Activity 1

Your Checkup!


* To help students assess their knowledge of overweight and their personal lifestyles.

* To encourage students to write an accurate description of themselves in relation to their eating and exercise habits.

Introduce the activity by informing students that today they are going to complete a quiz (no grades) to help them get a picture of their attitudes and habits concerning a healthy lifestyle.

Answer Key/ Discussion

Once students complete the quiz, talk about the statements.

1. To quench my thirst I usually go for the following beverage.
Answers will vary. In the Other category they might write juice, milk, sports drinks, or powered drinks. Talk about which are the healthiest ­ many packaged juices, powered drinks and sports drinks, contain sugar; water has no calories; and skim or low-fat milk has less fat.

2. When at fast food places, I usually order _____-size portions.
Answers will vary. Ask students to describe the sizes of different items in a kid-size, regular size and super-size meal at a fast food restaurant. Inform them that a meal consisting of a quarter pound burger, large fries, and a 16 oz. soda contains 1166 calories. The recommended daily intake for adults is 2000 to 2700 calories. Most children ages 10-12 need approximately 2200 to 2300 calories per day because they are growing. Encourage comments on calories and serving sizes. Also let students know that it is fine to have fast foods sometimes, but not as a daily diet.

3. After school I like to do the following.
Answers will vary. Encourage students to begin thinking about the balance of their activities. Do they tend to be more physically active or do they sit a lot?

4. Overweight among kids in the United States is a problem.
Agree. Overweight is a growing problem among kids in the United States. Today nine million kids age 6-19 are over-weight. It's generally caused by a lack of physical activity and unhealthy eating habits.

5. My favorite type of snack is ___________.
Answers will vary. Help students categorize the different types of snacks they eat ­ salty ones such as chips or nuts, sweets such as candy, cake, etc., and fruits and veggies.

6. I feel that I am at a good weight for my height and build.
Answers will vary. You might want to discuss whom children should talk to if they feel their weight is not good. Some options are the school nurse, their parents, and their doctor. Many factors contribute to body weight, such as height, bone structure, genetics, etc.

7. I watch TV ____ hours a day.
Answers will vary. Today many people, including students, lead sedentary lifestyles. They sit at desks all day and then go home to watch TV, use the computer, or play video games. The Surgeon General recommends limiting TV time to less than two hours a day. Most preteens watch 3 to 4 hours a day. Children who watch a lot of TV tend to exercise less and be overweight.

8. Being overweight is caused by consuming too many calories and not getting enough physical activity.
Agree. The primary cause for overweight is unhealthy eating habits, not enough exercise, or a combination of the two. Genetics and lifestyle are also important in determining a child¹s weight.

9. I usually snack while I watch TV.
Answers will vary. Discuss why this might not be a good habit < when you are engrossed in a show, you're less likely to be aware of how much food you eat.

10. I would describe my physical activity level as _______.
Answers will vary. This statement helps students begin to think about the amount of physical activity they engage in each day. Kids should exercise (be active) at least 60 minutes every day.

11. I usually have _____ snacks each day.
Answers will vary. Tell students that this statement is meant to give them an idea of how much food (and calories) they consume in a day. Some of them may need several snacks because they are growing. Eating fruit or veggie snacks can help in eating the recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Eating lots of snacks that are high in calories like sweets and chips can contribute to overweight.

12. Being overweight can lead to health problems such as diabetes.
Agree. Overweight increases the risk for many chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease. As students complete Part 2 of the activity, encourage them to take into consideration the way they answered all the statements. That should give them an overall picture of themselves.

Follow-Up Activities

As students complete Part 2 of the activity, encourage them to take into consideration the way they answered all the statements. That should give them an overall picture of themselves.

1. Help students become aware of their lifestyles. Ask them to begin keeping a food diary in which they record their meals and snacks for each day. You can print the form and make copies for your students. Students can also print copies from the web site, or they can make a form for themselves with headings for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks at the top and the days of the week listed in a column to the left. After three or four days, have students compare their food diaries to their answers on the assessment activity and discuss what they have learned about their eating habits. Refer to the online calculator at

2. Examine how active, or inactive, the class is. Graph the number of hours students estimate they watch TV, use the computer, play video games, and talk on the phone after school. Make a second graph to show the number of hours they participate in physical activity such as playing ball, walking, running, or biking. Then compare the two.

3. Expand the lifestyle assessments to the family. Encourage students to take the assessment home and have other family members complete it. They can then evaluate their family lifestyle and make decisions as a family.