SENIOR THESIS 1 / JANE PIRONE
THESIS STATEMENT I am studying how we reduce childhood obesity in United States by creating an educational tool kit about healthy food for young American children because I want to find out how this tool kit encourages children to learn about healthy foods and develops childrenâ€™s healthy eating habits while they are using the tool kit.
PROBLEM CHILDHOOD OBESITY “In the past ten years, childhood obesity levels have doubled in the United States. Nearly half of all New York City elementary schoolchildren are overweight or obese, and they are not at a healthy weight. Obesity can begin very early in life. In fact, in New York City, 1 in 5 kindergarten children is obese.”
PERCENTAGE OF U.S. POPULATION THAT IS OBESE (%) 35 30 25
* SOURCE: ANTHORS’ CALCULATIONS FROM NATIONAL HEALTH AND NUTRITION EXAMINATION SURVEYS (NHANES).
Figure 1 shows the share of the U.S. Population, by age group that is obese based on the BMI cutoffs. During the period of 197174, about 5 percent of children aged two to nineteen years were obese. By 1976-80, the share of obesity was slightly higher, but between 1980 and 1988-94 the share obese nearly doubled. By 1999-2002, nearly 15 percent of U.S. children were considered obese. Although the rates of obesity were higher for older children in every survey, all age groups showed an increase in obesity. Adult obesity also steadily increased, with the share of adults defined as obese larger than that of children in any given time period. Logically enough, increasing childhood obesity is related to increasing adult obesity. Obese children are much more likely than normal weight children to become obese adults. Obesity even in very young children is correlated with higher rates of obesity in adulthood. A study from the late 1990s shows that 52 percent of children who are obese between the ages of three and six are obese at age twenty-five, compared to only 12 percent of normal and underweight three- to six-year-old children. Therefore, childhood obesity is a major public health problem in the United States. Being overweight is not about looks. Many serious health problems are related to being overweight or obese, such as asthma, depression, diabetes and heart disease. As the prevalence and severity of childhood obesity increases, concern about adverse health outcomes in childhood and adolescence is rising. Obesity can cause great damage to the cardiovascular system, for example, and being over weight or obese during childhood can accelerate the development of obesity related cardiovascular disease. Likewise, obesity is linked with many disorders, heretofore seen primarily in adulthood. Even when the disorders do not present themselves in childhood, childhood obesity or overweight increases the risk of their developing in adulthood. Much the same generalization applies to the obesity-related disorders in the other bodily systems.
SURVEY CHILD’S FOOD PREFERENCES Childhood obesity is the result of eating too many calories. For example, most children who are overweight enjoy eating fast food, soda, junk food, snack, sweets, and unhealthy food. Every day, nearly one-third of U.S. children aged 4 to 19 eat fast food, which likely packs on about six extra pounds per child per year and increases the risk of obesity, a study of 6,212 youngsters found. Children who love fast food consume more fats, sugars and carbohydrates and fewer fruits and non-starchy vegetables than children who do not eat fast food. They also consume 187 more daily calories, which likely adds up to about six pounds more per year, the study found. Moreover, children’s current levels of fast-food consumption probably are even higher because of an increase in the number of fast-food restaurants and in fast-food marketing.
FRUITS, VEGETABLES 3.3% ORGANIC FOOD 1%
* SURVEY / INTERVIEW WITH 70 PEOPLE IN NYC FOOD STORES ( WALDBAUMS, CVS, STOP&SHOP, WHOLE FOOD, DALI )
CHILD’S ACTIVITIES DURING A DAY In addition, childhood obesity is the result of not getting enough physical activity. Children are staying at home more frequently, playing video game, and spending too much time with the computer instead of doing physical activities. For example, school-age children of working parents may increasingly spend their afternoon hours unsupervised, which may increase their screen time without doing physical activities. Children may be substituting other forms of media, including videos, video games, and the Internet, for television watching. According to a 1999 study, children spent 19.3 hours a week watching television, another 2.3 hours playing video games and 2.5 hours in front of the computer, implying just over one day (24.1 hours) of “screen time” a week. This lifestyle makes children obese easily and destroys their health. Therefore, parents and families must do a lot to help children reach a healthy weight.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES 8%
PLAYING VIDEO GAMES
* SURVEY / INTERVIEW WITH 70 PEOPLE IN NYC FOOD STORES ( WALDBAUMS, CVS, STOP&SHOP, WHOLE FOOD, DALI )
GOAL EDUCATIONAL TOOL KIT ABOUT HEALTHY FOOD Many children are exposed to many kinds of junk food through television commercials, advertising, packaging, and so on. However, they do not have an enough opportunity to gain knowledge about various healthy foods. Therefore, children should learn about various healthy foods through educational tool kit such as books, toys, board games, puppet set and so on. Around preschool age, when children particularly dislike new foods, it is important for parents to model healthful eating habits and to offer a variety of healthy foods to their children. Therefore, my goal is that using educational tool kit parents and teachers should teach children about what kinds of healthy foods exist in their environment; moreover, they should let children know that fast food is bad and that healthy food is good for their body. In addition, they should make children do energetic physical activities to become healthy without doing anything.
