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HSFPP Weekly Update # 223—A Moment on Your Taste Buds, a Lifetime on Your Wallet

Message from Flashman: This year we are assisted by three college students from various backgrounds so we can better show the relationship of money management to other areas of teens’ life and behavior. This week’s update is on eating habits and money (risk management and investing).


Message from Cindy: Hello! I’m a senior in the Human Nutrition and Family Sciences programs at the University of Kentucky. I recently began working with Dr. Flashman and will help with this program. My goal for these updates is to let you know a few of the tips that I’ve picked up from life so far, tips that you don’t normally learn in school.


Note to educators:

For those of you who are teaching a business or math class, following are the answers to the follow-up activity near the end of this update:

Calculator Web site:

Start at Age 17 with a $50 deposit to open an account and compound either yearly or monthly, as well as at various interest rates over a period of 50 years. With this activity, teens will begin to learn the benefits of compound interest.

Answers to calculations:

4% annual compounding = $91,955.58
7% annual compounding = $245,390.21$
7% monthly compounding = $274,042.57
9% annual compounding = $492,768.01


This week’s update relates to the following academic expectations:


Academic Expectation 2.13
Students understand and appropriately use statistics and probability.
Units 2-6

Social Studies

Academic Expectation 2.18
Students understand economic principles and are able to make economic decisions that have consequences in daily living.
Units 2-6

Practical Living

Academic Expectation 2.29
Students demonstrate skills that promote individual well-being and healthy family relationships.
(Program material addresses risky behavior and its impact on teens.)

Academic Expectation 2.31
Students demonstrate the knowledge and skills they need to remain physically healthy and to accept responsibility for their own physical well-being.
(Program material addresses the impact of risky behavior particularly related to automobile driving.)

Vocational Studies

Goal 3

Academic Expectation 3.1
Students demonstrate positive growth in self-concept through appropriate tasks or projects
Units 1-7

Goal 5

Academic Expectation 1.1
Students use reference tools such as dictionaries, almanacs, encyclopedias, and computer reference programs and research tools such as interviews and surveys to find the information they need to meet specific demands, explore interests, or solve specific problems.
Units 1-7


Web Site Pick of the Week:


In the New$... A Moment on Your Taste Buds, a Lifetime on Your Wallet

by Cindy Cockerham, senior in the Human Nutrition and Family Sciences programs at the University of Kentucky

Eating is  very pleasurable, as well as necessary for us to live. The problem comes when the pleasure of eating leads to unhealthy behavior. According to government dietary guidelines, the average high school student needs about 1800 to 2200 calories a day for a sedentary lifestyle. The difference between the numbers depends on whether you are male or female. However, the majority of you exceed that amount by hundreds of kilocalories. Those of you who get little, if any, physical activity, and who have a slow metabolism (as most humans do as they get older), are constantly gaining weight. This can lead to being overweight or obese, and worse yet, unhealthy. Being obese can lead to numerous chronic diseases. Cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and even some cancers are all directly linked to being obese. Now think of people you know, family or friends, who have any of these diseases. How much happier would they be if they were healthy? If they could go back in time, surely they would choose to develop healthier habits in order to prevent the disease from ever happening, wouldn’t they?  Unfortunately, by that time it’s too late and the person has to deal with the consequences. You wouldn’t want your life to become limited in such a way, would you?

Teens have a short-term perspective, however, and usually feel invincible. Eating provides immediate gratification not found in many other activities. However, extra baggage makes you uncomfortable and self-conscious and increases your risk for chronic diseases as you get older. And it also costs you money: you not only spend more for food, but also for medical expenses. According to the Centers for Disease Control, a sustained 10% weight loss will reduce an overweight person’s lifetime medical costs by $2,200 – $5,300 by lowering costs associated with hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and high cholesterol.

To reiterate: Your quality of life decreases significantly as you become more and more overweight. It’s hard to find any positives in the situation, so how can we help solve the crisis of overweight and obesity in America?

Saving your money instead of spending it on unneeded high-calorie snacks is ideal, but some students find that they are dragging towards the end of the school day and they need a boost of energy. So the first idea would be to bring food from home.

The idea of packing a lunch may seem lame to the majority of you but, as a broke college student trying to make my way through my undergraduate degree, I find that packing snacks is definitely the way to go. It’s easy to fall for the convenience of the $1.25 bag of chips and a $1.25 coke from the vending machines, but to me it isn't worth it. Spending this much once a day at school or after school amounts to $12.50 each week. If you go to school for 40 weeks out of the year, then that comes to $500 a year! That’s a lot of to spend on something that isn’t essential.

I would rather drink from a water fountain and bring healthy snacks to school with me.  Not only am I saving money,  I am also controlling what I eat and gaining control of my life.

