The American Obesity Epidemic may be the greatest public health challenge facing America. The current generation of adolescents is likely to be the first to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Recent statistics point out that, 2 out of 3 North Carolina adults are overweight or obese. Similar, startling statistics apply to younger generations, as well. Through this Problem Based Learning unit students will use data from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) to analyze changes in average, American BMI (Body Mass Index) since 1970. After coming to an understanding that significant changes have occurred in the average weight of the nation since 1970 students will explore many of the factors that have contributed to the dramatic shift. In addition, students will research the health consequences of being overweight or obese. Ultimately, students will produce a strategy for reducing the risk of obesity. Using the media of their choice, they will produce a product that expresses or explains the strategy. Each team of students must ensure that their strategy product is interacted with by at least 400 people.
In this project, much of the learning responsibility is placed on the student. The driving question is open ended enough that several answers and perspectives are possible. Students will be expected to conduct independent research and create a project that is unique and covers the topic thoroughly. Most of the classroom sessions are structured around viewing Weight of the Nation from HBO, reading articles, discussing and debating, and conducting hands-on activities.
Author: Vance Kite