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Understand the Importance of Healthy Living

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

It is important to remain as healthy as you can. The human body is designed to be constantly on the move as we have evolved from hunter-gatherers. This means that our bodies are able to store energy very well when we are resting, ready for our next session of marathon running (which early humans used to do all the time). So, when you are sitting down - your body assumes that it will be running a marathon soon, so it stores as much energy as it can. If you never run that marathon, it will keep on storing the energy and, gradually, make you more and more unhealthy. In this activity, we will be looking at how you can work with your body to keep it healthy and not let it harm itself (because we don't all run marathons - they are hard).

 

Our body releases energy during respiration. Respiration is a chemical reaction that uses oxygen from breathing and glucose from food. The products of this chemical reaction are carbon dioxide and water, and our body lets them out. This is the chemical equation for respiration:

glucose + oxygen   carbon dioxide + water (+ energy)

 

Respiration that uses oxygen is called aerobic, but it can also take place without oxygen, in which case it is called anaerobic. You can tell when your body goes into anaerobic respiration during intensive exercise because your muscles ache from the production of lactic acid the next day. 

 

 It is really important for our health and longevity that we maintain a healthy lifestyle and do as much exercise as possible. Exercise, combined with a balanced diet, and no smoking or excessive alcohol intake, ensures our blood pressure remains normal, and we reduce the probability of getting a disease or illness. Normal blood pressure levels for an adult are 110 - 125 mmHg for the systolic pressure (the maximum pressure our heart produces) and 60 - 70 for the diastolic pressure (the blood pressure between heartbeats). 

 

A balanced diet consists of all types of food but less salt, sugar and fat. The pyramid below shows the different types of food and how much we should be eating. Study it carefully because many questions will be based on it.

 

Food groups pyramid.

 

Red meat, chicken, fish, as well as pulses (beans, lentils, chickpeas) provide protein necessary for growth and repair. Rice, bread and pasta provide carbohydrates for energy. Fruit and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals. It is worth noting the importance of fibre in cereals, fruit and vegetables, which is necessary for a healthy digestive system, and water, which makes up most of our body.

 

Now let's have a go at some questions.

What is the normal diastolic pressure for adults?

90 - 100 mmHg

110 - 125 mmHg

180 - 200 mmHg

What does the body need to release energy? 

Water

Carbon dioxide

Oxygen

Blood

Glucose

Which statements below describe a healthy lifestyle?

Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables

Eat only carbohydrates

Do as much exercise as possible

Eat lots of sweets for glucose

Match the food with the main type of nutrient it provides.

Column A

Column B

Bread
Sugar
Eggs
Fibre
Butter
Carbohydrate
Bran cereal
Vitamin C
Orange
Protein
Chocolate
Fat

A middle aged woman visits the doctor and complains about an irregular heartbeat. She fills in a questionnaire the doctor gave her and her answers reveal that she smokes ten cigarettes a day, drinks one unit of alcohol per week, does not exercise and drinks a lot of fizzy drinks. She also admits that she avoids eating fruit and vegetables.

 

What advice will the doctor give her?

To exercise at least three times a week

To reduce her alcohol intake

To reduce the amount of fizzy drinks and even avoid them completely

To stop smoking

To eat plenty of fruit and vegetables

To smoke more cigarettes

The BMI (Body Mass Index) shows if someone is underweight, normal, overweight or obese. The graph shows the different categories.

 

The BMI index chart

 

What category of the BMI chart would a person belong to if they had a mass of 91 kg and a height of 1.7 m?

Underweight

OK

Overweight

Obese

Protein (unlike fat!) cannot be stored or made by the body. The main blocks of protein are called amino acids.

Kwashiorkor is a condition where the body cannot absorb excess water from body tissues in the abdomen, so the belly swells up and this is due to lack of food.

 

Where are we most likely to find this condition?

Australia

Africa

America

Europe

Some people have special diets:

Muslims eat only halal meat.

Jews and Muslims do not eat pork.

Some people don't eat nuts or other things because they are allergic to them.

Vegetarians do not eat any meat or fish ( or some eat fish but no meat).

Vegans do not eat any animal products (not even cheese or eggs).

 

How can these diets above be explained?

They are forced to eat like that

For religious reasons

So as not to get an allergic reaction that may even lead to death

Because they don't like the taste of meat (or whatever food they do not eat)

Because it is expensive

Because they do not agree with killing animals for food

There is a recommended daily amount (RDA) of protein we should all eat. You can calculate it using this formula:

RDA (in g)  =   0.75 x body mass (in kg)

 

Calculate the RDA of a person who has a mass of 87 kg. Your answer should be in grams (but just write the number).

Too much fat is generally not good for us, but there are some fatty foods that we should eat regularly, like oily fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel), nuts and seeds, sunflower and olive oil, avocado. Meat also contains fat.

 

From your general knowledge and common sense, which of the meats below do you think contain a lot of fat?

Bacon

Lean beef

Chicken

Sausage

  • Question 1

What is the normal diastolic pressure for adults?

CORRECT ANSWER
110 - 125 mmHg
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get this first one correct? Remember that you can always go back to the Introduction to check things out if you need to. The normal diastolic blood pressure for adults is 110 - 125 mmHg. This is the pressure in your arteries when your heart is pumping - healthy arteries are able to flex around the blood as it passes through them, but unhealthy ones become stiff and unable to flex around the blood, increasing the blood pressure.
  • Question 2

What does the body need to release energy? 

CORRECT ANSWER
Oxygen
Glucose
EDDIE SAYS
There were two correct options here. The body needs oxygen and glucose to perform respiration, which releases energy for all our activities. The blood goes to the lungs to pick up oxygen, and the liver to pick up glucose - it then drops these off where they are needed in cells so that they can react to make energy for the cell to perform its function.
  • Question 3

Which statements below describe a healthy lifestyle?

