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HEALTH by wuzhenguang


									  A QuEST

                        SECTION 3
                     HEALTH – Overview
     • Break myths about fat
     • Learn about set-point theory
     • Educate about the dangers of dieting and steroid use
     • Promote healthy strategies and habits

“What does being healthy mean to you?”
“Who do you depend on to tell you what is healthy?”   Activity time: 5 min.

ACTIVITY: Quiz/Hold on to your health           Activity Time: 20 minutes
Materials needed:
      Overhead 1: Quiz
      Overhead 2: Why Don’t Fad Diets Work?

What can we do to improve our health?            Activity Time: 10 minutes

                                                TOTAL TIME: 35 MINUTES

                                                                QuEST for Health 31

We have discussed issues about your mental health: self-esteem and body image. These
aspects of mental health can affect how you treat your body and your physical health. If
people feel badly about themselves on the inside, they may try to change the way they are
on the outside. It can become very dangerous if people try harmful products and measures
to change their bodies. Be aware of what you could be doing to your body. Know the facts.

Ask the audience the following questions:

“What does being healthy mean to you?”
Health means taking care of yourself physically and mentally (body and mind). Some examples
of good health include: positive self-esteem and body image, activity and eating balanced meals.
There are many ways to measure a person’s health. However, people often think in order to
be healthy they need to be a certain size, weight or shape. We are bombarded by messages
in the media to “lose weight”, “get fit” or “work out”. Health is not a size or number on a
scale. Health does not equal thinness. People of many weights and sizes can be healthy.

“Who do you depend on to tell you what is healthy?”
The word “fat” has become a negative word when people think of healthy eating. It can be
confusing at times to know what is healthy when there is so much information available.
Remember, advice in magazines is often not written by health care professionals. Contrary
to many advertisements, fat is actually necessary for health. We need a balance of carbo-
hydrates, proteins and fats for our bodies to work properly. The “Canada’s Food Guide”
illustrates a variety of foods to eat and recommends proportions of food. Healthy eating
may be different for each person’s body and condition.

32 QuEST for Health

ACTIVITY SUMMARY: QUIZ – Hold on to your Health

Use the following activity to assess and improve lnowledge of health and well being:

Step 1. Complete quiz with students (overhead)
Step 2. Discuss the answers (see Educate and Empower!)
Step 3. Emphasize harmful effects of dieting (overhead)

         Overhead 1: QUIZ – Hold on to your Health
                     Is each statement TRUE or FALSE?

    1.   A person’s natural weight is largely determined by her/his genes.   T    F
    2.   People often gain weight after going on “diets”.                    T    F
    3.   Over exercising can be dangerous.                                   T    F
    4.   Eating foods with fat is unhealthy.                                 T    F
    5.   Using herbal products is a safe way to lose weight.                 T    F
    6.   Steroids can cause acne, baldness and mood swings.                  T    F
    7.   If you are thin, you are healthy.                                   T    F

                                                                         QuEST for Health 33


1. TRUE    Everyone is supposed to be a different size and weight. Most people don’t
           know that just like your eye and hair colour, weight is determined by your genes.
           There is something called the “Set Point Theory” which suggests that genetics
           plays a big role in determining your body weight and shape. Basically, there is a
           certain weight range that YOUR BODY is programmed to be (Seaver, McVey,
           Fullerton & Stratton, 1997). This set-point is different for everyone.
           Also, everybody has a different metabolic rate (how fast you burn energy/calories).
           Some people have a fast metabolism and others may have a slower metabolism.
           That is why some people can eat a lot and don’t gain weight and others may
           eat very little and still have a larger frame. Note: environmental factors such as
           activity and balanced meals are important to maintain your set-point weight.

2. TRUE    When we talk about going on a “diet”, we mean fad or crash diets found in maga-
           zines, books or seen on T.V to “lose weight in a short period of time”. These diets
           usually involve eliminating food groups and lowering calorie intake to an
           unhealthy degree. Research indicates that 95% of people who diet regain the
           weight within one year (Seaver, McVey, Fullerton & Stratton, 1997).
           In addition, people often gain MORE weight than when they started. Why? If you
           go on a diet and eat less, your body thinks something is wrong. Your body tries
           to protect you by slowing your metabolic rate (the speed which calories/energy is
           burned by muscles) and stores as many calories as possible. Because crash diets
           are impossible to maintain, people inevitably begin to eat normally again. The body
           takes time to adjust (slower metabolic rate) and a person can actually gain
           more weight than before they went on a diet!
           Each time you diet, your metabolism slows down and takes longer to adjust.
           Yo-yo dieting puts pressure on your body, leading to health problems (e.g. cardio-
           vascular, and high blood pressure) and weight gain (see chart on page 36).
           Note: making healthier food choices (which are maintained over your life,
           not quick fad diets) and staying active will maintain a healthy body.

3. TRUE    Too much exercise can lead to injuries due to overuse such as tendon
           and muscle tearing, dehydration and fatigue. There is a difference between
           being active and exercising for health (recreation/sports/activity) vs. obsessive
           over exercising (your mental health is affected).

