Obesity in NYC schools: Causes, Impact, Solutions

Tracey Steele


Urban Assembly Academy for Future Leaders



ďOnce you get on that train towards elevated weight gain, itís really hard to turn it around, so prevention of overweight and obesity really early on are so important,Ē said Solveig Argeseanu Cunningham, first author of the study and associate professor of global health and epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta.


Obesity occurs when a person has excessive fat accumulation that presents a health risk, according to the World Health Organization. Childhood obesity is measured not by exact BMI, but by comparison to other children of the same age and sex. Those who are in the 95th percentile of BMI for their age and sex are considered obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


District 5 has implemented the new reform of having Meatless Mondays, Salad bar daily, and No vending machines. All part of NYC push for healthier food options in public schools.


Task: F

or this assignment you will work collaboratively to raise awareness within your school community on the need to create healthier food options in school environments for ALL youth.

You will work collaboratively to conduct research on the topic of obesity, its causes, impact and potential solutions. You will prepare a visual and verbal presentation to raise public awareness and convey your message to your peers and school community.

You will create a google slides presentation that will introduce the problem to your audience and offer several solutions and your recommendation for the best solution. Your presentation must include graphics, present your research, and offer solutions. The presentation must include at least 8 slides, with an additional slide citing all of the sources used.

***Your group will use the Public Policy Analyst (PPA) Tool as an outline for your products***



To complete this project regarding obesity. What do these policies say? Who do they benefit? Do they address the issue of how obesity can be prevented? Do these policies need to be changed?

STEP 1: You will be placed in groups to complete the gathering of information for the PPA worksheets. Each member of the group will have a specific role. Your group roles are as follows:

**All group members are required to contribute to the completion of the worksheets AND completion and presentation of the slides.**

STEP 2: Along with the information from your research, follow the Public Policy Analyst (PPA) 6 Step Process. Complete the worksheets and allow them to guide you with your slide presentation and bumper sticker project.

1. Define the Problem: Identify and explain the problem that you are researching. Ensure that you can convey why this condition is undesirable.


Resource 2

2. Gather Evidence: The goal of your research is to find proof that this problem actually exists. You can use statistics, primary or secondary sources, articles from newspapers or magazines, blogs, podcasts, etc.

Consider the following questions:

- What is obesity? What does it look like?

- What are different forms of obesity?

- What percentage of students suffer from obesity in schools (statistics)?

Group Roles: Captain-The captain keeps the group on task, ask questions and facilitates the readings.

†††††††††††††††††††††† Reporter- The reporter presents the group's findings to the class.

†††††††††††††††††††††† Recorder- The recorder records all written responses.

††††††† †††††††††††††††Materials Manager- This person gets the supplies and makes sure they are working, they put all supplies away once activity is over.

††††††††††††††††††††† Time keeper- I keep track of how long my group has to complete the assignment, I will tell the group how many minutes are left every 10 minutes.


- You will formulate a series of questions on the topic of obesity and interview 3-4 of your peers and/or teachers. Interviews will be recorded and included in the presentation.

3. Identify Causes: Why do some children become obese? What are some of the consequences of obesity? What groups are identified as high risk for this disease?


Causes 2

4. Evaluating Existing Public Policies: Find policies that already exist regarding obesity. What do these policies say? Who do they benefit? Do they address the issue of how obesity can be prevented? Do these policies need to be changed?

Resource 1

NYC Policies

5. Developing Solutions: Provide new/original public policy alternatives (solutions) for your social problem. What are some alternatives you think will solve or help with the problem that exists?

6. Select Preferred Policy: Ask yourself how realistic the proposed solution is? How likely would it be to lessen the problem? Are there any obstacles that can prevent it from working? Is there anything that can be done to overcome those obstacles?










Less than 65





Audience cannot understand presentation because there is no sequence of information.

Audience has difficulty following presentation because student jumps around.

Student presents information in logical sequence which audience can follow.

Student presents information in logical, interesting sequence which audience can follow.


Content Knowledge

Student does not have grasp of information; student cannot answer questions about subject.

Student is uncomfortable with information and is able to answer only rudimentary questions.

Student is at ease with content, but fails to elaborate.

Student demonstrates full knowledge (more than required) with explanations and elaboration.



Student used no visuals.

Student occasional used visuals that rarely support text and presentation.

Visuals related to text and presentation.

Student used visuals to reinforce screen text and presentation.



Student's presentation had four or more spelling errors and/or grammatical errors.

Presentation had three misspellings and/or grammatical errors.

Presentation has no more than two misspellings and/or grammatical errors.

Presentation has no misspellings or grammatical errors.



Student mumbles, incorrectly pronounces terms, and speaks too quietly for students in the back of class to hear.

Student incorrectly pronounces terms. Audience members have difficulty hearing presentation.

Student's voice is clear. Student pronounces most words correctly.

Student used a clear voice and correct, precise pronunciation of terms.











CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Thank you for your commitment and dedication. We have learned a lot from each other. Your level of organization and cooperation skills have reached new highs. Now that you learned a lot about obesity in children and adolescents is generally caused by the lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns or a combination of the two.From this webquest, you should have learned many issues concerning adolescent obesity. You will be able to analyze articles and extract critical information. In addition, you will also be able to explore this topic using the internet as a main source of information. In addition you will create new policies that contribute to the health and well-being of the general public.

Some questions to consider:

1.††††† If you were to do the same activity again, would you do something differently? Explain.

2.†††† What did you like? What didnít you like?




Reading Standards for Informational Text K-5

7.†††††† Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.

9.†††††† Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

Speaking & Listening K-5

1.†††††† Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions, building on othersí ideas and expressing their own clearly.

††††† 3.Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.

†††† 4.Report on a topic with appropriate facts and relevant descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.