1 Weizmann Institute of Science (ISRAEL)
2 Ministry of Health (ISRAEL)
3 The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (ISRAEL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN10 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 4596-4602
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Many non-communicable diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes and cancer are the result of a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Research shows that it is possible to reduce the risk of these diseases through a healthy lifestyle which involves healthy nutrition and physical activity.
The goals of our project are to encourage junior-high school students:
• to understand the main ideas of health and nutrition,
• to make educated decisions about their health and their nutrition-related problems,
• to pass on the nutritional knowledge to their parents and hopefully move the whole family towards a healthier diet, more physical activity and eventually, an overall healthier lifestyle (a bottom-up approach).

To reach these goals we developed a virtual interactive learning environment in the guise of a user-friendly and illustrative website:
This website is based on data compiled by the Israeli Health Ministry, and includes nutritional facts about more than 4,500 foods as well as the daily recommended nutrients and energy intake (DRI) for individuals. The website goes beyond the known Food Guide Pyramid and helps put the dietary guidelines into action.
Based on personal factors (such as age, weight, height and level of activity), the website will recommend, in real time, a daily energy and nutrients (proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins and minerals) intake for proper functioning and weight management. Next, this interactive program will help users create a personalized balanced menu and compare their consumption of nutrients with the recommendations. The result of comparison is depicted through various forms of knowledge representations such as text, histograms and charts, which cater to different teaching/learning/evaluating styles.

It is well known that applying knowledge in problem solving and teaching others are effective methods to learn. In our case, through E-learning, students, assimilate main ideas of health and nutrition, and can use this knowledge to improve their health and wellbeing and pass on the nutritional knowledge to their families.
virtual learning environment, E-learning, interactive website, DRI, knowledge representations, health and nutrition, teaching, learning, evaluating.