Being Me: Promoting Positive Body Image – A Teacher’s Resource

on March 21, 2012

by Kiera

Action Schools! BC has recently launched Being Me: Promoting Positive Body Image, a resource designed to help elementary and middle school teachers promote positive body image among their students.

For those of you who are not familiar with Action Schools! BC, the initiative is a best practice model designed to help schools create action plans to promote healthy living, while at the same time achieving academic outcomes. Being Me was developed as a supplementary resource to the Classroom Healthy Eating Action Resource (CHEAR) which helps teachers introduce healthy eating into the classroom.

With increasing emphasis on childhood obesity, healthy eating, and physical activity in our society, it is becoming more important to consider the potential unintended consequences of healthy living initiatives. In particular, it is important to reflect on messages that are being delivered to children about body weight and shape.

The Being Me resource aims to support the development of self-esteem, positive body image, and to help prevent disordered eating. The resource provides learning outcomes, implementation ideas, and resources, and each lesson can be completed in the classroom in about 20 minutes.

Key messages of the module include:

  • Consider your  values, beliefs, and choice of language about body weight, shape and health
  • Role model positive body image and a healthy lifestyle
  • Promote health at every size through inclusive physical activities
  • Teach students how to look at media messages more critically. Unrealistic images of beauty are frequently linked with happiness, love, popularity and acceptance
  • When discussing bullying in your classroom, include examples of weight and shape-related teasing
  • It is normal for children to gain weight in advance of the rapid growth period that occurs during puberty. Girls usually have their major growth spurt at 12.5 to 13 years, while boys have theirs at 14 to 14.5 years. Note that these are averages; rapid growth periods vary greatly based on genetics and environmental factors
  • Teach students an understanding of internal cues of hunger and  fullness, and avoid using weight  tables or charts, or calorie counting in classroom activities
  • Each person’s body is different and we should respect, accept, and celebrate these differences.

To access the resource visit:

http://www.actionschoolsbc.ca/key-resources-equipment/supplementary-resources/being-me-grades-k-9

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