Students at Hanover High School Learn the Pitfalls of Fad Diets

Hanover High School reinforces the district’s wellness policy commitment to nutrition education and providing lessons in lifelong health through its partnership with Framingham State University’s Coordinated Program in Dietetics. On November 25, 2019, graduate student dietitian Kristin Ellis worked with the Hanover Public Schools nutrition program and provided a lesson on the dangers of consuming caloric- and nutrient-restrictive diets and educated students on the benefits of following balanced meals consistent with the MyPlate guidelines.

This is an image of one of the slides used to help educate Hanover High students about the variety of fad diets throughout the years.

Using a PowerPoint timeline that explored diet theories beginning in the early 1900’s, Kristin provided a historical perspective complete with nutrition information that outlined the nutrient and caloric needs of students at their current age and stage and the importance of a balanced diet for overall health. The lesson explored the dangers of insufficient calories and nutrients and the effect it has on each part of the body, appealing to students by including impacts on overall health, as well as, the impact diet has on healthy skin and hair.

As part of the lesson, students researched one popular current fad diet and reported on the diet’s potential dangers and long-term negative impact. Using this strategy, coupled with a jeopardy game, students displayed active learning and increased overall knowledge of nutrient needs and the value of a life-long commitment to balanced eating.

Additional information about school nutrition lesson planning can be found at The John C. Stalker Institute Resource Center.

Submitted by: Kristin Ellis, FSU Graduate Food and Nutrition Student in The Coordinated Program in Dietetics.