My Fitness Pal
Megan, Matt, Whitney, Acacia
What is My Fitness Pal?
- It is a website, as well as an app for iPhone, android, windows or blackberry
- A way of recording/tracking the food consumed and exercise done day to day. By tracking food and exercise My Fitness Pal breaks up your foods into the amounts of nutrients in each food so you have a better picture of what you are actually ingesting into your body.
- A place to set fitness goals and track your progress along the way. Fitness goals including maintaining the same weight, loosing weight or possibly gaining weight.
- It can be public as well as private, so people can keep their goals private or share their progress with friends.
- It also has a Blog Archive of posts promoting a healthy lifestyle.
- It also connects you to a community of individuals who are striving for similar goals to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Example of a Daily Food and Exercise Log
Tutorial of the My Fitness Pal Website
Tutorial of the My Fitness Pal App
How could you use My Fitness Pal in your classroom?
- action planning - through the use of My Fitness Pal students can assess their eating habits and reflect on their logs to see where they need to make improvements
- in Physical Education classes to log exercise
- for extra curricular sports - it is possible for you to use My Fitness Pal as a coach, to encourage your athletes to use it to log their eating and exercise
- in Health class - to see how thousands of foods are broken down into certain nutrients, this could be used at an Elementary or High School level
- in Wellness class - to log and reflect on eating practices
Please click on this link to view a Google Doc. Within this Google Doc you will see three lesson plans where Megan used My Fitness Pal throughout her internship. Megan used My Fitness Pal in her internship while teaching a Health 9 class. This Google doc will allow you to view all three lesson plans, as well as the handouts she used during her internship.
The point of this assignment was to get students familiar with the skill of action planning. I used the topic of Healthy Eating because it linked to another outcome in the Health 9 curriculum. To begin this assignment students were introduced to action planning and then introduced to the assignment. Throughout the assignment students logged what their eating and their exercise for three days. To make sure students were logging each day they had to show me the app in which they were logging on OR print on the previous day's log entry. Students then took the data they collected over the past three days and reflected on this learning by creating a draft of a future action plan that they could use to improve their eating and exercise habits. Students also did a research assignment to ensure that they knew the definitions of each of the nutrients.
Was this assignment a success?
I would say this assignment was a huge success! Throughout my internship, I didn't have any students who had trouble making an account. Each student had an e-mail address or used their parents to create an account. The students found the website very simple to use. I did not have to spend large amounts of time explaining the website or app. Students used inquiry learning to teach themselves how to use My Fitness Pal. The marks on this assignment were very high, I would say 80% of the students met the selected outcomes for this assignment. Some students were shocked about what they were eating and continued to use the app or website after the assignment. Overall, I would defiantly teach a lesson similar to this one again. Some small adjustments I might make to this assignment are...
- researching definitions of different nutrients before the three day log
- focusing more on looking at the logs and reflecting on the logs
- after looking at the logs from the three days, creating an action plan to better their eating habits and implementing that action plan and then redoing the three days of logging to see the progress
- reinforcing why we are using My Fitness Pal and how you can use it for a lifelong healthy lifestyle
How does My Fitness Pal support the Saskatchewan curriculum?
MyFitnessPal allows for individuals to gain an understanding of what healthy living looks like through applying the knowledge they gain from this app. In regards to the three goals, this app reinforces decision-making skills and requires individuals to take action to improve their health by having to individually log their food intake and exercise.
Broad Areas of Learning
Lifelong Learners—“ Students who are engaged in constructing and applying knowledge naturally build the skills and abilities to learn in health education.”
à MyFitnessPal—The way this app is set up, allows students to gain knowledge of healthy living and apply it to different aspects of their life.
Sense of Self, Community, and Place—“Students who possess a positive personal identity are able to establish and maintain meaningful relationships with self and others…”
àMyFitnessPal—This app puts a lot of responsibility on the individual to keep track and log what they are eating, and what type of exercises. In doing this, they are developing a positive personal identity. This app also allows you to connect and share your accomplishments with others.
Engaged Citizens—“Making positive and informed decisions for well-being broadens students’ understanding.”
àMyFitnessPal—In using this app students are developing decision making, as they are deciding to log their food and activities. I would hope to that students would be more consciences of what they are eating, and take that into consideration because they are going to have to log that food item later.
Health Literacy—“ Refers to individuals’ abilities to access and interpret information, develop understanding, and take action related to their physical, psychological, social, spiritual, and environmental health, and strengthen the capacity to make well-informed, healthy decisions.”
à My Fitness Pal contributes to the development of health literacy, in that the individual using this app becomes aware of what they are putting into their body, and the energy they are working off through exercise. They become knowledgeable about food, and this app gives a lot of opportunity for learning in the blog area. This app helps develop decision making in regards to an individual's holistic health, which can benefit them lifelong.
