Lifestyle Diseases Lesson Plan

Instructor: Heather Jenkins

Heather has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in special education. She was a public school teacher and administrator for 11 years.

This lesson introduces students to lifestyle diseases including drug and alcohol addiction, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. A group activity is included for students to create a public service announcement about one of the diseases.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify and describe lifestyle diseases including: drug and alcohol addiction, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease
  • differentiate between controllable risk factors and uncontrollable risk factors for lifestyle diseases
  • describe proactive behaviors to lessen the risks of developing a lifestyle disease


1-2 hours


  • Chart paper
  • Markers

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.


Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.


Text Lesson

  • Ask students to discuss a time when they were very sick. Have students describe how they felt and what happened when they were sick.
  • Review the lesson Lifestyle Diseases: Definition and Types, pausing at the 'Type 2 Diabetes' section. Discuss the following questions with the students:
    • How are lifestyle diseases different from illnesses like the flu, the common cold, or strep throat?
    • What is the genetic component for addiction and addictive behaviors?
    • How do drugs and alcohol affect the body?
    • What preventative measures can people take to not become addicted to drugs and alcohol?
  • Continue reviewing the lesson, pausing at the 'Cardiovascular Disease' section. Discuss the following questions with the students:
    • How does type 2 diabetes affect insulin production?
    • What genetic factors may predispose someone to develop type 2 diabetes?
    • How can people prevent themselves from developing type 2 diabetes?
  • Finish reviewing the lesson, and discuss the following questions with the students:
    • How does cardiovascular disease impact the functioning of a person's heart?
    • What genetic factors may influence whether someone develops cardiovascular disease?
    • What behaviors can a person engage in to lessen their risk of developing cardiovascular disease?
    • Why is it important for us to know about lifestyle diseases and how to prevent them?
    • How might doctors, health care providers, and insurance companies view lifestyle diseases differently than other infectious diseases, such as the flu or a stomach virus?

Controllable and Uncontrollable Risk Factors

  • Divide students into small groups, and provide each group with chart paper and markers.
  • Assign each group one of the three lifestyle diseases discussed in the lesson. Have them draw pictures to reflect the controllable and uncontrollable risk factors for their disease on the chart paper. For example, if a group was assigned type 2 diabetes, they might draw a person sleeping on the couch, since inactivity is a controllable risk factor linked to type 2 diabetes.
  • When groups are finished, have them share their charts with the class.
  • Have students complete the lesson quiz.

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