Resource Image Nutrition: What Choices Lead to a Healthy Lifestyle?
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Type of Resource: Science Object
Average Rating: Rating
 based on 10 reviews
Publication Title: None
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School


Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object, co-developed between FDA and NSTA, is the last of four Science Objects in the Nutrition SciPack. It demonstrates that variety, balance, and moderation in overall food choices are essential for human health, growth, and energy. The amounts of specific nutrients recommended for healthy people depend on age, gender, heredity, and—for females—pregnancy and lactation. Energy recommendations—measured in calories—are set for age, gender, and physical activity level. Basal metabolic rate and body efficiency also impact energy needs. Food-guidance systems (e.g., MyPyramid) and nutrition information on food labels are founded in science-based evidence for nutrient and energy intake (e.g., Dietary Reference Intakes) and science-based dietary guidelines (e.g., Dietary Guidelines for Americans), and help people apply these recommendations to their daily food and lifestyle decisions. The food choices individuals make affect their nutritional status, and are influenced by personal, hereditary and social factors, as well as by individuals’ understanding of biological consequences.

Ideas For Use


Posted in General Science and Teaching by Carolyn Mohr on Wed May 07, 2014 6:11 PM

Hi Jill, I was hoping someone from CA would have responded to you. I live in Illinois, so do not know what might be mo...
Posted in Life Science by Patricia Rourke on Mon May 09, 2011 7:14 PM

NSTA also has the great SciGuide and free SciObjects abailable to members. They are a wonderful resource for elementary...
Organic Molecules
Posted in Chemistry by Jennifer Rahn on Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:44 PM

The Nutrition SciPack contains a great deal of information about the chemistry and biology related to the food we eat. T...

Additional Info

Science Discipline: (mouse over for full classification)
Physical fitness
Science and technological challenges in society
Growth and development
Intended User Role:Elementary-Level Educator, High-School Educator, Middle-Level Educator
Educational Issues:Inquiry learning, Professional development, Teacher content knowledge


Resource Format:
Size: KB
Installation Remarks:

National Standards Correlation

This resource has 11 correlations with the National Standards.  

This resource has 11 correlations with the National Standards.  

  • Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
    • Personal health
      • Nutrition is essential to health.
      • Students should understand how the body uses food and how various foods contribute to health.
      • Recommendations for good nutrition include eating a variety of foods, eating less sugar, and eating less fat.
      • Regular exercise is important to the maintenance and improvement of health. (5-8)
      • The benefits of physical fitness include maintaining healthy weight, having energy and strength for routine activities, good muscle tone, bone strength, strong heart/lung systems, and improved mental health. (5-8)
      • Personal exercise, especially developing cardiovascular endurance, is the foundation of physical fitness. (5-8)
    • Science and technology in local challenges
      • Science and technology have greatly improved food quality and quantity, transportation, health, sanitation, and communication.
    • Personal and community health
      • Personal choice concerning fitness and health involves multiple factors. (9-12)
      • Nutritional balance has a direct effect on growth and development and personal well-being. (9-12)
  • Process Standards for Professional Development
    • Research-Based
      • Address teachers' needs as learners and build on their current knowledge of science content, teaching, and learning. (NSES)
    • Design
      • Introduce teachers to scientific literature, media, and technological resources that expand their science knowledge and their ability to access further knowledge. (NSES)

State Standards Correlation

Use the form below to view which of your state standards this resource addresses.

User Reviews

Good Resource
  Rachel Hooten (Kilgore, TX) on May 20, 2015
  This was a useful document and lesson for teachers to help students learn to make better decisions about nutrition.

Science and Snacks
  Robin Willig (Rye Brook, NY) on April 5, 2015
  This science object really influenced the snack choices I made while reviewing! :)

I Love Science Objects!
  Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA) on September 3, 2014
  I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, the Nutrition: What Choices Lead to a Healthy Lifestyle? Science Object will help me re-learn, refresh, or learn for the first time some critical science concepts I will have to know to obtain my Science Educator credentials. I appreciate that I can complete them at my own pace, and that, if used as park of a SciPack, I have access to a content expert to go to for help. The NSTA Learning Center Science Objects are very beneficial! Not only will they enrich my teaching, the knowledge will enrich my life.