When you are hungry and you decide to find something to eat, your brain often tells you to get the quickest snack you can find. More often than not, what you find will be a high-fat/high-sugar food, especially if you get it from a vending machine. These high-fat foods will give you a feeling of fullness really fast, but when consuming empty calorie foods (soda, candy bars, etc.), this feeling of fullness will not last; and in a couple of hours you will be hungry again. You therefore are likely to splurge for another candy bar or bag of chips from the vending machine later on. So the idea is to bring food that is low in fat and sugar, and high in protein and fiber, so it will give you a longer-lasting feeling of satisfaction.

If packing a lunch is too much of a hassle for your busy lifestyle, then you might choose healthier, more nutrient-dense foods when ordering from fast-food menus or choosing from a vending machine? A nutrient-dense food is one that supplies plenty of vitamins and minerals and relatively few calories. If you are spending your money on food, anyway, then you might as choose real nourishment. Fast-food places are getting better at providing a variety of healthy options. For example, you could get a grilled chicken wrap with low-fat ranch dressing instead of the fried chicken wrap with regular ranch dressing. Or you could order a fruit cup instead of a brownie or  other high-fat dessert.

 Combine these healthy eating habits with a little exercise and you will be off toward a healthy, happy life. You should get around 30-60 minutes of moderate exercise a day. Find an exercise that suits you well and keep at it. I like to go to a nearby indoor pool with a friend and swim laps or go to the nearest walking trail and take in all the beautiful scenery. But believe me, I didn’t start out liking to exercise. It’s been a constant battle, but it has definitely been worth it. Also, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and walking to friends’ houses are great ways to increase your physical activity.
 Remember: being overweight is costly. Not only do you spend more money on food than you really need to, you also put yourself at risk for chronic diseases and spend more money on medical costs than a healthy person does.


U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2008, September 15). Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: Preventing Obesity and Chronic Diseases Through Good Nutrition and Physical Activity. Retrieved October 26, 2009, from

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, & U.S. Department of Agriculture. (2005). Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Chapter 2: Adequate Nutrients Within Calorie Needs. Retrieved October 26, 2009, from


Discussion Questions:

  1. What could you do with this money you save by bringing healthy snack food to school?

  2. Would bringing healthier, less expensive snack foods to school with you help you meet your short- and long-term goals that you developed earlier?

  3. If you begin saving your money as a freshman, saving the estimated $500/year, as discussed in this week’s news story, you will have saved $2000 by your senior year, plus interest if you invest the money. If you continued this saving habit throughout college and your working career, about how much money could you possibly save up by Age 50 simply by packing a lunch?

  4. Besides saving you money on food, how else could eating better affect your financial health in the long term? 

  5. Did you realize that eating better would save your money in the long run? Yes___ No___ why?  

  6. Overweight persons get sick more often and take longer to recover from illnesses. Do you think the extra costs for medical bills will be worth it? Yes ___  No ___. Why?

Activities for Teens:

Business, Practical Living Class: Use the calculator at to use to answer the following question:

If you open an investment account with $50 and then invest $50 monthly for 50 years at:

4% compounded yearly: what would it be worth in 50 years = $________

7% compounded yearly: what would it be worth in 50 years = $________

7% compounded monthly: what would it be worth in 50 years = $________

9% compounded yearly: what would it be worth in 50 years = $________

What did you learn from doing these calculations?

Were you surprised by the difference between monthly and yearly compounding the longer you invest?

Were you surprised about how much difference that a mere 2% or 3% change in the interest rate will make, the longer you invest?


English, History, Vocational Education Class: Research and write a paper on food advertising and its relation to the types of food that children and teenagers eat. What is the nutrimental value of the types of foods that Americans ate 100 years ago compared to today?  Three pages plus endnotes and bibliography. Provide at least three sources; only one of these sources may be an encyclopedia, and at least one must be an article from the last three years. As for encyclopedias, Americana and Britannica are to be preferred over World Book.


Kentucky High School Financial Planning Program

The purpose of the HSFPP financial updates, video lessons, and Web site is to assist county Extension agents, credit union educators, high school teachers, and parents who home school their teenagers so that they may improve the economic well-being of our teenagers; and also to show educators how the HSFPP, updates, and video lessons meet Kentucky core concepts. The Web site, updates, and video lessons are provided by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, and are free to all educators. The list of core concepts and order form for free program materials including the student guide and instructors manual can be found on the Kentucky HSFPP home page.

If you are not already on our listserv:
The video lessons are available only to members of our listserv and will not be posted to the HSFPP Web site because of the timeliness of the information. If you would like to receive our video lessons, which are sent to our listserv biweekly, on alternate weeks from these updates, please sign up at the following page of our Web site:
The use of any trade names or products does in no way constitute a recommendation for this product.



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