Monday, March 15, 2010

Reading Changes Body Mass Index in Girls

This study in Pediatrics is very creative and intriguing. Thirty one of 81 girls, ages 9-13, were randomly assigned to read an intervention novel which was a story about an overweight girl who discovers improved health and self worth. Thirty three girls read a control novel and 17 girls read no novel. Follow up occurred 1-2 months later with the girls who read the intervention novel showing a significant greater reduction in body mass index (BMI) compared to the control group. Girls in both the intervention and control group had a significantly lower BMI change than the girls who read no book. The authors concluded that more research is needed to see if this would help other overweight and obese girls.

I equate this to being similar to a more mature social story combined with positive affirmations. Seems like a great, simple way to empower girls to change their lifestyle habits independently.

Reference: Bravender, Terrill, Russell, Alexandra, Chung, Richard J., Armstrong, Sarah C. A "Novel" Intervention: A Pilot Study of Children's Literature and Healthy Lifestyles Pediatrics 2010 125: e513-e517

3 comments:

Stacey,momof 2 said...

This makes me smile.. my son who is 7 and has SPD is a GREAT reader-- when we got our Wii this Christmas, my husband and I were trying to figure out all the cords, and such-- Shane was being so inquizitive-- I finally gave the manual to him-- he read it and -- the amazing thing is he learned some things that I had not... now when the Wii is acting odd... I ask my son for help!
I give this post a thumbs up... neither of my kids is over-weight-- so I need a story about picking up their room and following the directions the first time! :)

Your Therapy Source Inc said...

Stacey, Haha - any mother could use that book! Video games and technology level the playing field for all ages. It is hard to think of other activities where adults have no problem asking younger kids to help teach them something.

TheRextras said...

Social story is exactly what came to my mind. When you designate it 'more mature' - well, doesn't all reading influence children in some way? Having two avid and encouraged readers, their teen years have been challenging to keep appropriate material in there hands>eyes>minds vs. JUNK. Just like with tv and movies.

Barbara