Science Teaching Series

Internet Resources

I. Developing Scientific Literacy

II. Developing Scientific Reasoning

III. Developing Scientific Understanding

IV. Developing Scientific Problem Solving

V. Developing Scientific Research Skills

VI. Resources for Teaching Science

Activity 19.3.4 – Dieting and weight loss

The caloric content of a food (calories per serving size) is a measure of the stored energy it possesses. As foods are metabolized, energy is released to perform biological functions. If an individual consumes more calories than necessary, excess energy will be stored as fat. Although a certain amount of fat is essential, excessive quantities may contribute to a variety of physical problems. People who have difficulty maintaining their weight below recommended values should reduce their caloric intake.  (Note:  The following are for illustration purposes only.  Consult a professional dietician to construct the appropriate diet to meet your needs.)

(1) Using the database, sort (arrange) foods in descending order of caloric content per serving.   Which five foods have the greatest caloric value per serving size?  Which food group(s) do these foods represent (g-grain, p-poultry, fr-fruit, bg-baked goods, mx-mixed, v-vegetables, m-meat, d-desert)?  Do these results surprise you or are they what you expect? Explain.

(2) Construct a list of foods that have high vitamin content while offering a minimum of calories.  Select three vitamins (A, C, riboflavin, niacin, B6) and perform three successive filters (record selections) for foods that exceed the following values per serving size: vitamin C (10 mg), vitamin A (120 RE), riboflavin (0.30 mg), niacin (2.4 mg), vitamin B6 (.30).  Sort (arrange) this list in ascending order in terms of calories per serving size.  What five foods in your list have the lowest caloric content?  Which food group(s) do these foods represent?  People struggling to reduce their weight should consider including these in their diet.