Outcome: USC9.5: Evaluate a variety of healthy food policies and plan to participate in the development, revision, and/or implementation of a healthy food policy (e.g., fundraising, feasts, canteen sales, extra-curricular events) in the community (e.g., home, school, arena, youth center).
c. Investigate and document principles of healthy food policies (i.e., one principle is the policy should be based on Canada’s Food Guide).
d. Establish criteria (from Canada’s Food Guide) for healthy food policies.
f. Analyze the influences on the development and implementation of healthy food policies.
g. Determine the leadership skills that can be used in promoting a healthy food policy.
Outcome: AP9.12: Design, implement, and evaluate three eight-day action plans that demonstrate responsible health promotion related to comprehensive approaches to safety, non-curable infections/diseases, romantic relationships, healthy food policies, addictions, tragic death and suicide, chronic illness, and sexual health.
a. Discuss the elements of effective action planning for health promotion.
b. Plan the required steps to complete the health promotion action plans.
c. Distinguish and use criteria to assess the design elements of health promotion action plans.
d. Develop and use criteria to evaluate the implementation of health promotion action plans.
e. Recognize and establish the supports necessary to implement the health promotion action plans.
f. Apply the steps necessary to achieve self-selected health-enhancing goals.
Outcome: W11: Make informed decisions regarding personal healthy eating practices based on connections to wellness.
a. Compare eating practices (e.g., number of meals, snacking habits, time of day/night, fluid consumption, kinds of foods) of the past to those of the present.
c. Explore some of the controversy that surrounds healthy eating practices and beliefs (e.g., nutrition supplements, digestive cleansing, mega vitamins, carbohydrate loading, vegetarianism, organic foods).
Investigate what is known about healthy eating practices (i.e., for children, teens, adults, athletes, pregnant mothers) from a variety of evaluated sources.
j. Examine the various nutrients (e.g., protein, fibre, calcium, omega-3 fat, vitamins) that should be considered for optimal well-being.
k. Examine and evaluate several different food guides or healthy eating recommendations related to personal eating practices.
l. Design a one-week plan for weight maintenance that balances physical output (i.e., calories burned through metabolism and activity) and food intake (i.e., calories consumed through food and drink).
m. Predict the long-term impact, on overall wellness, of consuming more/less calories than one burns over a long period of time.
n. Analyze nutritional factors (e.g., hydration, pre-activity meal, sustainable eating habits) that affect optimal performance for selected movement activities.
How might it be used to support digital citizenship?
Frequently Asked Questions
Does My Fitness Pal cost money?
No! It is completely free; you will never have to pay for its services.
Quote from www.myfitnesspal.com:
"Frankly, I thought that MyFitnessPal would not work. I figured it would start out free and once I was hooked, there would be a price involved...but that has not happened — free really means free. With a few clicks throughout the day, you are able to monitor your calorie intake, set goals and ultimately, see the scale trend down."
- Alida Marraccino (amarraccino)
If it is a free service how does My Fitness Pal make money?
This is a question that we also had, therefore we sent an e-mail to My Fitness Pal in search for the answer. We are still waiting for a reply from our e-mail. However, while waiting for a response we did some digging and have discovered that the numerous ads on the My Fitness Pal website contribute towards some of the funding for My Fitness Pal. Companies who wish to post their ads on My Fitness Pal pay the My fitness Pal organization a certain amount of money to display their adds on the website. My Fitness Pal then uses this money to make their services free to the public.
In order to continue adding features, improving our stability, and integrating with more industry leaders like Garmin, Fitbit and Apple, we have been adding many talented staff members to our team. We’re also actively investing in new features and improved technology, and we currently serve a global MyFitnessPal community of over 65 million users. And we have many exciting updates coming your way.
Rather than pass the cost of this growth on directly to our users, we have chosen, at this time, to broaden the presence of advertising in our program, so we can continue to grow and improve MyFitnessPal, while still allowing anyone with internet access to join and use MyFitnessPal to log their food and exercise, completely for free.
What would you do if a student did not have access to an e-mail or could not get a My Fitness Pal account?
On page seven of the Google Doc link, that you viewed earlier, you will notice that Megan has created the Chart Form of a Eating Log Book. Students who do not have access to My Fitness Pal can use this log book to log their eating and the portions that they eat. You could also create a log book that has an exercise log portion to it as well.
Are there any other apps similar to My Fitness Pal? What apps can be used with My Fitness Pal?
Yes, there are apps similar to My Fitness Pal AND even apps that you can connect to your My Fitness Pal account. For more information and examples of these apps please visit this link or view the screenshot below.