Fad Diets & Healthy Weight Management

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Fad Diets & Healthy WeightManagementGOAL: Participants will gain an understanding of the principles of weight management, includingthe dangers of fad dieting, healthy weight gain, and weight loss. Each participant will be able totell the difference between healthy weight loss plans and strict (or fad) diets. At the end of thesession, participants will understand the elements of successful weight loss and maintenance,and be able to identify helpful resources.POWER POINT PRESENTATION:PREPARATION:Teens and Fad Diet FactsChoose an icebreaker and a game, copy allnecessary handouts for participantsESTIMATED TIME:60 minutesDIRECTIONS FOR FACILITATOR1. Explain to the participants that they willMATERIALS NEEDED:be learning about fad diet facts, and thePowerPoint presentation, chalkprincipals of healthy weight management.board and chalk, or poster board andmarkers, teen and/or health magazines,pens and pencilsHANDOUTS NEEDED:Fad Diets vs. Healthy Weight Management:A Guide for TeensMagazine Scavenger Hunt Worksheet2. Have participants introduce themselvesone at a time.3. Ask the group if they know what a faddiet is.4. Start the PowerPoint presentation.5. Refer to the “Talking Points” to help younarrate the PowerPoint presentation.6. At the end of the presentation, discussGAMES & ACTIVITIES:Magazine Scavenger Huntthe key points with the group.7. Pass out the Fad Diet guide.8. Start the game.9. When the game has ended, pass outthe evaluation form, and collect themwhen participants have finished fillingthem out.





PowerPoint Talking PointsSLIDE 2 MAGAZINE COVERRead (or ask someone in the group) to read“DIETS THAT WORK”each statement aloud. After each statementTell the group that many magazines haveis read, ask the group if they think theheadlines about dieting on the cover.answer is true or false, and why.Ask:Statement: “The diet industry targets teensWhy do these ads get your attention?with promises of quick weight loss”What do you notice about the ad?Answer: TrueResponses may include: the models areAfter participants respond by raisingpretty, and/or skinny, the message abouttheir hands, ask the group why thisquick weight loss grabs your attention.statement is true.What we are not told is that the diets areoften very strict, hard to follow, and onceStatement: Fad dieting can keep teensyou stop the diet, you’ll probably gain allfrom getting enough energy and nutrientsthe weight back and sometimes more.that they need to grow and developproperly.SLIDE 3 did you know:Before showing the slide, ask thegroup how much money they thinkAmericans spend on dieting and dietproducts each year.Answer: TrueAfter participants respond by raisingtheir hands, explain that this statement istrue because many fad diets are restrictiveand may tell you to avoid certain foodsThen, read the bullet points aloud.that provide you with nutrients that keepAsk participants what they think they couldyour body healthy. An example of this isdo with this amount of money instead ofthe grapefruit diet, which lacks protein,spending it on dieting and diet products.fat, and other vitamins and minerals. Overtime, if a teen does not get the necessarySLIDE 4 TRUE OR FALSE:Tell the group that you are going to play atrue and false game.nutrients, they can set themselves up for

health problems in the future, such as weakAnswer: Truebones.After participants respond by raisingtheir hands, explain that this statement isStatement: All teens who go on diets needtrue. Explain that there are healthier waysto lose weight.to lose/manage weight, such as addingAnswer: Falsecalorie-burning activities into your day.After participants respond by raising theirhands, ask the group if they know anyonewho is on a diet but shouldn’t be. Tell thegroup that research has shown that moreand more younger girls (even ages 7 and8) are dieting. Ask the group if they thinkthey know why younger girls may be soconcerned about their weight.SLIDE 5 TRUE OR FALSE CONTINUEDStatement: Teens who follow a strictdiet for a while will not usually gain theweight back.Answer: FalseAfter participants respond by raisingtheir hands, explain that more often thennot, a person who goes back to eating theway they used to will eventually gain theweight back. The only real way to keepextra weight off is to adopt a healthy weightmanagement program that you can followfor a lifetime.SLIDE 6 WHY DO TEENS DIET?Before clicking onto the next slide, read thisquestion aloud and ask the group to offertheir opinions on why they think teens diet.Write the answers on the chalk board orposter board.SLIDE 7 RESPONSES FROM TEENSTell the group that the following commentsare from teens, and then ask if they canrelate to these comments.SLIDE 8 DIETING DANGER SIGNSAsk the group if they can think of any signsthat would signal that a friend’s dieting maybe dangerous. (You can write the responseson the board.)Advance the presentation, showing oneresponse at a time, and ask the group ifthey agree with these danger signs.Write any additional answers that thegroup comes up with on the chalk boardStatement: Adding calorie-burningactivities into your day is a healful way tolose weight.or poster board.SLIDE 9 TEENS AT RISK

