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Novel approach to weight loss


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Beacon
What topic is more dangerous to bring
up than abortion, religion or politics?

That would be females and bodyweight, which I call the nuclear fourth rail of society.


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Be that as it may, I can't ignore some
interesting research about how reading a novel containing messages
about good health and self-esteem seems to have helped some
overweight girls to lose weight.

Researchers at the Duke University
School of Medicine did a study on girls aged 9-13 who were enrolled
in a weight-management program. In addition to the program, 31
of the girls were given a book to read, “Lake Rescue,” from the
Beacon Street Girls series by Annie Bryant. (These books are new to
me, but I'll be hitting the library in search of them today.)

The story involves an overweight girl
who goes on an outdoor school trip that changes her life, her
self-image and her self-confidence, while teaching her the value of
physical activity.

Another 33 girls read a different
Beacon Street Girls book, one that had nothing to do with weight
management but did promote healthy self-esteem messages.

A third group of girls in the program
did no special reading.

The girls were studied for six months.
The ones who read “Lake Rescue” had an average decline in body
mass of 0.71. Those who didn't read the book, but were in the
weight-management program, had an average increase of .05. (The girls who read the other Beacon Street book had a slight decrease in body mass.)

Whether one's children are thin as
rails or need a little push to watch what they eat and stay active
(and those groups are NOT mutually exclusive), the Beacon Street Girls series might be worth exploring. I'm hoping they might engage our reading-resistant middle schooler to crack open a book.

---Greg

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