Making Good Decisions about Diet and Exercise

Making Good Decisions about Diet and Exercise


This lesson will help you learn more about your own body and what you need to stay healthy.


Part 1: Adding to Your Knowledge
To begin, read the selections from The Science Inside: Obesity that your teacher has given you (read pages 3-5 and pages 15-23). This material will provide you with important background information. Also included is a tool to measure your Body Mass Index (BMI). Follow the directions given to complete those calculations. Ask your teacher if you have any questions. (Or you can use the online tool at When Being Overweight is a Health Problem to calculate your BMI.)

Then answer these questions in the space provided on your Nutrition and Exercise student sheet:

  • What is a calorie?
  • When does the body work most efficiently?
  • What fats should be in our diet? What fats should not be?
  • What is the cholesterol found in our bodies?
  • What is metabolism?

Part II: Using the Burn Calculator

Go to the Calorie Burn Rate Calculator site. Then follow these steps:

  • Record your weight first. Then select the activities you engage in each day. The calculator will keep track of your activities and record how many calories you burn based on your activity level.
  • Write down the calories burned in the space provided on your student sheet. You will refer to this number later in the lesson.

Part III: Making Healthy Choices

Before you fill out the student sheet outlining your plan for healthy living, you need to learn more about nutrition. To find out how many servings of fruits and vegetables you need each day, go to MyPlate Checklist Calculator. Then follow these steps:

  • Begin by filling out the calculator at the top of the page.
  • Click on Calculate Food Plan. This will open a new page with links to a couple PDFs: one is a food plan for achieving a healthy weight; one is for a food plan for maintaining current weight.

Now go to the MyPlate homepage and follow these steps:

  • Click on the various food categories to learn more about them.
  • Under the Online Tools tab at the top of the page, click on What's Cooking? to find some new eating ideas.

Explore any other parts of the website that interest you.

To get some practice deciding on the right menus, go to BAM! Food and Nutrition: Dining Decisions and play the Dining Decisions game.

  • Begin by clicking on “Play the Dining Decisions Game.”
  • Click on the food items to see if you make good decisions about what to eat.
  • When you click on a food item, a pop-up will appear and provide you with more information about the food item.

And to gain inspiration about increasing your level of physical activity, go to BAM! Physical Activity

  • Begin by clicking on “I Heard Hurdle Race.”
  • Take the short quiz and see how much you know about exercising.
  • Explore the website on your own. Go to any other sections that interest you.

Now read pages 33-39 from The Science Inside: Obesity that your teacher has given you.

Knowledge Check

Finally, answer these questions on your student sheet:

  • Based on your age and sex, how many servings of fruits and vegetables do you need each day? What counts as a fruit or vegetable? Did you learn about some new fruits and vegetables to try? If so, what are they?
  • Did you find any recipes to try?
  • After playing the BAM! Dining Decisions game, what are your thoughts about planning meals? Have your ideas changed as a result of playing the game?
  • Did you learn anything new after answering the questions in “I Heard a Hurdle Race?” If so, how will you change your exercise habits?
  • Did you learn anything else after exploring these two sites? Write down any thoughts you have here.

Now you’re ready to fill out your Plan for Healthy Living student sheet. As you work, talk to your friends about your ideas. Be prepared to share your sheets with your class.

This esheet is a part of the Obesity lesson.

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