CONCEPT EDUCATIONAL TOOL KIT / HEALTHY FOOD BOARD GAME
Board game about healthy food as an educational tool kit is perfect to learn about healthy food for children because they are highly interested in playing games. Not only do they enjoy the game, but they also learn about a variety of healthy food at the same time. After playing this board game, children do not afraid of eating various healthy foods.
AUDIENCE PRIMARY TARGET AUDIENCE / AMERICAN KIDS AGES 6 - 7 My primary target audience is young American kids ages 6 to 7 who use the game as a learning tool. This age group has longer attention spans and continues to prefer structured activities to more open-ended experiences. They enjoy taking on new roles and responsibilities, but still require much direction from adults and frequently ask questions to ensure that they are completing tasks the right way. Moreover, the language skills of six-year-olds become increasingly sophisticated throughout the year. Their vocabularies rapidly increase, and their language moves beyond communication to provide a foundation for learning, including the development of independent reading skills. In general, their pronunciation of words is clear and they use complex grammatical forms accurately. Some 6-year-olds may continue to hold on to their picky eating habits while others may decide to venture into new foods and flavors inspired by friends and peers from school. Either way, this will be an excellent age for parents to begin steering kids into healthy eating habits. Ages 6 to 7 can clearly understand the rules of conversation and are able to talk and then listen. The board game helps those who teach groups of children about healthy eating and physical activity, and encourages individuals to take action to maintain and improve their health.
SECONDARY TARGET AUDIENCE / PARENTS AND TEACHERS
My secondary audiences are parents and teachers who use the game as a teaching tool. While children are playing the game, parents or teachers must explain why healthy food is good for our bodies and give children specific information about each food. Moreover, they should help children apply the knowledge of healthy food and energetic activity into their real life. One thing parents may want to watch out for is a child being influenced by their peers to want unhealthy foods such as soda, candy, and other junk food. Talk about how healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and low fat milk, are â€œgrowingâ€? food, and consistently reinforce the message that junk food is only for occasional treats. They can offer and encourage kids to try new dishes - ideally ones comprised of healthy vegetables - and even use what kids are learning about other countries at school as an opportunity to incorporate healthy foods, such as Asian or Latin dishes, into dinnertime menus.
INSPIRATION EXISTED HEALTHY FOOD BOARD GAME ( AGE 5+ ) THE GREAT FOOD RACE! Good - Reinforce the importance of healthy choices Information about healthy food, activities, and fast food - Provide small box for easy storage, fun kid characters - Depict realistic food images Bad - Little strategy : play progresses via chance - British terms may be unfamiliar to some families - Overall look complicated to focus on healthy food
PATH TO THE PYRAMID Good - Provide various images of healthy food - Bright colors for kids - Inform 4 categories of each healthy food - Depict realistic food images Bad - No reading required - Little bit difficult for ages 5 to understand the rule
GRUB! PLAY YOUR WAY TO 5 A DAY! Good - Reinforce the importance of healthy choices - Create childâ€™s own meal for 5 a day - Contain 132 question cards, 60 grub cards & spinner Bad - Difficult for age 5 to get too much information in detailed - Focus on learning system, not fun game
INSPIRATION 3D BOARD GAME TEXT
3D POP UP BOOK TEXT
PROTOTYPE 01 VERY FIRST IDEA / FUN HEALTHY FOOD PACKAGING The beginning of this semester, my first idea was making fun healthy food packaging for children to enjoy eating healthy food, not making a board game. In the market, most of foods for children are related to snack, cereals, sweets, and drink, not organic food. Obviously, the packages of unhealthy foods have bright colors and specific characters to get childrenâ€™s attention. But most organic food packages do not appeal to children because they do not have bright colors and specific characters. Therefore, I wanted to make fun healthy food packaging as childrenâ€™s toys. When it is opened, it shows the inside of fruits. Thus, children can learn about fuits of healthy food while they are using this package as their toy.