34 QuEST for Health

4. FALSE Fat is important for health. Canada’s Food Guide recommends that everyone
         should have well-balanced meals that include carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
         Eat foods that you want in moderation (note: exceptions with respect to specific
         medical conditions).
           Healthy eating means eating for physical energy needs, mentally enjoying food, and
           not feeling guilty about eating. People should never feel guilty for eating any food.
           People should not look at food as “good” or “bad”. There is no right or wrong way
           to eat. Each person is different. It is up to you to nourish your body and act on
           your own hunger and body signals.
           Note: there are some exceptions for people who have a medical condition.
           Fats help to transport important vitamins like Vitamin D, E, K and A throughout
           the body. Vitamin A is needed for vision and healthy skin; Vitamin D helps to build
           bones for growing, Vitamin K promotes blood clotting for healing if you cut/injure
           yourself (Davis & Philips, 1994).

5. FALSE The word “herbal” may sound safe and healthy. Many people do not realize that
         herbal products can be very dangerous. Herbal products are not regulated by
         the FDA, which means they are not necessarily tested for safety. Therefore,
         ingredients may be very harmful and there are reported cases of death (e.g. diet
         pills – side effects can include heart and kidney damage, hallucinations, seizures,
         renal failure and death).

6. TRUE    Steroids are drugs, can be addictive and can have over 70 side effects.
           In males they may cause shrunken testicles, reduced sperm count, impotence,
           baldness, breast enlargement, and acne. In females, they may cause facial hair
           growth, voice deepening, baldness, breast reduction, infertility and acne. They
           can also affect your emotions (i.e. make you prone to paranoia, depression,
           mood swings and violence).
           Bigger muscles do not guarantee strength or skill. People who want to gain
           muscle through supplements and products, often believe they will be better at sports.
           Practice, technique, and skill are what make a good athlete, not muscle mass.

7. FALSE Thinness does not equal health. A thin person who is not active has more
         health risks than a person who is average or above average weight and active.

                                                                            QuEST for Health 35

                                        OVERHEAD 2: Why Don’t Fad Diets Work?

                                                                                                  Off diet
   Set Point Weight

                                                                                     On diet
                                                                        Off diet
                                                          On diet
                                           Off diet
                              On diet


                      • Everyone has a different set-point weight (genetics)
                      • There is a multi-billion dollar dieting industry telling us to diet
                      • Fad Diets (diets that are restrictive and eliminate food groups) are impossible to
                        continue over time because they are boring, not balanced and often unhealthy
                      • Fad Dieting slows your metabolism over time
                      • Instead of blaming the diet, people often blame themselves and try a new diet
                        (yo-yo dieting)
                      • Your set-point weight can increase from repeated dieting (see chart)
                      • Yo-Yo dieting can lead to many harmful psychological and physical problems over time

Effects of restrictive dieting
      dizziness                                                     heart problems
      fatigue                                                       weakness
      hypertension                                                  constipation
      decreased concentration                                       diarrhea
      depression                                                    seizures
      anxiety                                                       fainting
      preoccupation with food and weight                            abdominal pain
      low self-worth and low self-esteem                            headaches
      slows metabolism                                              nausea
      weight gain                                                   death

   Choosing a variety of foods and servings according to the “Canada’s Food Guide”
  and being active is a way to maintain a weight that is healthy for each person’s body

36 QuEST for Health

Discuss with audience: Link to eating disorders
Dieting is a risk factor for developing an eating disorder. Dieting often makes people preoc-
cupied with food, calories, weight, and appearance. Dieting can be very damaging to a person’s
physical and mental health.
The prevalence of restrictive dieting and disordered eating attitudes appear to be on the rise.
A Canadian research study revealed that one out of every four adolescent females engage
in at least one symptom of an eating disorder (Jones, Bennett, Olmstead, Lawson & Rodin,
2001). Of equal concern, a research study in Ontario found that within a sample of girls in
grades 7 and 8, approximately 60% were dieting to lose weight, despite being within a healthy
weight range (McVey, Pepler, Davis, Flett & Abdolell, 2002).
Males with body image concerns may diet, use steroids or over exercise which can lead to
physical and mental health problems. Males can develop eating disorders or Body Dysmorphic
Disorder which occurs when people become preoccupied with perceived flaws about specific
parts of their body.
Ask the audience: “What can we do to improve our health?”
       Discuss strategies:
       Avoid crash or fad diets, or steroids. They are harmful to your physical and
        mental health (e.g. lowering metabolism, poor attention, irritability, fatigue,
        physical problems).
       Don’t judge yourself by a number on a scale. Health does not equal weight.
        Everyone has a different weight that is healthy for their own body shape, size
        and height.
       Eat normally.
        “What is normal eating?”
        – Eating when you are hungry and stopping when you are satisfied. Eating food
          in moderation; choosing a variety of foods (refer to Canada’s Food Guide).
        – Listening to your body (hunger cues).
        – Enjoying food
        – Being aware if you are eating because of hunger or because of your emotions.
          Talk to someone if your eating patterns are influenced a great deal by your
          emotions (e.g. stress, negative feelings).
       Stay active. Get involved in sports and activity, for fun! Look into after school
        programs or programs at recreational centers that you can join (e.g. learn to swim,
        martial arts, yoga). Be active with friends and family (e.g. walk your dog, stretch,
        hike, bike, rollerblade, shop. Try something new such as volunteering).
                                                                            QuEST for Health 37

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