The world loves and hates fat. Driven by a primitive survival instinct for this once-scarce source of nourishment, the human brain craves it. But today, because we are surrounded by fat, that instinct has become a handicap. Thirty-nine million people in America alone are considered obese„defined as twenty percent above ideal body weight„and the incidence of obesity is rising around the globe.
In "Fat," which first aired Tuesday, November 3, 1998, FRONTLINE travels the globe in search of the causes of obesity and its health implications. The program examines how media and cultural ideals as well as biology and genetics influence our relationship with food and asks "Is it possible to be fit and fat?"
This lesson helps students to explore the societal stigma that accompanies people who are overweight. In addition, students will be able to research current medical thinking on "ideal weight" and identify how the perception of body image can lead to eating disorders. Students will:
This lesson plan helps students to evaluate current guidelines for a healthy diet, compare them to their own eating habits, and learn safe behaviors for maintaining a healthy weight. Students will:
This guide is written by with input from the "Fat" teacher's guide advisory panel. Advisors include Lynne Whitt, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the National Center for Health Education; Becky Smith, executive director of the American Association of Health Education; Judy Terando, health and physical education teacher at LaSalle-Peru High School, Illinois; and Jessica Smith of FRONTLINE. The author of the lessons in this guide is Kristy Helmick, ninth grade health and physical education teacher in the Fairfax County school system, Fairfax County, VA.
FRONTLINE is produced by WGBH Boston and broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS Viewers.