Energy Balance 101: A Curriculum to Fight Obesity in Elementary Schools

Patient Expert

The facts have been presented so many times that you might sometimes wonder if anyone is listening. Our children are at risk. They are overweight and graduating into obesity at an alarming rate, and the forecast is not particularly bright.

Childhood obesity has more than doubled in the last thirty years, and the percentage of children ages 6-11 who are obese has gone from 7% in 1980 to 18% in 2010.

It is well known that overweight or obese children are more at risk for adult health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and several types of cancer. None of this information is new. It has been well-circulated for some time now but entirely too many of our children still lead sedentary computer- and video game-rooted lifestyles.

Any viable program that attempts to educate and turn the tide even a bit is a welcome intervention. The Energy Balance 101 plan might be one of those programs.

Energy Balance 10nergy Balance 101 is the result of a coupling between the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, the National Association of Sports and Physical Education, and Discovery Education. The purpose of the Energy Balance program is to assist teachers and parents to promote nutrition and physical fitness among children.

Using the Discovery Education information network, Energy Balance 101 will be available to 21,000 elementary schools throughout the United States and to over 1 million teachers. The program is presented to children in a straightforward and easy to understand method that is free of technical or confusing jargon. In addition, Energy Balance 101 is available online for free.

Lesson plans, resources, and appropriate videos are used to educate children in grades K-5.

How Energy Balance 101 Worknergy Balance 101 is divided into four learning modules with each one customized for grades K-2 and 3-5.

Module 1: is an introduction to Energy Balance and educates children about the choices they need to make in order to promote an active and healthy lifestyle.

Module Energy In: helps to educate students to make logical and confident decisions about their health.

Module hysical Activity: explores the energy out portion of the Energy Balance Scale and teaches students about the benefits of being active.

Module Ready, Set, Balance: shows students how to apply the Energy Balance concept to their own lives.

Objectives of Energy Balance 101

The objectives of the program for grades K-2 are to introduce students to the concept of energy balance, formulate ideas about energy sources and how to use them, identify how the program contributes to an active and healthy lifestyle, and play a game that will balance calories from food and drinks with calories used during physical activities.

The objectives for grades 3-5 are to once again introduce the concept of Energy balance 101 and to formulate ideas about energy sources and how to use them. In addition, students will share examples of their own energy in and out.

To learn how to get your child's school involved with the Energy Balance 101 program, please visit the Together Counts website.