Food Counts

Brief Description:
Students will use a spreadsheet to calculate the amount of calories they consume each day along with the number of grams of fat and protein. They will compare this total to the estimated amount of energy they burn each day.

Main Curriculum Area: Computer

Grade Level: Secondary

Approximate Time Required: 3 hours

Primary Goal and Objective: 3.1

Other Goals & Objectives from the NC Standard Course of Study:
This activity aligns with the Health and Physical education curriculum. This activity could be used as part of a Biology course.

Other Subjects Covered: Healthful Living, Science

Teacher's Lesson Goals/Objectives:
The students should understand the relationship between the amount of energy they consume in each day and the amount they use each day.

Materials/Resources Needed:
Access to calorie guides covering various foods.

Technology Resources Needed (computer hardware, software, etc.):
Computer capable of using spreadsheet software
Software such as MS Excel or a package such as works.

Explain the concepts of nutrition and energy use.

Over the course of a week, students should record the food they consume each day. They should also record the activities they participate in each day. Students will then look up calorie, fat and protein values of the foods they consumed. This information will be entered into the spreadsheet template (below). (Download the text file and open with a spreadsheet program.) Students will also categorize the activities of each day and enter the activity in the correct time of day. Finally, the students will produce a chart showing the total energy consumed, fat consumed, and energy expended. Students should be asked to compare the level of energy use to the quantity of energy consumed in the previous meal (for example, how much energy do you use from dinner until breakfast compared to how much you eat at dinner). Finally students should relate the number of calories to the number of fat grams in each meal (which meals have the highest energy value, which have the highest fat content?).

Accuracy of records combined with the student's analysis of the results will be the basis for the assessment. The goal is for the students to explain the relationship between energy input and use.

Supplemental Resources / Information for Teachers (handouts, background information, bibliographies, examples of student work, etc.):
The enclosed templates are in excel and tab-delimited text.

Relevant Web Sites:

Additional Comments from the Author of This Lesson:
These materials were developed to support and enhance the use of the 1998 K-12 computer/technology skills standard course of study.

About the Author:
This lesson originally produced by Christopher I. Cobitz (NCA&T State University) and Denise E. Hedrick

Permission has been obtained from the original authors.

Attachments (click to view or download):