CORRECT ANSWER
Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
Do as much exercise as possible
EDDIE SAYS
Although that fourth option might sound a very attractive one, it's pretty clear that it can't be a good lifestyle choice! Eating plenty of carbohydrates is a good thing (they take up the whole of the largest section of the food pyramid) but it wouldn't be good to eat only carbohydrates! In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, we need to eat normal portions of all food types, but reduce our intake of fat and sugar. Exercise is necessary as well. Remember - our bodies are designed to run marathons, we are the fastest animal on the earth over 26 miles. It's how we used to catch animals like deer before we developed ranged weapons.
  • Question 4

Match the food with the main type of nutrient it provides.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Bread
Carbohydrate
Eggs
Protein
Butter
Fat
Bran cereal
Fibre
Orange
Vitamin C
Chocolate
Sugar
EDDIE SAYS
This was quite tricky because, inevitably, there is some overlap. Most foods contain a combination of different types but the question is asking for the main food type which it contains. Let's go through the answers: Bread and bran cereal are both carbohydrates but bran is particularly high in fibre so the match should be - bread with carbohydrate, and bran cereal with fibre. Eggs provide protein. Butter is high in fat. All fruit and vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals but citrus fruits, like oranges, are especially high in vitamin C. Chocolate contains fat but it is particularly high in sugar, so that is the correct match here.
  • Question 5

A middle aged woman visits the doctor and complains about an irregular heartbeat. She fills in a questionnaire the doctor gave her and her answers reveal that she smokes ten cigarettes a day, drinks one unit of alcohol per week, does not exercise and drinks a lot of fizzy drinks. She also admits that she avoids eating fruit and vegetables.

 

What advice will the doctor give her?

CORRECT ANSWER
To exercise at least three times a week
To reduce the amount of fizzy drinks and even avoid them completely
To stop smoking
To eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
EDDIE SAYS
Most of this advice is common sense when you think about it, isn't it? This woman needs to reduce or stop smoking, which will improve her general health enormously. It would also be good if she could stop, or at least reduce, her intake of fizzy drinks, since they are very high in sugar. On the positive side, she doesn't drink much alcohol so she has no need to cut down on that. The doctor will probably also advise her to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables to give her a healthier diet and more vitamins and minerals. She also would really benefit from taking more exercise to help maintain a healthy weight and also keep her blood pressure low. All of these are factors that will affect her health - if she continues living like this, then she will increase her risk of becoming even more unhealthy.
  • Question 6

The BMI (Body Mass Index) shows if someone is underweight, normal, overweight or obese. The graph shows the different categories.

 

The BMI index chart

 

What category of the BMI chart would a person belong to if they had a mass of 91 kg and a height of 1.7 m?

CORRECT ANSWER
Obese
EDDIE SAYS
Did you work this one out alright? Look for 91 kg along the top of the graph and 170 cm on the right-hand side. Where the two of them meet on the graph will show the correct category - obese.
  • Question 7

Protein (unlike fat!) cannot be stored or made by the body. The main blocks of protein are called amino acids.

Kwashiorkor is a condition where the body cannot absorb excess water from body tissues in the abdomen, so the belly swells up and this is due to lack of food.

 

Where are we most likely to find this condition?

CORRECT ANSWER
Africa
EDDIE SAYS
In some parts of the African continent, there is famine due to lack of resources; crop failure because of drought; and overcrowding. As a result of this lack of food, many children living there suffer from malnutrition and this is seen by their swollen bellies which shows that they have Kwashiorkor.
  • Question 8

Some people have special diets:

Muslims eat only halal meat.

Jews and Muslims do not eat pork.

Some people don't eat nuts or other things because they are allergic to them.

Vegetarians do not eat any meat or fish ( or some eat fish but no meat).

Vegans do not eat any animal products (not even cheese or eggs).

 

How can these diets above be explained?

CORRECT ANSWER
For religious reasons
So as not to get an allergic reaction that may even lead to death
Because they don't like the taste of meat (or whatever food they do not eat)
Because they do not agree with killing animals for food
EDDIE SAYS
When answering questions, you have to read through all of the statements and use your judgement to decide which ones are the best. If you don't know - guess! However, in this question, there are clues that you could use to find the answer. It talks about religion, allergies, and food choices. Find the answers with those in them and you'll be on your way to getting the right answer. There are many reasons why people have specific diets - some because of tradition or religious influences, and others from a deliberate choice they have made. Provided that these diets continue to give a healthy variety of food types, there is no reason why people shouldn't be allowed to choose what they eat and others should respect their choices, even if they are not the same as their own.
  • Question 9

There is a recommended daily amount (RDA) of protein we should all eat. You can calculate it using this formula:

RDA (in g)  =   0.75 x body mass (in kg)

 

Calculate the RDA of a person who has a mass of 87 kg. Your answer should be in grams (but just write the number).

CORRECT ANSWER
65.25
EDDIE SAYS
A simple maths sum this! Multiply 87 by 0.75 87 x 0.75 = 65.25 g
  • Question 10

Too much fat is generally not good for us, but there are some fatty foods that we should eat regularly, like oily fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel), nuts and seeds, sunflower and olive oil, avocado. Meat also contains fat.

 

From your general knowledge and common sense, which of the meats below do you think contain a lot of fat?

CORRECT ANSWER
Bacon
Sausage
EDDIE SAYS
Sausages and bacon contain a lot of fat, so it is best to avoid eating them too often. They are good for you if you intend to run a marathon in the next few days - or as a treat once in a while, just not all of the time. Hopefully, you're feeling pretty confident about how to keep yourself healthy after completing this activity!
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