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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Beacon Street Girls

4E92312A-B55D-4F6B-B0D6-5ADE7E056E77.jpg

A new series of books for 9 to 13 year old girls may actually promote good health, says an article by Tara Parker-Pope titled Healthful Messages, Wrapped in Fiction.

This could be this generation's Judy Blume. Seriously, is there a woman out there that doesn't feel eternally grateful for Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

We must, we must, we must increase our bust!" {{{flashback}}}

Following anecdotal evidence from parents about how much the Beacon Street Girls books helped their daughters Duke University actually started studying the effects.

The Duke researchers studied 81 girls enrolled in the university’s six-month childhood obesity program, called Healthy Lifestyles. Thirty-one girls were given a copy of “Lake Rescue”; 33 others got a 2006 Beacon Street book, “Charlotte in Paris (Beacon Street Girls) (Beacon Street Girls)
,” that carries a positive message of self-esteem but doesn’t focus on weight or healthful eating. And 17 girls received the regular program counseling, but no book.

After six months, the girls who got “Lake Rescue (Beacon Street Girls, No. 6)
” posted a decline in average body mass index scores of 0.71; those who didn’t read the book had an average increase of 0.05,
the article says.

One hypothesis is that while reading is sedentary it's better than snacking in front of the TV.

Whatever, my hypothesis is that the girls were INSPIRED by positive media about healthy bodies rather than subjected to negative media about girls bodies.

What's that they say, 99% Inspiration and 1% Perspiration.

This is worth checking out. Can't hurt. As the article says, the worst that can happen is your daughter read a good book.




8 comments:

Violet said...

I've read some articles dissecting this study that find it less than on the up and up. One called it the "the most deceptive example of science by press release." It wasn't a blind study, wasn't large enough to be statistically significant, etc. Oh, and we are talking like 1-2 pounds here.

http://tiny.cc/vFi9s

I'm all for a good book with a good message, but as someone who was a chubby teenager, these kind of books only made me feel more like shit. I think they do hurt by reinforcing stereotypes.

Ash said...

Awesome! I love it when kids can find something other than sitting in front of the TV! My kids are 5 & 6 (girl and boy, respectively), and we don't do TV in our house. Of course, when they go to their mom's, they have video games and television... Hooray for something new to do at our home!

Tracee said...

Violet - maybe you should read them before you decide you hate them.

These books weren't out when you were a chubby teenager.

Violet said...

I read excerpts from them on the url I gave you. they were negative in my opinion.

But that's just my opinion, and everyone is free to think what they like. I loved reading books as a kid, and I think it is a far better activity than tv or video games.

Tracee said...

That link was from an obesity is a cultural myth and has no health consequences website. Not exactly objective, definately not inspiring.

I'll order review copies and let you know what I think after I read them.

Violet said...

Regardless of where they were printed, I READ THE EXCERPTS MYSELF and I thought they were negative. If you didn't, that's your call for yourself and your kid.

But this is my opinion, not anyone elses. Like I said, I remember a whole genre of fiction out there along these lines - which is the ugly fat girl loses weight and all her dreams come true. Of course the accompanying stereotypes are all about how as the fat girl, everyone hates her, she has no friends, boys only tease her, no one notices her accomplishments. You're effectively telling any young girl reading this book that 1.) this could be her if she gains weight, 2.) this is how one treats fat girls. 3.) If said fat girl wants love and respect, she should lose weight.

I was about 25 lbs overweight in high school and messages like this (and ensuing failures at dieting over and over again - which studies say only made me fatter in the long run) made me feel like a complete loser for not being able to pull of the fairytale ending.

BUT THAT'S JUST MY TAKE. We can, and often do, disagree about these issues. Which is fine. There are lots of opinions out there. I respect yours and hope your objectivity can reach those of us who think the diatribe on dieting and size is biased and that fat people deserve love and acceptance no matter where they are on their health journey.

Tracee said...

Yes, everyone regardless of weight deserves to be treated with respect.

Alex Elliot said...

