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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D.(Cermak Health Services)
Description: Noting that school-based prgorams that target obesity in children are often ineffective and may contribute to unhealthy behaviors to lose weight, this book presents a conceptual model for understanding both obesity and eating disordered behaviors and reviews evidence-based school interventions to combat this problem.
Purpose: The authors state that this book "shares how schools can build a positive environment that enhances student health through encouraging intuitive eating and mind-body attunement," in order to help "develop a plan of action that addresses EDs (eating disorders) and obesity concurrently, filling a noticeable gap in the literature left by books that treat EDs and obesity independently of one another."
Audience: It is targeted at school personnel. Catherine Cook-Cottone, an associate professor at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, does research on eating disorders; Evelyn Tribole is a registered dietitian who counsels individuals with eating disorders; and Tracy Tylka, associate professor at The Ohio State University has published extensively in the areas of body image and eating behavior.
Features: An introduction notes the need for school personnel to understand obesity and eating disorders and uses four case studies to illustrate students and their struggles with diet, especially within the context of school and home. Part I considers healthy and intuitive eating, defined as "a strong connection with, understanding of, and eating in response to internal biological cues of hunger and satiety as well as low preoccupation with food." The authors also discuss the 10 principles of intuitive eating. Other topics include the quantity and quality of food, as well as the reasons behind food choices. The next part explores "the healthy student approach," which consists of intuitive eating and nutrition, healthy physical activity, and mindfulness, self care, and emotional regulation. Part III describes school policies and prevention efforts that help empower students and teach healthy self-esteem. The book addresses the importance of screening students at risk, referring those who need treatment to professionals who specialize in eating disorders, and supporting students reentering school after receiving inpatient treatment. The book ends with an outline of federal school food policies, including ESEA (2010) and the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The book contains five appendixes: Definitions of Uncommon Disorders of Eating, Children's Eating Attitudes Test, Intuitive Eating Scale for Adolescents, Body Appreciation Scale, and Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionaire-3 (SATAQ-3; Adolescent Version). It also includes specific resources on healthy eating for school personnel to review. This book is easy to read and provides school personnel guidance on efforts they can implement. The figures and tables are extremely helpful in clarifying the text.
Assessment: This helpful book provides ideas on healthy eating for school personnel to implement in their schools. It introduces the "Healthy Student Approach," which is a holistic way of addressing obesity. Given the poor eating habits of many students, the book helps school personnel guide these young people in making better choices.