'Nutrition Facts Panel for Ground Beef' photo (c) 2011, U.S. Department of Agriculture - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

There have been a number of web tools that have “opened for business” in the past year related food nutrition and safety. I thought it might be useful to both my students and others to create a “The Best…” list related to the topic.

You can also find links to most of these sites — and more — on my website under Health.

Here are my picks — not in order of preference — for The Best Sites For Learning About Nutrition & Food Safety (and that are accessible to English Language Learners, of course):

Breaking News English has a lesson, including audio support for the text, titled Life Near Fast Food Restaurants Unhealthy.

Calorie King has a fairly accessible database on the nutritional content ofmany different kinds of food.  It would require some pre-teaching on what nutrition labels mean, though.

Get On The Right Track To Healthy Eating is a simple e-book with audio support.

The Incredible Adventures Of The Amazing Food Detective comes from Kaiser Permanente Health

The Food Pyramid is a good animated movie from Brainpop, Jr., though you have to subscribe in order to view it.

CBS News has an impressive interactive on Diet and Nutrition.

Fizzy’s Lunch Lab is from PBS, and is designed to help kids learn healthy food habits. Most of the text on the site is provided with audio support.

You can play the Food Pyramid Adventure game.

Lunch Line Redesign is a New York Times interactive that highlights ways that school cafeterias are using to encourage students to eat more healthy foods. It’s really quite interesting, and I think it could be a great discussion starter with students.


Here are some sites related to obesity that are accessible to ELL’s:

The Wall Street Journal has a Childhood Obesity Map.

The Journal also has another map called Obesity Rates, State by State.

The Trust For America’s Health has just published a map titled F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2010. It shows adult and child obesity rates by state.

You Say Potato, Scale Says Uh-Oh is a Wall Street Journal report on a study that “quantifies how much weight a person is likely to gain or lose over four years based on one additional daily serving of a range of specific foods.” This article is particularly useful to English Language Learners because it contains a very accessible infographic.

Let’s Take a Look at How Fat the World Has Become is a chart from The Atlantic.

I’m also adding a slideshow on America’s Wacky Fair Foods. It could be a fun example to show students about what not to eat.

The New York Times has published a fascinating article titled Is Junk Food Cheaper? It’s not accessible to English Language Learners, but it includes a lot of important information that teachers might want to modify to share with students. Here’s an excerpt that particularly struck me:

…the engineering behind hyperprocessed food makes it virtually addictive. A 2009 study by the Scripps Research Institute indicates that overconsumption of fast food “triggers addiction-like neuroaddictive responses” in the brain, making it harder to trigger the release of dopamine. In other words the more fast food we eat, the more we need to give us pleasure; thus the report suggests that the same mechanisms underlie drug addiction and obesity.

This is your brain on sugar: UCLA study shows high-fructose diet sabotages learning, memory is from UCLA.

Processed sugar isn’t just a recipe for obesity—it may also hurt your ability to learn
is from The Pacific Standard.

Why It Matters That California Teens Eat Less Than Their Peers is from NPR.

“North America home to stunning third of world’s body weight”


Brought to you by Teach.com and MAT@USC.

Adolescent Health | Nutrition, Healthy Weight and Eating Disorders is from The New York Times Learning Network.

Are Your Eating Habits Healthy? is also from The NYT Learning Network.

Fast Food FACTS Report Are Fast-Food Advertisers Playing You? Is Junk Food Really Cheaper? is from The New York Times. “Where are you on the global fat scale?” Calorie Count is an accessible tool that tells you the number of calories just about every commercially produced food contains, and also shares information on different types of exercises and how much you have to do of them to work off those calories.

Discussing Junk Food With English-Language Learners is from The New York Times Learning Network.

‘Soda Mouth’ Can Look A Lot Like ‘Meth Mouth’ is from NPR.

The healthiest regions in the United States is an impressive interactive infographic from The Washington Post.

Sugar content of everyday foods – in pictures is from The Guardian.

Burning Calories

Source: WeightTraining.com – Burning Calories


See Full Size of above infographic here.

11 Kinds Of Junk Food That Cost Almost Twice As Much As Something Healthier is from Buzz Feed.

Why BMI Isn’t The Best Measure for Weight (or Health) is an article from TIME.

How Long It takes To Burn Calories infographic.

Tips For Storing Your Food is a useful interactive.

The New York Times has created an interactive called What 2,000 Calories Looks Like.

Quote Of The Day: Fast Food Bad For Student Brains

The Test: What’s The Right Diet For You? is from the BBC.

Statistic Of The Day: Eat Your Fruits & Vegetables!

SuperTracker is an impressive interactive from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. It’s designed to help you track your diet and exercise. Surprisingly, though, it doesn’t appear to have a critically important feature — showing how much exercise is required to “work-off” calories gained from each food. Tons of research shows that’s key to help people become conscious of their diet. Fortunately, there are other tools on this list that do that. You can read an article in the Wall Street Journal that tells more about the site.

More Squash, Less Bacon: Calculating Your Real-Life Heart Risk is from NPR.

EWG’s Food Scores site provides an accessible and visual informational display of the nutritional values of just about any food imaginable. You can read more about it at Fast Company.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide what studies have found to be the most useful info — how much time it takes to do various exercises to “work it off.”

Sage Project does provide that kind of information.

Statistic Of The Day: 2 Breakfasts For Kids Are Better Than None

Here’s a TED-Ed video and lesson:

How to get teens to give up junk food: Tell them they’re victims of corporate manipulation

Pick Your Plate! A Global Guide to Nutrition is from The Smithsonian.

As always, feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.