Fast Food, Fast Track...To No Where

byKaren L. Brinkley

What fats and sugars are included in the fast foods that you eat? What happens to the digested food? Do you think we can solve the obesity epidemic? These are a few essential questions that students will analyze throughout this curriculum unit intended for seventh and eighth grade students. Therefore, the main goal of this unit is to help students discover proper nutrition and become aware of alternative methods and resources to incorporate a healthy diet.

Why is nutrition information important? Often we eat without any conscious thought about the innumerable complex structures that work as a cohesive group to bring food on our plate. A tremendous concern for me is that my students do not understand what they are eating. I think it is vital that students become knowledgeable about the food they ingest; I want them to understand how the food impacts their digestive system and overall health. Students need information to counteract the escalating obesity epidemic, because a major portion of their diet consists of processed foods obtained from fast food restaurants. Also, included in the equation are the long- term negative health consequences experienced by low-income people who often eat a deficient diet that consistently lacks the essential minerals and nutrients to fuel the body. Regrettably, deficient nutrition generally results in significant life-threatening illnesses and a restricted quality of life when they reach old age.

(Developed for Reading, Literacy, Science, and Math, grades 7-8; ; recommended for Literacy, Science, and Math, grades 7-8 and High School grades)

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