That is really interesting. It seems like all I hear about are books that aren't great for teenage girls' self-esteems.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Beacon Street Girls

4E92312A-B55D-4F6B-B0D6-5ADE7E056E77.jpg

A new series of books for 9 to 13 year old girls may actually promote good health, says an article by Tara Parker-Pope titled Healthful Messages, Wrapped in Fiction.

This could be this generation's Judy Blume. Seriously, is there a woman out there that doesn't feel eternally grateful for Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

We must, we must, we must increase our bust!" {{{flashback}}}

Following anecdotal evidence from parents about how much the Beacon Street Girls books helped their daughters Duke University actually started studying the effects.

The Duke researchers studied 81 girls enrolled in the university’s six-month childhood obesity program, called Healthy Lifestyles. Thirty-one girls were given a copy of “Lake Rescue”; 33 others got a 2006 Beacon Street book, “Charlotte in Paris (Beacon Street Girls) (Beacon Street Girls)
,” that carries a positive message of self-esteem but doesn’t focus on weight or healthful eating. And 17 girls received the regular program counseling, but no book.

After six months, the girls who got “Lake Rescue (Beacon Street Girls, No. 6)
” posted a decline in average body mass index scores of 0.71; those who didn’t read the book had an average increase of 0.05,
the article says.

One hypothesis is that while reading is sedentary it's better than snacking in front of the TV.

Whatever, my hypothesis is that the girls were INSPIRED by positive media about healthy bodies rather than subjected to negative media about girls bodies.

What's that they say, 99% Inspiration and 1% Perspiration.

This is worth checking out. Can't hurt. As the article says, the worst that can happen is your daughter read a good book.




8 comments:

Violet said...

I've read some articles dissecting this study that find it less than on the up and up. One called it the "the most deceptive example of science by press release." It wasn't a blind study, wasn't large enough to be statistically significant, etc. Oh, and we are talking like 1-2 pounds here.

http://tiny.cc/vFi9s

I'm all for a good book with a good message, but as someone who was a chubby teenager, these kind of books only made me feel more like shit. I think they do hurt by reinforcing stereotypes.

Ash said...

Awesome! I love it when kids can find something other than sitting in front of the TV! My kids are 5 & 6 (girl and boy, respectively), and we don't do TV in our house. Of course, when they go to their mom's, they have video games and television... Hooray for something new to do at our home!

Tracee said...

Violet - maybe you should read them before you decide you hate them.

These books weren't out when you were a chubby teenager.

Violet said...

I read excerpts from them on the url I gave you. they were negative in my opinion.

But that's just my opinion, and everyone is free to think what they like. I loved reading books as a kid, and I think it is a far better activity than tv or video games.

Tracee said...

That link was from an obesity is a cultural myth and has no health consequences website. Not exactly objective, definately not inspiring.

I'll order review copies and let you know what I think after I read them.

Violet said...

Regardless of where they were printed, I READ THE EXCERPTS MYSELF and I thought they were negative. If you didn't, that's your call for yourself and your kid.

But this is my opinion, not anyone elses. Like I said, I remember a whole genre of fiction out there along these lines - which is the ugly fat girl loses weight and all her dreams come true. Of course the accompanying stereotypes are all about how as the fat girl, everyone hates her, she has no friends, boys only tease her, no one notices her accomplishments. You're effectively telling any young girl reading this book that 1.) this could be her if she gains weight, 2.) this is how one treats fat girls. 3.) If said fat girl wants love and respect, she should lose weight.

I was about 25 lbs overweight in high school and messages like this (and ensuing failures at dieting over and over again - which studies say only made me fatter in the long run) made me feel like a complete loser for not being able to pull of the fairytale ending.

BUT THAT'S JUST MY TAKE. We can, and often do, disagree about these issues. Which is fine. There are lots of opinions out there. I respect yours and hope your objectivity can reach those of us who think the diatribe on dieting and size is biased and that fat people deserve love and acceptance no matter where they are on their health journey.

Tracee said...

Yes, everyone regardless of weight deserves to be treated with respect.

Alex Elliot said...

That is really interesting. It seems like all I hear about are books that aren't great for teenage girls' self-esteems.