The U.S. Department of Agriculture has written four lesson plans aimed at teaching students how to eat, and is encouraging schools around the country to teach these plans to kids in high school.
The lesson plans are being paired with a new online tool called "SuperTracker," which lets students input all the food they eat all day to better track their weight and their eating habits. The tool also tracks their physical activities each day.
The lesson plans, which USDA presented as a 67-page online textbook for teachers, includes certificates that can be given to students who use the SuperTracker tool:
USDA's textbook noted that high school students are "increasingly in control" over decisions about their health, and said school officials should do more to make sure they make the right choices.
"While the decision to choose a healthy lifestyle is ultimately up to the individual, teachers have the opportunity to influence their students by providing them with the information they need to make knowledgeable and responsible choices," it said. "Teachers are a key resource for disseminating healthy messages, as they play a large role in shaping the views and behaviors that students will use in the future."
USDA said the lesson plans are designed to be taught over four 40-minute periods. But it's not clear if the plans are supposed to substitute for students' health classes or gym classes that they might be taking.
According to the textbook, the goal of the classes are to ensure students eat the right amount of the right foods every day, eat healthy snacks, and even "support others to eat healthfully."
It also anticipates that some students may not want to talk openly about their height, weight and what they eat.
"It is important to create a safe, 'judgment free' learning environment for students when using SuperTracker in a classroom setting," it said. "Keep in mind that some students may not be comfortable entering sensitive information such as their weight or food choices in front of their peers."
The four lesson plans are titled, "Track Your Snack," "What's Your Plan," "Three-Day Food Record," and "Build Healthy Meals."