Knowing nutrition


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  • number
  • algebra
  • measurement
  • geometry
  • statistics


  • understanding
  • problem solving
  • reasoning

Clinical trials to assess the effectiveness or otherwise of interventions designed to assist in the treatment and prevention of Type 2 diabetes requires a large and coordinated team. The video shows the steps needed to set up a clinical trial, and follows some of the personnel involved including research dieticians, nurses, research technicians and statisticians.

Teacher notes

The teacher notes contain: an overview of each of the activities; curriculum links and suggested year levels; background information; prompting questions and key mathematical points; practical suggestions for running the activity; a list of resources needed; and further ideas.


Activity 1: 8700 kilojoules

Years 5 and 6, Year 11 Essential

Students understand that foods provide energy which is counted by kilojoules (or calories). They have background knowledge of the impact of additional weight or poor food choices on long-term health.Students use online calculators to select a daily food plan that suits their requirements to maintain their current weight. They alter that plan to include some treats, then calculate the exercise that would need to be done to burn-off the kilojoules of the extra indulgences.


Activity 2: Clinical trials and bias

Year 8, Year 12 Essential

Students understand that clinical trials testing medical interventions must be carefully designed to eliminate bias and to give reliable results, and that there are many ethical considerations.A PowerPoint presentation provides the prompts for classroom or small-group discussion. Students also do simple activities to demonstrate the variability of data and the process of randomisation.


Activity 3: Can snacks be good for you?

Years 7 and 8, Year 11 General

Students work with a large set of real data from CSIRO. They have to make decisions on how to organise the data in order to analyse whether the intervention of a specially designed snack has been successful or not.


Reading: Glucose, insulin and diabetes

A brief summary of the body’s use of glucose, the production of insulin and the effects of diabetes.

Unsorted raw data

This file contains the raw data of 200 people who participated in a clinical trial on the impact of two snacks on glucose levels.

Possible answers

This file contains the culled and sorted data of 200 people who participated in a clinical trial on the impact of two snacks on glucose levels. It suggests some possible ‘answers’.

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