We are responsible
  Brandon on March 19, 2014
  What choices lead to a healthy lifestyle is always a question that is ask of me. Many individuals knowing the I am a running coach and at one time was a very good runner ask me how I could be so thin. In this reading it really goes in depth about how we can live healthy and that there is more to it than just eating right. It gives us how much children, 1hr and adults,2hrs. 30mins a week of moderate activity. The toughest thing is the motivation of getting out the door or inside for physical activity. But knowing or at least being aware of the having future problems will hopefully motivate us enough to be a little more active. I like the Old saying of "you are what you eat". People have to understand and see that they are consuming more calories than our body use causing weight gain if not active. We need to not over do our calorie consumption. Its okay to eat a candy bar and even have a burger and fries every now and then but we need to plan when is the proper time and to eat in moderation. For guidance to keep at a healthy weight there are a lot of resources we can look into. There are plans that show how many calories we need to be at according to activity level, weight, and age.

Healthy Choices Review
  Leah Lawrence (Thoreau, NM) on February 19, 2013
  I chose this science object because I am about to introduce our new theme in my classroom "Growing and Changing". In this theme I want to discuss with my students how they grow and change and how nutrition affects this. This was a great way to get some ideas about how to present the information. Teaching young students how to eat healthy foods and exercise may seem like a simple task to plan but the science object broke this broad topic down into many different topics that can be presented over the course of an entire theme, which is usually a month in my class. I also like how there are more choices to think about than just what to eat. There were a couple of topics that I would have to think about more carefully in how I would present them to a younger crowd, such as some of the hormone information and the specific way in which scientists can analyze food. I think that these basic concepts can be taught to a Kindergarten aged group but in a more simplified way. However, I do think that older grade level teachers could utilize the entire lot of information in this object. I liked the varying activities as opposed to just reading and I also liked how the quizzes were spaced. Great lesson and very helpful.

Good refresher
  Christopher (Vanderwagen, NM) on February 12, 2013
  This Sci-Object was a good refresher of knowledge about nutrition that I have picked up over the years. I liked the connection to This is a good resource for anyone looking for an introduction to leading a healthy lifestyle from a nutrition standpoint.

Great review and overview
  Katherine Jezidija-Kendall on January 16, 2012
  Liked this one...good to use with students...

Nutrition: Healthy Lifestyle
  Gabriel on February 23, 2014
  This science object was helpful to get a better understanding of how to make wiser choices in regard to nutrition and health. It started with basics about nutritional facts and keywords then to resources such as to help find proper food intake. The lesson also explained other factors that lead to a healthy lifestyle like physical activity, geography, culture, climate, among other things. The information covered in this lesson could be used in a classroom to help the students learn more about nutrition and health. There is a lot of information but you can take away the main ideas or give the students great resources to start thinking about how to live a healthy life.

You are what you eat
  Brandon on February 18, 2014
  I would really like to incorporate more lessons on the benefits of a healthier eating life style and a active life style. I want to make the students aware that this could make a difference in their lives as far as living longer, at lower risk of health problems and reflecting on their families as well as their communities.

Safe and conservative
  Grant on February 16, 2013
  A very thorough description of what and how much we should eat. I was a little disappointed with how much the article relied on The Food Pyramid. The Food Pyramid is a very controversial subject. Not only has it been revised due to much lobbying from the meat, dairy, and egg industry, but the USDA has been criticized for placing individuals with direct financial ties to those major industries on the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The article also did not dive into what we should eat in terms of sustainable food systems which in turn lead to a healthier body. I was recommended to go to where I was given the tip of the week that said, "Irradiated meat is just as healthy, if not healthier than organic meat -- radiation kills bacteria just as effectively as it does people, and saves billions of dollars that would otherwise have to go toward producing cleaner meat and maintaining the health of livestock." Although this quote is not directly from the Science Object, the Science Object referred me to the website and therefore I relate the two. I feel that the Nutrtion SciPack could add another Science Object that could teach how sustainable and organic foods have a positive effect on our environment, society, and bodies as opposed to mass produced foods that degrade our environment and bodies.