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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 below) for:

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

Read this article to find out more about how scientists identify particular gene variations that might increase a person’s susceptibility to a particular disease.

Useful link

Visit the Ministry of Health website to learn more about obesity in New Zealand.

    Published 22 June 2011 Referencing Hub articles