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G E M N O. 3 2 9 Jump Start Teens: Interactive, Cross-curricular Lessons for High School Adolescents ......................................................................................... Erika Takada, M.P.H.,* California found that there was a deﬁciency in learning to read the Nutrition Project LEAN, Public Health Institute, nutrition and physical activity re- Facts on food labels. 601 N. 7th Street, P.O. Box 942732. sources for high school teachers to use 6. Have It Your Way Fast Food. Stu- MS-675, Sacramento, CA 94234- with students.Therefore, the California dents learn how to make healthier 7320; Tel: (916) 445-3510; Fax: (916) Department of Education, Nutrition choices at fast-food restaurants. 445-7571; E-mail: email@example.com Education and Training prog ram 7. Eating to Win. Students learn about Cyndi Guerra-Walter, B.A., California awarded a grant to CPL to develop the common sports nutrition miscon- Project LEAN, Public Health Institute, Jump Start Teens resource kit as one part ceptions that are targeted toward Sacramento, CA of the FOR program. athletes and coaches, as well as healthy pre-game eating and ﬂuid Peggy Agron, M.A., R.D., California intake. Project LEAN, California Department of PURPOSE 8. Making News. Students learn about Health Services the media’s impact on consumer Jump Start is a set of eight interactive cross-curricular lessons. The learning behavior and how they can use it content of the lessons is based on the as a resource to highlight their *Author for correspondence perspectives and creative accom- comprehensive school health princi- ples and beneﬁts high school students plishments. by integrating physical activity and nu- On the ﬁrst page of each lesson, in trition into various subject areas with a sidebar, the student learning objec- INTRODUCTION information delivered in “teenspeak” tives are listed. Also listed in that side- and promoting active learning through bar are the approximate time needed to Healthy eating habits and regular phys- a hands-on approach that includes teach the lesson, preparation steps, and ical activity are essential to the health consumer and advocacy components the lesson’s cross-curricular links (e.g., and well-being of all adolescents. Data for media-, community-, and school- GEM math, physical education, journalism, from the 1997 Youth Risk Behavior based activities involving the school, language arts, social studies) (Fig. 1). Survey and Surveillance, however, parents, and the community. The lessons begin with a brief showed that among high school ado- overview of the topic followed by “Ac- lescents in California, only 32.5% were tivity Steps,” which include directions eating ﬁve or more servings of fruits IMPLEMENTATION and explanations for the interactive and vegetables per day. More than one- classroom activities.The activities range The eight Jump Start lessons are as fol- quarter of the adolescents surveyed ate from simple introductory activities to lows: more than two servings of foods typi- more in-depth, challenging activities cally high in fat during the day pre- 1. The ABC’s of Healthy Eating. Stu- that involve the acquisition of skills ceding the survey. At the time of the dents compare what they typically and knowledge.There is also a section survey, 54.4% of California adolescents eat in a day with the Food Guide titled “Extensions” that has optional were enrolled in a physical education Pyramid and learn the link be- activities for students to do. Finally, class, and, of those, only 38.1% at- tween eating habits and their “Teacher Background Information” tended daily.1 physical and mental health. includes basic information about the These findings have likely con- 2. Let’s Get Physical. Students assess topic and references to other resources. tributed to the 60% overall increase in their personal level of physical ac- Accompanying each lesson are supple- obesity in the last two decades among tivity, learn the beneﬁts of adding mentary materials, which consist of adolescents 12 to 19 years old in the it to their daily lives, and learn overheads, activity sheets, quizzes, and United States.2 They also emphasize new ways to incorporate more, handouts, as well as materials in Span- the importance of continuing primary with an emphasis on lifelong phys- ish (Fig. 2). prevention efforts throughout adoles- ical activity. cence.3 3. Teens Making a Difference. Students Food on the Run (FOR) is a explore the importance of their EVALUATION school-based program of California opinions and then identify a pro- Project LEAN (Leaders Encouraging ject they want to work on to make Jump Start was student and teacher Activity and Nutrition) (CPL) that a positive difference in their tested and included input from mar- prompts high school students to advo- school or community. keting, health, and education profes- cate for additional healthy food and 4. Advertising’s Hidden Messages. Stu- sionals throughout its development. In physical activity options, advances pol- dents critically examine advertise- 1996, focus groups were conducted icy and environmental changes that ments to become smarter con- with students and teachers from a va- promote healthy eating and physical sumers. riety of subject areas in three Califor- activity options in the school, and mo- 5. It’s In the Label—The Food Label. nia cities. Based on the focus group tivates students to eat healthily and en- Students compare the fat and ﬁndings, Jump Start‘s layout and con- gage in more physical activities. CPL other contents of similar foods by tent were developed and revised. ......................................................................................... 63 64 Takada et al./GEM NO. 329 In 1997, Jump Start was ﬁeld tested in the classrooms of three California public high schools and went through its ﬁnal revisions based on those results. Jump Start was completed in 1998 and distributed to a number of schools statewide. In that year, it was reviewed on its “Instructional Design,” “Skill Development Components,” and “Teaching Methods” by the California Department of Education, Healthy Kids Resource Center; it received their highest rating. In 1999, Jump Start was evaluated to learn how it was being used and by whom. Among those who had used it by that time, the response was very positive, speciﬁcally in terms of its ease of use, the level and types of activities within each lesson, and the supple- mentary materials. Responders indi- cated favorably that Jump Start did not require much planning to use. The evaluation also found that it was effec- tive with novice teachers and easy to use even without having a background in health. Among respondents, Jump Figure 1. Example of first page of a Jump Start nutrition lesson. Start was being used in a variety of classes: physical education, home eco- nomics, culinary arts, science, nutri- tion, and media. NOTE Please contact the corresponding au- thor for more information or visit our Website at http://www.dhs.ca.gov/ lean to access an order form or to download the entire kit. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors thank the following: Suzanna Nye, M.S., R.D., Chief,WIC Food Delivery and Policy Unit, Cali- fornia Department of Health Services; Nancy Gelbard, M.S., R.D., Chief, School Health Connections, California Department of Health Services; Sally Livingston, M.A., R.D.,Administrator, Nutrition Education and Training Sec- tion, California Department of Educa- tion; California Department of Educa- tion, Nutrition Education and Training Program; and American Heart Associ- Figure 2. Example of supplementary material for a media lesson. ation, the Greater Los Angeles and Western Affiliates. REFERENCES 2. Troiano RP, Flegal KM, Kucz- 3. Srinivasan SR, Bao W, Wattigney marski RJ, Campbell SM, Johnson WA, Berenson GS. Adolescent 1. Centers for Disease Control and CL. Overweight prevalence and overweight is associated with adult Prevention. CDC surveillance sum- trends for children and adolescents: overweight and related multiple maries, August 14, 1998. MMWR the National Health Examination cardiovascular risk factors: the Bo- Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 1998; Surveys, 1963–1991. Arch Pediatr galusa Heart Study. Metabolism 47(SS-3). Adolesc Med 1995;149:1085–91. 1996;45:235–40.
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