New Study: Girls and Obesity

Posted by on July 28, 2006

[posted from PA Nutrition Education Network listserv]

Recently the Girl Scout Research Institute published a study on girls? ideas about child obesity and adolescent health. More than 2000 girls ages 8-17 were surveyed from different racial, ethnic, geographic, and socio-economic backgrounds. The main findings are as follows:

1. For most girls, being healthy has more to do with appearing “normal” and feeling accepted than maintaining good diet and exercise habits.
2. Emotional health, self-esteem and body image play a critical role in girls’ attitudes about diet and exercise.
3. Girls have basic knowledge about healthy eating but often don’t act on this knowledge, and many regularly make poor diet and exercise choices.
4. Mothers exert tremendous influence as the most frequently cited source of health information and as role models for their daughters.

The study reported that programs that focus solely on nutrition and physical activity to reduce obesity ?miss the mark.? This paper provides us with important insight on how to effectively approach girls about healthy living.

Read the press release:

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