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Student Activity - Obesity risk factors

Activity idea

In this activity, students participate in a simulation that demonstrates that both genetic make-up and environmental factors influence an individual’s likelihood of becoming obese.

By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

  • describe some of the factors that contribute to obesity
  • explain that the likelihood of becoming obese has a genetic component that can be positively or negatively influenced by environmental factors
  • describe some possible lifestyle changes that can help to maintain a healthy weight.

Acknowledgement: This activity was adapted from Risk Continuum, a resource created by the Genetic Science Learning Center, University of Utah.

Download the Word file (see link above) for:

  • introduction/background notes
  • what you need
  • what to do
  • discussion questions
  • extension ideas
  • lifestyle cards.

Useful links

If the topic of obesity is not appropriate for your class, you may wish to download the Risk Continuum activity, which focuses on what it means to be in a risk group for developing heart disease.
http://teach.genetics.utah.edu/content/health/history/risk_continuum.htmlexternal link

Visit the Biotechnology Learning Hub to find out more about how scientists identify particular gene variations that might increase a person’s susceptibility to a particular disease.
www.biotechlearn.org.nz/focus_stories/nutrigenomics/studying_genetic_diseases_finding_out_about_the_genes external link

Visit the Ministry of Health website to learn more about obesity in New Zealand.
www.moh.govt.nz/obesityexternal link


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