Unit: Loryn Windwehen_Nutrition: Too Much or Too Little? A Global Epidemic

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Unit Description

For years, most have been dying of too little nutrition. In many cases, this is still the case, but today more often than not, people are dying due to complications of being overfed - obtaining too much nutrition of the wrong kind. Students will: explore the causes and trends of obesity and starvation by analyzing data and articles, compare these trends between countries, and form a campaign within their school, home, community, and further to promote healthy eating and nutrition education. Skills used: technology, writing across the curriculum, collaboration, and research.


Obesity: A Global Epidemic Resources: 5

Students will investigate: the primary causes of obesity, compare the rates of obesity between countries worldwide, and identify possibly solutions by creating a google drive presentation of their campaign, all the while linking this to the main sources of nutrition: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.


Unit Resources

Harvard School of Public Health: Obesity
US National Library of Medicine: "Obesity: Preventing and Managing the Global Epidemic"
Obesity related to Hunger? CBS News Report
Obesity-A Global Issue.doc  


Danielle Sleeper Posted 2 years ago:

Loryn -- I just came across one more resource that might be useful to this lesson plan: http://www.vox.com/2015/2/20/8076961/brazil-food-guide. 


Danielle Sleeper Posted 3 years ago:

Hi Loryn,

I recently came upon this great compare/contrast tool from National Geographic called "What the World Eats" http://www.nationalgeographic.com/what-the-world-eats/." target="_blank" >http://www.nationalgeographic.com/what-the-world-eats/">http://www.nationalgeographic.com/what-the-world-eats/. There is a great interactive graphic on the site that allows users to explore how consumption has changed in different countries and regions around the world over the past 50 years. It might be a neat addition to your lesson plan. 

Deborah Cunningham Posted 4 years ago:

Loryn, this is fantastic example of how countries around the world (and not just wealthy ones) are grappling with similar problems due to lifestyle shifts and food access.  You have identified excellent articles and graphs that lay out the problem.  Before students launch into creating their own campaign (a great example of the global competency of “Taking Action,” as well as “Investigating the World”), a useful step might be to also research how different countries have tried to address the problem.  For instance, students may know about Michelle Obama’s efforts to curb childhood obesity through changes in school lunch and more exercise, and the early findings are that this is having some success.  What are others trying, and is it working?  Informing themselves about the action piece will help them to target their campaigns toward strategies known to be effective.  It will also make them more savvy about the challenges that will arise, perspective they will be able to use if they try to put their plans into place. 

The idea of having student track their own diet and exercise patterns is a great strategy for building their awareness of their own health habits. 

Your “Reflections” comment about research projects is interesting, and raised the question of whether a mini-research project could be built into this assignment.  As part of their PPT, maybe students could each take a country to research or a dimension of the problem to explore further (sedentary lifestyle, diet, food deserts, etc.).  This would build the diversity of the class presentations.  A handout with tips for Googling and evaluating sources would help students to local high-quality resources online.

--Primary Source staff



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