30th January 2004 at 00:00
The link between dietary sugar and dental decay is well known but few pupils are aware of the effect sweet drinks like cola drinks have on tooth enamel. Get two extracted teeth from a dentist. Drop one in water and the other in cola and leave for about a week. Remove the teeth, rinse and then compare their texture. Pupils never cease to be amazed at the rubbery appearance of the cola-treated tooth.

Get pupils to collect and analyse package labels from the food and drink they consume in one day. They should compile a table showing their consumption of natural sugars (like glucose and galactose) and artificial sweeteners and compare these with the recommended intake for their age group. This data is available in many biology and food technology books.

Ways to promote healthy eating could be discussed. See the British Heart Foundation and Obesity Task Force websites for some ideas ( and On January 16, The TES had a special supplement called School Food and this contains useful dietary information, including one article on obesity, "Fat Chances".

The Fair Trade initiative has links with PSHE and citizenship. Oxfam's "Cut The Cost" campaign is relevant; try for details.

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