Research whether childrens literature can promote a health lifestyle

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The authors' purpose of this study was to research whether children's literature can promote a health lifestyle among school aged children. Given a specific series of books created to help school aged girls with their weight issues and self-esteem, The Beacons Street Girls, this study was done to find out whether this series of books actually does help improve these issues, which of the books works best, or if there is no correlation between reading these books and improving health and self-esteem.

3. Target Population Participant Number:

This article discusses and describes and study done among a group of obese girls between grades five and nine in the United States who were enrolled in The Duke Healthy Lifestyle Program.

A group of overweight and obese girls were given Lake Rescue, the sixth book in the series, and another group of girls enrolled in the same program and same age group read Charlotte in Paris, one of the special adventure books in the series. A control group from the same program was not given a book and were used for comparison to study the results of change in BMI.

4. Research Method:

This article did not outline very clearly each step involved in the method, as it is a review of the study, but as a future educator it was very interesting and important to look at. This study was a form of quantitative research because there would be statistical results and numbers discussed to compare the results between groups. This was a single subject research method as well as experimental research as the researcher collected data on one subject at a time and recorded changes in BMI and self-esteem, however there were still 3 different groups of participants being studied.

The participants in this research study were already enrolled in a healthy lifestyle program, their body mass index was measure before they were given the books to read (because the children are still growing BMI is the most accurate measure of a healthy weight). After a six month period the researchers measured the participants BMI for a final time to see the results of the study. Given the fact that these children were already enrolled in a Healthy Lifestyle program a control groups is necessary to account for the weight they would already be loosing as a result of this program alone, and not from reading the books. The results of the final BMI were compared between the two groups who read the different books and the control group who never read the books at all.

5. Article Summary:

This study is specifically asking if children's literature can promote healthy lifestyles. Approximately 18% of children ages 6-19 are overweight and something needs to be done to stop this percentage from rising, and even more so, bring it down. Since students spend such a large amount of their time in the school setting it is important to look at solution for obesity in that setting.

This article discusses and describes and study done among a group of obese girls between grades 5 and 9 in the United States. This study was developed to see if when these girls were given a book to read from the Beacon Street Girls series they would improve their health (BMI) and self-esteem. The Beacon Street Girls is a series of books developed to promote healthy active living and a positive lifestyle among school aged girls. The participants in this study were given either "Lake Rescue", a novel about an overweight girl who learns the importance of appropriate nutrition and exercise throughout her journey, or "Charlotte in Paris", which was a novel designed more to promote self-esteem rather than directly addressing weight issues. A control group was not given a book to read for comparison.

6. Results/Outcomes:

The study shows that the girl who read either of the two books as a part of their program decreased their BMI (body mass index) more significantly than the other girls who acted as controls in the study. Participants who read "Charlotte in Paris" also showed positive results, decreasing their BMI, but not as much as those who read "Lake Rescue". There was a significant decrease in the body mass index of the girls who read "Lake Rescue" compared to those who did not read the book. This study shows how important positive influences are in a child's life and they need as much support given to them as possible.

In schools it is recommended to ensure the library has the Beacon Street Girls series available for the students to read and discuss with a health class as a cross-curricular activity. The results prove that these books do help students with the health and self-esteem so it is worth a shot at getting school aged children to read them and test out the material. This series of books will help educators find a potential solution to obesity among children and it is very reasonable for teachers to make an attempt and have their students read these books in their class.

It would be interesting to do a similar study among school aged male children and compare the results. Doing a study like this would help understand if the literature was the reason the students decreased their BMI of if simply girls are more easily influenced by those around them. This article would have been much more affective if there were more point and steps outlined in the procedure and discussed the results in much more detail.

Annotated Bibliography 2

1. Article Reference:

Forester-Scott, Latisha (2007, Oct.). Sociological Factors Affecting Childhood Obesity. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, vol. 78 (8), pp. 29-47.

2. Objective/Purpose:

Culture plays a role in people's attitude towards exercise, nutrition, and body image. Obesity among children is a growing concern across the United States because of disease-related issues that shorten lifespan, increase medical expenses, decrease work productivity and contribute to immense psychological and social issues. The rates of obesity in children between ages six and eleven are highest among ethnic minorities, particularly Hispanic males at 25.5% and black females at 24.8%. This article is going to examine the different factors influencing obesity among ethnic minorities and discuss what needs to be changes to decrease these rates.

3. Target Population Participant Number:

As this was not a research article there were no set participants studied or evaluated. This article discussed school aged children among ethnic minorities, more particularly Hispanic and African American children. Different factors were taken into consideration when discussing the reasons as to why obesity is so prevalent among ethnic children such as low socioeconomic status, religion, beliefs and values. This article was written for current and future educators as a way of opening their eyes to the differences in students across America and to understand that they many have different opinions and views on certain topics. From reading this teachers can work at creating different programs that take into consideration the different needs of all the different ethnicities of students in their class and or school.

4. Research Method:


5. Article Summary:

This article examines childhood obesity among ethnic minorities, particularly Hispanic males and African American females as the rates of obesity in children between ages six and eleven are highest among ethnic minorities. Reasons such as physical activity, diet, cultural acceptance, financial differences are discussed to consider why so many children of ethnic minorities are being classified as obese.

Different ethnic groups prefer different types of physical activity, and not all students will thrive in the typical 'American' sports. Depending on their culture they may enjoy other types of physical activity not traditionally practices in American phys-ed. Food selections is another issue among ethnic children as their cultures diet is not normally offered in schools, or when they are the nutrition information is hard to come by. Also in the category of diet, many healthy foods are expensive and hard to come by when the living conditions are poor, income is low and the supermarket in the community doesn't offer a variety of organic and healthy choices.

Body image and cultural sexism are other main factors that can contribute to the increasing rate of obesity among children in ethnic minorities. For African American females there is a tendency to be more accepting of fuller figures, being over weight, and using the excuse of being "big boned". In some cultures the norm may be to prohibit girls from participating on co-ed activities once they are a certain age and forcing them to wear certain uniform when participating in physical activity, this may cause these females to drop out of athletics and decrease their physical activity level.

6. Results/Outcomes:

This article was not a research article therefore there were no statistical results and findings, however this topic would have been very helpful and interesting to see in a research article. It would have been very helpful to survey different students of different ethnic backgrounds and discuss questions such as the definition of obesity, the value of physical activity, self-esteem, etc, as well as to see how many of these minority students are obese or overweight in comparison to Caucasians.

Different ethnic groups have varying ideas about the meaning of overweight and obesity and as a future educator it is important to consider cultural factors that compound obesity in ethnic minority populations. Designing a program to reduce the prevalence of obesity must consider the cultural norms and beliefs to make the program realistic, effective and successful among many different ethnicities and this article showed the importance of doing so. As an educator this article will be useful to look back on and remember that not all people are the same and to keep an open mind when designing physical activity programs and lunch programs.