In this lesson, students will explore the benefits of being healthy through a Think-Pair-Share visible thinking routine. They will be introduced to the idea that sugar is prevalent in our diets by watching a short clip that exposes the sugar content of well-known foods. They will then read and analyse an article that details the effect of sugar on our health and wellbeing. Lastly, students will consider how reducing sugar could benefit their health, reflecting on whether or not to make any changes to their own diet.
- understand the benefits of limiting sugar consumption
- make connections between physical health and general wellbeing
- describe one or more ways that limiting sugar consumption can benefit the human body
Lesson guides and printables
- This lesson is part of the wider unit of work SugarByHalf – HPE – Years 7-8
- Time required: 90 mins
- Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussions
- Keywords: Sugar, health information, evaluation, healthy choices, health, SugarByHalf, credibility, bias
To view our Australian Curriculum alignment click here
To view our NZ Curriculum alignment click here
- Device capable of presenting a video to the class
- Web-enabled devices – enough for one per pair of students
- Whiteboard markers
- Paper roll (optional)
These lessons were developed in partnership with SugarByHalf and the Australian Dental Association. Guardians of the Gums was written by Bee Healthy Stories; if you would like to see more of their stories, head to beehealthystories.com.au.
SugarByHalf (https://www.sugarbyhalf.com/) promotes action to reduce sugar-related diseases so that we can live better, stronger and healthier lives.
Their message is simple: to reduce added sugar consumption by half. Eating too much added sugar is a key driver of serious health problems including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay, dementia and mental health conditions. A poor diet also puts children behind their peers, affecting brain development, sleep and learning ability. Poor diet choices ultimately mean that this generation of children could be the first in modern history to live shorter lives than their parents.
Much of the added sugar in our diet comes from the processed foods and drinks we consume. On average, we consume 14-16 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Teenagers consume more than 20 teaspoons per day. The World Health Organisation says we should limit our daily added sugar intake to 6 teaspoons for good health. To put that in perspective, there are 4 grams of sugar in one teaspoon. If something has 20 grams of sugar, that's 5 teaspoons of sugar.
This English lesson focuses on developing the skills and knowledge students need to critically consider messages about food and drink they are exposed to, thereby equipping them to be able to make healthy choices.
Talking about health
- Be mindful of students who may experience weight stigma. Some students may be sensitive to conversations around weight, body size or shape. Terms including obesity, weight issues, weight-problem and fat can be stigmatising for some people because they assign blame. It is important to note individual preferences around language vary. Research has shown using the terms ‘weight’, ‘weight gain’, ‘healthy weight’, ‘unhealthy weight’, and ‘high BMI’ are preferred as better alternatives.
- Be mindful about how you use the word ‘diet’. We recommend focussing students on the positive impacts of healthy nutrition and healthy lifestyles which help us to have stronger bodies and minds, feel good and sleep well.
- Steer students away from any focus on appearances by communicating that appearance does not determine your worth. We recommend the fact sheets from the Butterfly Foundation on body image tips at
- Avoid using labels such as obese or diabetic. Refer to people living with diabetes, people living with cancer, people with high BMI etc.