Teen Health Course 3

Chapter 11: Your Body Image

Student Web Activities - Teacher Content

Lesson 1

  1. Sometimes peers, and even parents, pressure teens to diet.

  2. Dieting can keep teenagers from getting the calories and nutrients they need to grow properly and can slow down growth. Strict dieting may cause girls to stop menstruating, and will prevent boys from developing muscles. Dieting can also rob the body of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D, increasing the risk of osteoporosis later in life.

  3. "Yo-yo dieting" is a cycle of weight loss and weight gain brought about by depriving yourself of the foods you love and then eventually binging on them.

  4. Some healthy dietary changes you can make are:
    • Limit the amount of high-fat foods that you eat
    • Balance your favorite foods with fruits and vegetables
    • Eat a wide variety of foods
    • Keep portion sizes reasonable

  5. Exercising increases lean body weight. It can also make you appear slimmer by developing your muscles, giving shape and form to your body.

Additional Resources for Teachers

Below are some additional resources on dieting and teens. Since dieting is so popular, it might be a good idea to discuss various diets to help teens determine which are actually healthy for them.

  1. NEDA: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/p.asp?WebPage_ID=337
  2. American Dietetic Association: http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/index.html
  3. The Vegetarian Resource Group: http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/index.html
  4. Girl's Health: http://www.girlshealth.gov/
Lesson 2

  1. All people with an eating disorder suffer from low self-esteem.

  2. The media contributes to dieting and size discrimination by:

  3. a. Telling us people will like us more and we will be happier if we lose weight and buy more stuff.
    b. Rarely showing men and women with "average" body-types.
    c. Portraying overweight characters as lazy, the one with no friends, or "the bad guy."
    d. Portraying thin women and pumped-up men as successful, popular, sexy and powerful.
    e. Showing fake images of men and women that are unobtainable for most individuals.
    f. Promoting the notion that losing weight will make us happier.

  4. Unless they are educated about the changes their bodies go through during puberty and why, teens find it hard to feel proud of their bodies no matter what size or shape they are.

  5. The three groups of people that are especially at risk of developing eating disorders are:

  6. a. Dancers
    b. Gymnasts and figure skaters
    c. Teens and college students

  7. One of the biggest mistakes made with kids with regards to food is to equate food with emotion
Additional Resources for Teachers

Below are some additional resources on eating disorders. It might be helpful to have students discuss some of the issues about popular media images and their own feelings about how they should look.

  1. Teens Health: http://kidshealth.org/teen/food_fitness/problems/eat_disorder.html
  2. Real Women Project: http://realwomenproject.com/
  3. Any Size: http://www.anysize.org/
  4. Ed Referral: http://www.edreferral.com/
  5. About Face: http://about-face.org/
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