PROTOTYPE 02 CHANGED DIRECTION / HEALTHY FOOD BOARD GAME I changed my medium from packaging to board game as an educational tool kit because it is the perfect way to learn about healthy food for children and children are highly interested in playing games. Not only do they enjoy the game, but they also learn about a variety of healthy food at the same time. During the game, children can learn about what is healthy food and unhealthy food depend on how many points the food has. Moreover, they learn about many types of energetic activities.
RULE 1) Draw a die, move your character following the number on the die, and get scores. 2) There are 4 types of scores on the board. - Healthy food : 10 points - Unhealthy food : -5 points - Energetic Activity : 5 points - Not Energetic Activity : 0 point 3) There are 7 red square stage on the board. When children reach the red square stage, they have to do a activity following the instruction to get points. If they don’t do it, they couldn’t get any point. 4) The child who get many points than other people becomes the winner, and that means the winner is “healthier” than other people.
PROTOTYPE 03 IMPROVED IDEA / BOARD GAME = HEALTHY FOOD + ENERGETIC ACTIVITY The board game reinforces messages about healthy food verses fast food and various energetic physical activities. It is not a common board game, but very unique and special. It combines playing, learning, eating and acting at the same time. On the board, there is a long curvy road divided into several stages. Each stage has different colors such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.
RULE 1) Children can pick one card on their turn, match the color on the card to the same color of the road, and move their characters. 2) There are 3 types of cards in the game: healthy food card, fast food card, and action card. - Healthy food card : Move forward to match the same color between the card and the road. - Fast food card : Move back to match the same color between the card and the road. - Action card : Do one activity following the instruction on the card to stay on the road 3) Th action cards include eating and acting such as drink 1 cup of milk, eat 2 pieces of apple, find any vegetable in your refrigerator, dance for 10 seconds, do jumping jacks 10 times, leap frog 5 times, and so on. During the various activities, children can have an opportunity to taste several healthy foods and move their body without only sitting on a chair. 4) The child who finishes the game first becomes the winner, and that means the winner is â€œhealthierâ€? than other people. FEEDBACK - Need more eating activities in Do it card. - Need to be more interective like 3D format.
PROTOTYPE 04 DEVELOPED FORMAT / 3D HEALTHY FOOD BOARD GAME BOOK Based on feed back from my professors, peers, and parents, I changed my format to 3D board game because children is more interested in 3D format. Inspired by pop up books, I want to make a 3D board game book.
SCHEDULE / PLAN A SPECIFIC SCHEDULE / FOR THE PROJECT FROM NOW UNIL THE PARSONS FESTIVAL 1. Find many resources and methods about 3D structures with paper and pop-up books. 2. Make a 3D board game prototype 1. - User testing with peers, children, parents, and teachers. - Get feedback about prototype1, revise, and develop it. 3. Make a 3D board game prototype 2. - User testing with peers, children, parents, and teachers. - Get feedback about prototype2, revise, and develop it. 4. Make final prototype and user testing. 5. Design - Characters, patterns, colors, type, logo, instruction card, packaging, etc. 6. Find good materials/paper for the board game and cards. 7. Make a Final 3D board game book.
REFERENCE LIST Stephen R. Daniels, The Consequences of Childhood Overweight and Obesity, The Future of Children, Vol. 16, No. 1, Childhood Obesity (Spring, 2006), pp. 47-67 Robert C. Whitaker and others, “Predicting Obesity in Young Adulthood from Childhood and Parental Obesity,” New England Journal of Medicine 337 (1997): 869-73. Patricia M. Anderson and Kristin F. Butcher, Childhood Obesity: Trends and Potential Causes, The Future of Children, Vol. 16, No. 1, Childhood Obesity (Spring, 2006), pp. 19-45 Ana C. Lindsay, Katarina M. Sussner, Juhee Kim and Steven Gortmaker, The Role of Parents in Preventing Childhood Obesity, The Future of Children, Vol. 16, No. 1, Childhood Obesity (Spring, 2006), pp. 169-186 Sahasporn Paeratukul and others, “Fast-Food Consumption among U.S. Adults and Children: Dietary and Nutrient Intake Profile,” Journal of the American Dietetic Association 103 (2003): 1332-38. Donald F. Roberts and others, Kids & Media @ the New Millennium, a Kaiser Family Foundation Report, November 1999 (www.kff.org/ entmedia/1535-index.cfm [September 26, 2005]). Michael R. Bloomberg, Helping Children Reach a Healthy Weight, http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/diabetes/diabetes-healthyweight.pdf
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