Explain to the group that the diets thattheir hands, ask the group why they thinkteens follow may be very low in calcium,this statement is true.iron, and folic acid. Ask the group if theyWhen a female burns more energy orknow what food sources provide theircalories than she is taking in, the resultbodies with these nutrients.is weight loss. Losing too much weight mayCalcium comes from dairy products,lower her estrogen (female hormone) levels.fortified juices, and cereals. Iron is foundin green leafy vegetables and meat. Folicacid is found in green leafy vegetables, andThis can cause her periods to stop andmay cause loss of bone mass. This is morecommon in female athletes.enriched grain products such as breadsands cereals.Statement: You should avoid carbs.Explain that current research shows thatAnswer: Falsemany adolescents are not getting enoughAfter participants respond by raisingcalcium during their teen years. This isworrisome, because adolescence is whenyou bank (or store) the calcium that yourbody will need as you get older.Explain that lack of nutrients can havedangerous effects on the developmentof bones and joints (ex. calcium andosteoporosis).SLIDE 10 TRUE OR FALSERead (or ask someone in the group) to readeach statement aloud. After each statementis read, ask the group if they think theanswer is true or false, and why.Statement: When females diet, theirperiods may stop and they may losebone mass.their hands, ask the group why thisstatement is false.Then, ask the group what they think aboutlow carb (short for carbohydrate) diets.Explain that carbs are not bad foods andyou don’t have to stop eating them alltogether to lose weight. In fact, you canenjoy high fiber carbs such as whole wheatbread whole grain cereals, rather than lesshealthy options such as white bread, sugarycereals, and donuts.High fiber carbs and whole grains giveyou energy that lasts longer than sugaror refined grains. Fiber takes longer todigest, so you feel full longer. The trick is tobalance the recommended daily servings ofcarbohydrates with other foods so you areAnswer: Truenot eating just carbs, but also protein, andAfter participants respond by raisinghealthy fat, too.

TEENS BY.SLIDE 11 HELPING TEENS LEARN HOW TORead the header out loud and click on oneSPOT A FAD DIETbullet at a time.Ask the group if they think it is easy to getfooled by fad diet claims. For those whoanswered “yes”, acknowledge that it canbe hard to tell if diet claims are true. This isbecause advertising usually exaggerates theclaims, making the diets or quick weight lossplans sound very appealing.For those participants who answered“no”, ask them what it is about these adsthat makes them realize that the claimsare false.SLIDE 12 ASK YOURSELF: DOES Helping to clarify mythsTell the group that when they are looking atmagazines with friends, they can tell themwhat they’ve learned about how theadvertising industry tricks people intothinking that strict diets are good when theyare often unhealthy. Teaching them to read labelsExplain that learning to read food labels willhelp them make healthy choices. Then tellthem to remember to pay attention to theserving size on the label so that they knowTHE DIET how many nutrients are in each portion.Show one bullet at a time and stress that Encouraging them to be activeif an ad makes any of these claims, it mostRemind the group that exercise islikely is a fad diet.an important part of healthy weightSLIDE 13 TEACH YOUR PEERS TO “DITCHDIETS” THAT TELL THEM TO Ask for a volunteer to read the slide aloud.Then ask the group if anyone has any otherreasons to add to the list.management. In fact, 60 minutes of dailyexercise is recommended. Review simpleways to be more active, such as taking thestairs instead of an elevator, walking insteadof taking the bus, or driving, etc. Helping them set realistic goalsSLIDE 14 HOW CAN YOU PROMOTEA HEALTHY LIFESTYLE AMONG YOURExplain that diets that claim that youPEERS?in the long term. Tell them that peopleRead the slide out loud, and then click onusually gain back all of the weight they losethe next slide.on fad diets. Changing your eating habits bywill lose a lot of weight quickly do not workeating nutritious foods instead of foods withSLIDE 15 YOU CAN HELP OTHERvery little or no nutritional value (such as

sweets) is much better for your body and forparticipant to read each bullet. After thelong term weight control.volunteer finishes reading the slide, ask the Suggesting that they limit TV andcomputer time.The group will guess that being active burnsmore calories than being a couch potato.People often snack on unhealthy foods whenthey watch TV, too. Explain that it’s okay towatch a TV show or use the computer forshort periods of time, and for homework,but try not to spend hours just sittingaround. Instead, go for a walk or a bike ridewith a friend, or do some other physicalactivity that you like. Being a positive role modelExplain to the group that they can bepositive role models by practicing whatthey have learned. Suggest that theyteach other teens how to spot a fad diet,or encourage their family and friends to bephysically active.SLIDE 16 THE REAL DEALReview the bullets and remind participantsthat even though magazines pitch attractiveways to lose weight, if it sounds too goodto be true, it probably is. Healthy weightmanagement takes time, and is somethingyou can stick with forever.SLIDE 17 Healthy Weightmanagement involves.Read the header out loud, and ask for agroup if they agree with the statements.Then ask if they have any other suggestionsfor successful weight loss.SLIDE 18 WEB RESOURCES FINAL SLIDEExplain to the group that the websites listedare good sources for finding informationregarding weight management. Tell thegroup that MyPlate has replaced the foodguide pyramid. Encourage the participantsto go to choosemyplate.gov to find out whatthe plate should look like. Don’t forget toremind the group that exercise is part ofevery food guide recommendation. Thankthe group for paying attention and forparticipating in the discussion. Ask if thegroup has any questions.Pass out: Fad Diets vs. Healthy WeightManagement: A Guide for Teens

the dangers of fad dieting, healthy weight gain, and weight loss. Each participant will be able to tell the difference between healthy weight loss plans and strict (or fad) diets. At the end of the session, participants will understand the elements of successful weight loss and maintenance, and be able to identify helpful resources. PREPARATION: