Step 3:

Making the Connection: Researching how food affects a disease

Students should choose one health condition (disease) that has affected their family. They will research the disease and it’s relation to nutrition (if applicable). They will try to find out:

Is this disease caused by poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, or tobacco use? (i.e. Type II diabetes, heart disease, obesity, etc)

Does nutrition, lack of physical activity, or tobacco use affect a person while they have this disease? (i.e. People with high blood pressure must watch their diet to improve their condition.)

Does nutrition, lack of physical activity, or tobacco use on this disease have a short term or long term effect? In other words, does eating poorly, not exercising, or using tobacco cause this problem in the near future (6 months, 1 year) or in the distant future (20 years).

If there are no diseases in the student’s family they can choose a disease that is affected by nutrition, lack of physical activity, or tobacco use. Further, if there is a disease that the student does not feel comfortable discussing, they may choose an alternative condition to research.

Students should write a brief summary of their findings, answering the questions listed above. In addition, they should write an “action plan” for someone who wants to prevent the disease. This will be a list of 5 to 10 specific actions a person can take to be healthy and prevent a disease or lessen their chances for facing disease later in life. See a sample list below:

Sample Action Plan for Nutrition:

  1. Eat foods from the five food groups and use the food guide pyramid to tell you how many servings you need.
  2. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Eat from the 5 color groups.
  3. Eat 5 to 9 fruits and vegetables per day.
  4. Limit how many sodas and sugary drinks you have each day.
  5. Read nutrition labels to make sure the foods you eat have nutrients.
  6. Eat the recommended serving size on the nutrition label.
  7. Drink lots of water.
  8. Eat enough food to have energy, but make sure you balance how much you eat with how much physical activity you get.
  9. Eat fruit or other healthy foods for snacks.
  10. Drink 100% fruit juice with your breakfast.

Students will present this information at the Pot-Luck Dinner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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