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  Fit to fat family
Updated 08 September 2004, 10.33
The Street in Birmingham taking part in Fat Nation, the Big Challenge

PSHE 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F
Health influences

    TV programme Fat Nation, the Big Challenge follows a team of experts helping a street in Birmingham to improve their unhealthy lifestyles.

    Students become a TV production team whose mission it is to turn the fittest family in the UK into the unhealthiest one.

Learning aims
  • Learn about healthy eating
  • Understand what bad habits such as smoking and drinking do to the body
  • Learn about the importance of exercise

Teaching ideas

1. Icebreaker
2. Warm up
    Quarter pounder with cheese and fries
    The class imagine they are a TV production team who have found the fittest family in the UK. Their mission it is to turn them in the unhealthiest family.

    In groups of four they each take on one of these roles:

  • Fit family member; dad, mum, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin.
  • Unfitness expert
  • Celebrity fat food chef
  • Bad habit advisor

    Students create a profile of their character which should include:

    Fit family member

  • Name
  • Age
  • Favourite sports and activities
  • Favourite healthy foods
  • Hated bad habit they e.g. smoking
  • Body type e.g. athletic


  • Name
  • Age
  • Method of teaching e.g. aggressive sergeant major style
  • Favourite saying e.g. "Fat is fabulous darling"

3. Main activity

    If there is no internet access, students can work from these three fact files (the fit family member will need to dip into all three):

    Using this information the three experts research their particular subject; food, exercise, bad habits. They look at:

  • The benefits of exercising OR eating healthily OR avoiding bad habits such as smoking.
  • The effects of lack of exercise OR poor diet OR bad habits on the body and mind.

    Adhering to their profile details, the fit family member researches:

  • The benefits of doing their favourite form of exercise, eating their favourite food and avoiding their pet hate.
  • The effects of lack of exercise, poor diet and bad habits on the body and mind.

    [B] The group act out these three scenes (and filmed if a camera is available):

  • Fit person exercising, eating healthily and talking about how this behaviour is better than bad habits such as smoking and drinking.
  • Three experts giving them advice on how to change their lifestyle to make it more unhealthy.
  • Fit person two months later, having followed the experts' advice and now suffering from obesity and other health problems. How happy are they?

4. Extension activity
    Students storyboard the scenes, drawing the camera shots and writing the scripts.

    If using a camera, students edit the footage to make a mini programme.

5. Plenary
    Chocolate bars
    Each group picks one of the three scenes to act out in front of the class.

    The three best experts (one from each subject area) take a seat at the front of the classroom. The rest of the class ask them questions about eating, exercise and the effects of bad habits such as smoking.

    For all links and resources click at top right.

More InfoBORDER=0
Sci/TechFood expert answers your Qs
PicturesFatty food
Find OutHow to be healthy
GamesYou Make Me Sick
VoteVote: Are you addicted to junk food?
QuizFascinating fruit and veg quiz
ClubI 'm getting healthy in TV's Fat Nation, the Big Challenge


Past StoriesBORDER=0
Obese kids given cancer warning
Children's food 'bad for health'
Breakfast cereals 'bad for you'
Kids are throwing away healthy food


Web Links
The Big Challenge Newsround special
Note: You will leave CBBC. We are not responsible for other websites.



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