Healthy Lifestyles: Empowering Our Students to Make Positive Diet and Exercise Choices

Dave Hartzell, Literacy, Shamrock Gardens Elementary School

Final Unit(pdf)   Implementing Teaching Standards(pdf)


In the past thirty years, obesity rates among adults in the U.S. have risen dramatically. In 1990, no states were reported to have an obesity rate over 14%. By 2009, every state in the U.S. reported at least 20% of adults were obese, and by 2014 one out of every three adults in the U.S. was considered to be obesei.

As one can imagine, a growing number of studies, like Julie Hale’s study of students in Georgia, are linking higher obesity rates to lower academic performanceii.  As this CNN article describes, poor performance in school is just the beginning:

Obese children and teenagers face a slew of potential health problems as they get older, including an increased risk of diabetes, heart attacks, and certain cancers. As if that weren’t enough, obesity may harm young people’s long-term college and career prospects, too… Obese students generally displayed more emotional difficulties than their non-obese counterparts. While the reasons behind these trends are numerous, many would agree that leading the way are a lack of exercise and unhealthy eating habits.