BBC Home
Explore the BBC


Teachers: PSHE: Health influences

Last Updated: Thursday November 23 2006 16:57 GMT

Junk food



New rules will ban the advertising of junk food during TV programmes targeted at under-16s.

Regulators Ofcom have introduced these measures at a time when junk food is being blamed for our obesity problems. Have a look at what's actually in fast food.

Learning aims
  • Discover the fat content of takeaway food
  • Consider the risks of a high fat diet
  • Discuss ways in which we can eat less fat

Read out the story below, then try a quick quiz

Quick quiz - Battle of the takeaways
Guess which meal contains the most fat. The meals are paired up to allow four contests.
(fat content only to be revealed at end)

  • Quarter pounder with cheese/ fries (40g)
  • Portion of lasagne (45g)

  • Chicken tikka massala (47g)
  • Sweet and sour pork/ egg fried rice (60g)

  • Pasta in a spicy tomato sauce (12g)
  • Portion of crispy duck (31g)

  • Stir-fried chicken with boiled rice (13g)
  • Mexican chicken enchiladas (40g)

    Once a week
    According to a scientist from the British Nutrition Foundation most of these meals are so fatty they should only be eaten once a week. The exceptions were the pasta and stir fried chicken.

    Main activity

    The hidden risks of fat
    Students associate eating fat with getting fat. Obesity is a risk but there are many others. Focusing on obesity furthers the belief that if you look thin your diet is OK. This activity can be done quickly or expanded to produce very nice work.

    Fatty before
    Students take two pieces of A4 paper and join them along the top edge with tape or glue. On the top sheet they draw an image of themselves (can be a stick person or outline), surrounded by sketches or labels of their favourite fatty foods. They put today's date on this sheet.

    Fatty after
    On the sheet underneath they draw the same outline (not fatter) around this they draw or label the 'hidden' problems a fatty diet can cause. They date this one twenty years in the future.

  • Cancer more likely
  • High blood pressure/strokes
  • Arteries blocked by Cholesterol
  • Could be overweight
  • Diabetes more likely

    Turn the sheets over and on the back put

    Healthy before
    On the top sheet: Same images of themselves but surrounded by a healthy diet, keep one favourite high fat meal - date this next week.

    Healthy after
    Underneath: Image of themselves in twenty years time surrounded by images or labels of their favourite activities. They are still healthy enough to enjoy life.


    Fat is a vitally important part of our diet, under the age of two children needs plenty of cholesterol as it helps develop their brains, we need fat for healthy hair and skin.

    Too much fat can kill us by clogging our arteries and weakening our hearts. One easy way to reduce fat is to eat take-away food only once a week.

    Teachers' Background
    • There will be a total ban on ads during children's programmes and on children's channels, as well as adult programmes watched by a large number of children.

    • Ofcom's measures will come into effect before the end of January 2007. They are set to cost broadcasters an estimated 39 million in lost advertising revenue, Ofcom said.
    The measures will apply to:
    • All pre-school children's programmes.
    • All programmes on mainstream channels aimed at children.
    • All cable and satellite children's channels.
    • Programmes aimed at young people, such as music shows.
    • General entertainment programmes which would appeal to a "higher than average" number of under 16s.
    More on fat:
    • Fats are organic compounds made up of carbon hydrogen and oxygen, they are the most concentrated source of energy in foods.

    • In the west roughly 40% of calories come from fat. This needs to be reduced to 30%.

    • Fatty food can cause obesity because of its high calorie content.

    • Over half the population of the USA is overweight and one in five are classed as obese, the numbers are increasing.

    • Fat is essential to the proper functioning of the body. Fatty acids provide the raw materials that help in the control of blood pressure, blood clotting and many other functions.

    • High blood pressure (hypertension) is associated with a high fat diet.

    • A diet high in saturated fat causes a soft waxy substance called cholesterol to build up in the arteries; this blocks the flow of blood and can cause a heart attack.

  • Most recent lesson plan

    Video clips for teachers
    Student quizzes
    Educational games
    PSHE guides

    BBC Homepage >> | CBBC Homepage >>

    Meet the Team | Help | Contact Us | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy