Abstract for: How Sweet is Sugar?

Obesity is currently a global epidemic. According to the World Health Organization’s data worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975. But obesity is preventable. The fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is energy imbalance caused by increased inflow by energy-dense foods and decreased outflow by physical inactivity. Ministry of National Education in Turkey includes "balanced nutriton" as a fundamental life skill in life sciences curriculum. We developed an activity in 2015 for raising awareness in primary school students about sugar, the carbohydrate, the basic ingredient in energy-dense foods. Since then activity is updated and become a two week program including more than ten activities. Systems thinking tools are used throughout the program. Ladder of inferences to see then change in metal models, behaviour over time graphs in a game developed to show behaviour patterns of glucose and insulin in blood, stok-flow and causal loops diagrams for understanding dynamics of glucose (sugar) in the body. Results show that, students can easily change their behaviour once they understand the dynamics. But external factors like school environment and habits in the family are very determinant for a sustainable effect. We want to share our experience in a practitioner application poster.