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Starting a food and activity diary

Instructions and worksheets to help you start a food and activity diary in order to collect information on your daily diet and physical activity.
Welcome. This activity is slightly different to the home practicals. In this activity, we’re going to monitor our food and activity levels in a diary from now until week four. In week four, we’ll then collate and analyse the data to help us better understand the modifiable or lifestyle risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The aims of this activity are to investigate the lifestyle risk factors for cardiovascular disease so that by the end of the practical in week four, we should have a better understanding of these risk factors. We’ll have some experience of processing and analysing data, and we’ll be able to locate the recommended values for our diets and activity levels.
We’ll then compare our levels to these recommendations and to values typical for someone living in the UK. We haven’t yet covered the theory for this topic, but I’m sure most of you are aware that your activity levels and your diet can have a big impact on your health. So we’ll be monitoring these through our diary. Risk factors, or factors that can increase our risk of disease, can be broadly divided into two categories. There’s those that we can’t change, the non-modifiable ones, and those that we can, the modifiable risk factors or mostly our lifestyle. We’ll be monitoring two such factors, our activity and our diet.
The food diary that we use is a modified version of one used in the EPIC-Norfolk studies, whilst our activity diary is a modified version again from the EPIC studies into physical activity.
It’s quite simple to carry out this activity. At the end of each day, you’re going to record your food and activity levels in your diary. Don’t worry about doing things like weighing the amounts of food or calorie counting. Just indicate the portion sizes. So for example, here I’ve got a medium sized bowl of cereal with semi-skimmed milk and a glass of orange juice for breakfast, and then perhaps for my mid-morning snack a medium sized banana. In the activity diary, you’ve also got the option of monitoring your activity levels objectivity. And we can do this with a step counter or pedometer. These can be obtained cheaply from a variety of different places and are worn clipped to your belt.
I hope that you enjoy keeping your food and activity diary, and I look forward to analysing it with you in week four.

This course is all about exploring the risk factors and prevention of cardiovascular disease. To understand this better we suggest you keep a diary that collects information on your daily diet and physical activity.

The aim of this is to investigate the lifestyle risk factors for cardiovascular disease. By starting the diary and continuing throughout the course, you will have a selection of data to use to assess your own risk of cardiovascular disease. How you use this information is up to you, but we hope that this will help you to better understand how what you learn throughout the course could affect your own health.

Although we have yet to cover the theory of this topic, you might be aware that your diet and activity levels have a big impact on your health. Risk factors can be broadly divided into things we can change and things we can’t.

This activity focuses on the some of the risk factors that we can change, such as our lifestyle.

You should use the following instructions in the Guide to using your food and activity diary to monitor your diet and activity levels until Week 4. The food diary is a modified version of the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer (EPIC)-Norfolk 7 day diet diary. The activity diary is a modified version of the Core Questions on Physical Activity in EPIC Baseline Questionnaires.

Therefore, we would like to acknowledge the contribution of the staff and participants of the EPIC-Norfolk Study and also the Epidemiology Unit, Medical Research Council, Cambridge, UK. EPIC-Norfolk is supported by the Medical Research Council programme grants (G0401527,G1000143) and Cancer Research UK programme grant (C864/A8257).

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Heart Health: A Beginner's Guide to Cardiovascular Disease

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