This activity page will offer:
opportunity to create a daily food record
chance to compare nutrient intake with minimum requirements
opportunity to apply critical thinking to healthy choices
and Expended Calories
The gain or loss of weight depends upon a balance between the calories
consumed and the calories expended. When the amount of consumed
calories is greater than the calories needed to maintain a healthy
body, then the excess is stored as fat. In contrast, if the consumed
calorie amount is less than the calories needed to maintain the
body, then fat is burned in order to make up the difference. This
results in a weight loss.
To best understand your calorie balance, you should be aware of
how many calories you burn in a day. This amount, known as the total
daily energy expenditure (TDEE) varies widely among individuals.
On average, for females in the US this maintenance level is between
2000-2100 calories per day. Males have a higher TDEE at 2700-2900
calories per day. In the following activity, you'll determine your
caloric intake. You'll also use several calculations to determine
your personal TDEE.
of Reporting Sheets
SAFETY NOTE: The caloric intake and TDEE values calculated in
this activity should NOT be used as a basis for an actual diet.
They are approximations that are only applicable to this pen and
pencil activity. To determine actual values, see a professional
nutritionist or a physician.
Make three copies of the food
reporting sheet. Label and date each copy for three consecutive
On day one, begin reporting each food item that you consume. Organize
the foods in sequence them under the meals of breakfast, lunch
and diner. If you need more space, continue the list on the reverse
side of the reporting sheet.
Determine calories by using the information reported as nutritional
facts on the container of the food item. If you don't have access
to these facts, you can use print resources or log
onto the URL http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/
From the three days of reporting, calculate an average daily calorie
consumption. Record this number as caloric intake.
The simplest (and least accurate) method to determine TDEE involves
a simple calculation. Determine your body weight in pounds. Multiple
this number by 15.5 in order to approximate your TDEE. NOTE: Although
this method is simple, it is highly inaccurate, especially when
it is applied to individuals who are significantly overweight.
Using the number you've calculated above, compare it to your average
caloric intake. If the intake and TDEE are about equal, then most
likely you'll maintain a stable body weight. If your intake is
several calories less than the TDEE, then you should loose weight.
Likewise, if your intake is several calories more than your TDEE,
you should gain weight.
Harris-Benedict Calculation T
Harris-Benedict calculation is a little bit more complex in calculating,
but provides a bit more accurate TDEE. It does not however, include
muscle-to-fat ratios in its computation. The Harris-Benedict formula
uses two steps to determine the TDEE. First a base TDEE is determined.
Then, the base is adjusted for activity level.
To determine the base TDEE for females,
TDEE = 655 + (4.4 x weight pounds) + (4.6 x height in inches)
- (4.7 x age in years)
To determine the base TDEE for males, TDEE = 655 + (6.2
x weight pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) - (6.8 x age in years)
your TDEE for your activity level by multiplying the values calculated
in step four by the appropriate value listed below.
or no exercise
x 1.9 6
your TDEE and compare it to the caloric intake you entered in
What is the likely outcome if your TDEE was greater than your
caloric intake? Explain.
What is the likely outcome if you TDEE is less than your caloric
is the Harris-Benedict more accurate than the initial estimate
presented in step one?
As you are aware, the Internet offers all sorts
of information. To use this information wisely, one must critically
examine the posting content and underlying philosophy of the site.
Search the Internet for commercial diet sites. Select several sites.
Analyze their pages for unbiased information, assumptions, and hidden
agendas. What are they selling? Is their information valid?
As you learned in this segment, individuals seem to be programmed
to a general weight set point. Once an intense dieting regime ends,
people are likely to return to their pre-diet weight. How could
you communicate this concept using an ordinary ruler balanced on
a fulcrum (like a seesaw)?
What is the ratio of diet advertisements to other types of ads in
magazines? Examine an assortment of magazines that specialize in
topics such as sports, news, self-help, fashion, celebrities, and
homes. Count the number of ads that pertain to diet and the total
number of ads. Calculate a ratio of diet/total ads for each magazine.
Create a class chart based upon your findings that identifies how
each magazine fits into this ratio.
and nutrition information center
website run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Food and Calories
A unique calorie counting site that let's you select familiar food
items from national fastfood restaurants
An easy to use website that offers information on dozens of diets,
nutrition facts, and online weight loss tools.
Advisors for this Guide:
Suzanne Panico, Science Teacher Mentor, Cambridge Public Schools,
Anne E. Jones, Science Department, Wayland Middle School, Wayland,
Gary Pinkall, Middle School Science Teacher, Great Bend Public Schools,
Great Bend, KS
Cam Bennet Physics/Math Instructor Dauphin Regional Comprehensive
Secondary School Dauphin, MB Canada