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Students learn about the New Food Pyramid and how to evaluate their Body Mass Index


P.E. & Health  


9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Do Something about… Eating Healthy
Day 7: Getting the Skinny on Obesity
By – Do Something, Inc. /
Primary Subject – Health / Physical Education
Secondary Subjects –  
Grade Level – 9-12

Do Something about…
Eating Healthy
10-Day Unit

The following lesson is the seventh lesson of a 10-day
Eating Healthy Unit from Do Something, Inc.
Other lessons in this unit are as follows:

Day 1: Green Scene
Students learn the benefits of green vegetables and the number of recommended servings
Day 2: Vital Vitamins
Students learn about different types of vitamins and how they function in the body
Day 3: Nutritious Choices
Students examine their eating habits and learn about a balanced diet
Day 4: International Food Day
Students learn the differences in people’s diets from around the world
Day 5: Super-size Me
Students learn about America’s growing obesity and its relationship to portion size
Day 6: Got Greens?
Students learn ways foods are marketed towards youth in order to start their own green campaign
Day 7: Getting the Skinny on Obesity
(See the lesson below)
Students learn about the New Food Pyramid and how to evaluate their Body Mass Index
Day 8: Action Plan
Students evaluate their own activity levels and plan ways to add more movement into their lives
Day 9: Fitting in Fitness
Students evaluate how they spend their time and how to include physical activity into their day
Day 10: Green Day
Students plant a garden and/or fix up a community space for physical activity


More student resources for this cause are at:


Day 7: Getting the Skinny on Obesity


Students will learn about how to evaluate their Body Mass Index and the New Food Pyramid.


  1. Warm-up: Have students reflect on their metabolism and that of their parents. This may be a sensitive topic, so make sharing voluntary.
  2. Introduce students to the concept of Body Mass Index. According to the Center for Disease Control, “for adults, overweight and obesity ranges are determined by using weight and height to calculate a number called the “body mass index” (BMI). BMI is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat.”
  3. Explain to students that in the past many people assumed people who were overweight were lazy and indulgent. Now it is quite clear that there are many genetic factors that control our weight and make it more or less easy to control.
  4. Have students look at their own B.M.I by going to . Given the sensitivity of this issue, allow students privacy when calculating their BMI. Also, let students know that the test does not take into account athletes whose body weight is due primarily to muscle mass.
  5. Have students investigate the BMI of their state and compare it to that of others and compare the BMI or body mass index to that of other students. How does their state compare?
  6. Introduce students to the new food pyramid and compare it to illustrations of older versions of the pyramid. How has this one changed?
  7. Discuss with students how the new food pyramid takes into account gender, activity level, and age.
  8. Reflect: Have students go to to calculate their individual food pyramids. Encourage them to change their diets to incorporate their individual food pyramid.

Other Activities:

Have students learn about healthier fast food options at .

E-Mail Do Something, Inc. !

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