet is very hard to stick to. Kathleen is always starving. However, by the end of the week she no longer feels so hungry. Kathleen also notices that she has a much harder time paying attention, is sensitive to the cold temperatures, and finds it all too easy to catch a cold or flu.
For a while, she was able to overcome this and still go out on the weekends, but she is starting to feel that it is not worth being so miserable during the week, no matter how much fun her weekends may be. Kathleen knows she is putting her body through a lot of stress, but needs someone to explain what is happening as she experiences the consequences of a weekly roller coaster ride from feasting to fasting.
Assignment: The analysis of Kathleen’s eating habits is one of the assignments to turn into your instructor this week. Please answer each of the following questions in the textbox provided. Make sure you type the question before each response.
After Sunday brunch, Kathleen’s digestive system is filled with nutrients. The liver receives these nutrients first. Describe what the liver does with the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in Kathleen’s Sunday brunch.
On the weekends, Kathleen drinks substantial amounts of alcohol. Explain alcohol’s effects on the liver, both short-term and long-term.
During periods of fasting, how are metabolic fuels used differently compared to their use with a healthy, consistent diet? Describe some of the negative effects associated with this.
During periods of feasting, how are metabolic fuels used differently compared to their use with a healthy, consistent diet?
Kathleen has a lot of warning signs that she is not eating well. Name her symptoms and explain why she feels this way.
What are the long-term consequences of Kathleen’s eating pattern and alcohol consumption on her vitamin status?
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