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Exercise and Nutrition

Exercise and Nutrition Photo Credit: Clipart.com
Nearly one third of all American children are overweight or obese. It's a staggering figure on its own, but even more so when you note that number has tripled in the last 30 years. The solution to combatting this growing problem involves getting kids up off the couch and offering them a healthy diet of natural food in reasonable portions.

The United States is facing an obesity crisis. It is not just an issue of weight, but all the other aspects of wellness and well-being that are affected. Obesity is a contributing factor to many chronic or fatal health issues, from diabetes to high blood pressure and heart disease. Reaching or maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best ways to improve your health. Families must address the problem at home, but communities and schools must do their part as well in order to make sure our students are well-rounded but not actually round.

Science NetLinks has developed and compiled the following resources we hope you'll find useful when teaching your students about various aspects of healthy eating and exercise.
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Lessons

  • Nutrition 3: Got Broccoli?

    Nutrition 3: Got Broccoli?

    3-5  |  Hands-On
    In this lesson, students explore why the body needs food, and how it takes necessary nutrients as food passes through the digestive system.
  • MyPlate Food Guide

    MyPlate Food Guide

    6-8  
    This lesson helps students know what foods they should eat, what nutrients their bodies need, and how much to eat to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Obesity

    Obesity

    6-8  |  Hands-On
    This lesson helps students understand the relationship among the amount of food energy (calories) consumed, weight, and metabolism and how making good decisions about diet and exercise can lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle.
  • Skin and Sports

    Skin and Sports

    6-8  
    In this lesson, students learn about the importance of proper protection from common skin conditions when they engage in sports-related activities.

Tools

  • All Systems Are Go!

    All Systems Are Go!

    3-8  |  Interactive
    In this online activity, a fictional character named Arnold is missing a number of body parts. It's your job to complete each body system so Arnold can function.
  • ChooseMyPlate.gov

    ChooseMyPlate.gov

    K-12  |  Interactive
    ChooseMyPlate.gov, from the United States Department of Agriculture, is a resource to showcase the federal government's new food icon, MyPlate, that is meant to help people make good choices about the food they choose to eat.
  • Delta SEE Radio

    Delta SEE Radio

    6-12  |  Teaching Aid
    The Delta SEE Connection radio show features African-Americans in science, engineering, and mathematics and highlights scientific research that is being conducted at private institutions and college campuses, particularly Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), nationwide.
  • Diabetes: The Science Inside

    Diabetes: The Science Inside

    6-12  |  Website
    Part of The Science Inside series which presents science information in an easy-to-read format, this booklet summarizes what health professionals know about type 2 diabetes—what it is, who is at risk for it, how it can be prevented, and how it is treated.
  • High Blood Pressure: The Science Inside

    High Blood Pressure: The Science Inside

    6-12  |  Website
    Part of The Science Inside series which presents science information in an easy-to-read format, this booklet explains what health professionals know about high blood pressure or hypertension, one of the leading causes of heart disease and stroke.
  • Muscles

    Muscles

    6-12  |  Interactive
    In this interactive, produced by BBC Science & Nature, students will have fun learning about the muscles of the human body.
  • Obesity and Childhood Nutrition Town Hall

    Obesity and Childhood Nutrition Town Hall

    6-12  |  Video
    This site has information about an event on understanding the science behind obesity and childhood nutrition that took place at the 2008 AAAS Annual Meeting.
  • Obesity: The Science Inside

    Obesity: The Science Inside

    6-12  |  Website
    Part of The Science Inside series, this easy-to-read booklet discusses the importance of good health habits such as eating right and exercising.
  • Wake-Up Call

    Wake-Up Call

    9-12  |  Teaching Aid
    This case study teaches you about the risk factors and symptoms of a heart attack and the physiological changes that happen once artery blockage occurs.

Science Updates

  • Cola Brains

    Cola Brains

    6-12  |  Audio
    For over fifty years, Coke and Pepsi have spent billions trying to out-market each other. This Science Update looks at a new brain study that suggests that one brand has much deeper effects.
  • Healthy Restaurants

    Healthy Restaurants

    6-12  |  Audio
    Restaurant chains advertising healthful food may actually encourage overeating.
  • Hunter-Gatherer Metabolism

    Hunter-Gatherer Metabolism

    6-12  |  Audio
    People living as hunter-gatherers burn roughly as many calories per day as those in industrialized countries.
  • Liquid Calories

    Liquid Calories

    6-12  |  Audio
    Research finds that Americans are getting too many of their calories from drinks.
  • Sensing Calories

    Sensing Calories

    6-12  |  Audio
    In this Science Update, find out if our brains may crave calories, not just the taste of sweetness.
  • Sports Drinks

    Sports Drinks

    6-12  |  Audio
    The acidity in sports drinks wears down tooth enamel—and brushing can worsen the problem.
  • Thick & Thin Foods

    Thick & Thin Foods

    6-12  |  Audio
    From sodas to health shakes, people are drinking more calories than ever before. In this Science Update, hear how this increase may be linked to obesity.
  • Vitamin C Origin

    Vitamin C Origin

    6-12  |  Audio
    Strawberries are packed with vitamin C. In this Science Update, hear about a scientist who's studying strawberries to help make other plants more nutritious.
  • Your Brain on Fructose

    Your Brain on Fructose

    6-12  |  Audio
    A brain imaging study supports growing evidence linking fructose to weight gain.

Other Resources

FoodChamps
Grade Band: K-5
Description: This site encourages kids to eat more fruits and vegetables with online games, coloring sheets, offline activities, and recipes.

Let's Move!
Grade Band: K-12
Description: Michelle Obama has launched a new campaign to solve the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation. It strives to give parents resources, schools healthier food, kids ways to be more physically active, and communities healthy, affordable food options.

Michelle Obama Fights Childhood Obesity
Grade Band: K-12
Description: Thinkfinity offers resources across a variety of subjects that relate to the First Lady's new campaign to end childhood obesity.

USDA's MyPlate
Grade Band: K-12
Description: This site, sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture, offers users the opportunity to create balanced, healthy diets based on a number of criteria. Interactive tools on the site include a food tracker and a meal planner.

President's Challenge
Grade Band: K-12
Description: Once known as the Presidential Fitness Challenge, this site encourages Americans to incorporate fitness into their daily lives, regardless of their age.

Produce for Kids
Grade Band: K-12
Description: This site offers separate sections for kids, parents, and educators that encourage kids to eat more fruits and vegetables.


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