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 Body Image 
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I know we touched on this topic Monday but I was wondering if ya'll had a specific time, event, or experience that made you aware of your body type. Weight seems to be on extreme ends these days...either children are too thin or over weight. What are some factors causing these extremes? What do you think we as teachers could do to help level out this madness? Do school lunches play a role in this topic? Have a great Thanksgiving!!! :D

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Ashley Huskins


Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:23 am
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I think clothes are important to teenagers. Being short and stubby, I could never find pants that fit, especially not anything stylish. Girls are constantly concerned with how their clothes fit or don't fit. I don't know how I can help this self-consciousness as a teacher, but generally enouraging students and improving their self esteem must help at least a little bit.

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Mary Carmichael


Tue Nov 23, 2004 8:07 pm
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I feel like some of the factors that are causing these extremes are media, peer pressure, and society. The media only portrays one body type and that one body type is seen as perfect, yet there are numerous body types. Also, kids are trying to make sure that they wear the name brand clothes, so that they are cool. Kids try to look like the images they see in the media with their clothes, make-up, and bodies, but that image that they see is unrealistic. Our society exploits thinness in every aspect. Children see this and therefore want to look the same way, but its not possible for all people. As teachers we should continually boost children's self-esteem and self-confidence up while they are growing up. This would help them feel better about themselves. We should teach children how to eat and exercise healthy, which could cut down on obesity and being too thin.

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Amanda Davidson


Sun Nov 28, 2004 9:10 pm
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I would say I have seen far more obese elementary children than overly thin ones. The over consumption of sodas and high caloric/fatty foods is on the increase while exercising is on the decrease. There is also this thing called x-box and play station which I think is also contributing to the overall health of children these days. And I do worry about the girls (mostly) who want to mimick the same body type of a runway model at the age of 13. I think it's sad how the average woman most young females see today in the media are extremely thin. I just watched a movie made in 89'-90' and I was surprised to see the leading lady looking like an average woman and I thought to myself, if that movie were made today the woman would have been 15-20 lbs thinner.

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susan meadows


Wed Dec 01, 2004 8:07 pm
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Good question Ashley!

Even as a young child, my mom established healthy eating habits with my brother and me, and I think that in my classroom, I'll make good food choices a part of my yearly curriculum. I'll introduce the food pyramid as a guide, stressing that fats and sweets are found at the top because they should be the smallest part of your diet. Also, my mom had some general guidelines that are easy for youngsters to remember:
1. The more colors you have on your plate, the better your meal
2. If something is green, chances are, it's good for you
3. In general, stay away from white, it's probably bad (sugar, white bread, marshmallows, etc)

We can have a week when we bring a different color in our lunch every day: red, orange, yellow, green and blue. Fruits and vegetables are the easiest examples of color, and hopefully most of the children will have something healthy to eat. I think that my contribution to healthy children will be raising awareness of good foods, highlighting simple rules that they can think about when choosing what to eat, and encouraging a positive body image.

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Morgan Gill


Fri Dec 03, 2004 2:02 pm
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I was a dancer, so the size and shape of my body was watched and controlled growing up. I even had to stop riding horses because my ballet instructors told me that it was causing my thighs to get too big from the developing muscles. That was unsightly on a ballet dancer. I gave up dancing after sixteen years because I could not handle the pressure and the competition. I saw some of my girl friends faint from weakness on the dance floor and on the stage from over exhaustion, under nurishment, anirexia, and bulemia.

Yes, school lunches (and I am generalizing, but overall) are terrible. Kids need brain food, not over pasturized, partially hydrogenated, mush.

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Nina Pinto


Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:46 pm
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When I was in 6th grade, I was an average size kid. But one day someone decided to give me the name Flabby Abby! I now know it was just because it rhymed with my name. But then I didn't know that and this nickname made me completely aware of my body. And actually to this day I am still concerned with it. So try be aware of what your students are saying to each other because it could affect them forever!

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Abby Hancock


Sun Dec 05, 2004 3:54 pm
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I agree media mostly definitely influences body image. Girls and boys alike are trying to grow up so fast nowadays...you can't tell if a girl is 14 or 18. Boys start taking weight gainers in middle school striving to look like the 30 yr. old men they see on television. Girls skip school lunch because they want a stomach like Brittany Spears. A lot times you hear students repeating what they hear their parents same at home. I know a girl I tutored last year decided to be on a diet because her mom was on one. Then you encounter the issue of explaining what a diet is.

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Elizabeth Puckett


Sun Dec 05, 2004 10:40 pm
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I honestly think school lunches are a big part of the problem. Kids are eating way too much meat and consuming too much dairy at schools.
School cafeterias should provide healthier options for kids that are also good tasting at the same time. Obviously fruits and vegetables are great, but there are so many other options out there that a lot of kids have never tried that are very appetizing and good for you, such as veggie burgers, tofu, tempeh, soy milk instead of regular milk, etc.

More stress also needs to be placed on exercise. Its a sad fact, but so many kids are lazy these days. They sit in a desk in school all day, only to return home to sit on a couch and play video games or watch TV. Unfortunately NCLB is causing many schools to cut their physical education programs.

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Jon Barth


Mon Dec 06, 2004 4:01 am
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