Atlantic General Hospital Brings "This is Your Life" to Promote Healthy and Active Lifestyles for Teens

01-29-2010

THIS IS YOUR LIFE!, a thought-provoking and rib-tickling live theater show, will be presented at four middle schools across Worcester County thanks to sponsorship by Atlantic General Hospital. In an effort to raise awareness and educate children and communities about obesity prevention and the importance of choosing a healthy and active lifestyle, Atlantic General Hospital is providing local middle schools with this comprehensive nutrition education program during the week of February 8, 2010.

Atlantic General Hospital and Health System lives its mission to improve individual and community health, placing a key emphasis on health education and prevention services.

Using the power of live theater, this fun-filled, national touring performance will help young teens learn how to see through media messages and peer group pressures in order to make healthier eating and exercise choices, while building positive body image and self-esteem.

Bringing on to the stage a life-size Barbie doll, improvisation, fun food skits, and audience participation, the THIS IS YOUR LIFE! program teaches teens that everybody is different
and that it’s important to treat your body right, whatever its size or shape. The program encourages students to critically evaluate media messages and peer group pressures in order to take charge of growing up healthy and fit. Students learn how to see through the thousands of junk food advertisements they see each year and to decipher food labels to identify the most nutritious choices. They discover why eating breakfast helps maintain a healthy weight, how to enjoy regular physical activity, and easy ways to get a balanced diet, even when eating on the run.

In addition to the live theater performance, schools receive comprehensive follow-up activity kits with materials for parents, students, teachers, and health staff to help keep the messages alive all year long.

“Atlantic General is very concerned about the chronic illnesses we see in our area,” said Dawn Denton, community education manager at Atlantic General Hospital. “We know that many of those conditions exist as a result of health habits that begin when we are children. For this reason the hospital has made it a priority to reach out to the youth in our community with a healthy eating/healthy living message. We know it is never too early to begin good habits, and these children are old enough to begin to understand the concept of our actions today affecting our health many years from now.”

Show times:
February 8, 2010
Snow Hill Middle School 8:45 a.m.
Pocomoke Middle School 2 p.m.

February 9, 2010
Berlin Intermediate 9 a.m.
Stephen Decatur Middle School 1 p.m.

Created by FoodPlay Productions, an Emmy Award-winning nutrition theater and media company, THIS IS YOUR LIFE! educates, entertains, and empowers adolescents, providing them with the information they need to balance their nutrition and physical activity habits for health and avoid the pitfalls of fad dieting and disordered eating.

While THIS IS YOUR LIFE! is fun-filled and entertaining, its messages are quite serious. In the last 20 years, obesity rates have doubled among children and tripled among teenagers. Type 2 diabetes, once a disease of adults, is now affecting children at alarming rates. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that of children born in 2000, one out of three Caucasian children, and one out of two African American and Latino children will get diabetes if current eating and exercise habits don’t improve.

On the other extreme, eating disorders, harmful dieting practices, and tobacco use are being reported among younger and younger children. By fourth grade, two thirds of our nation’s girls have gone on some kind of fad diet because they think they are “fat.” Up to 20 percent of today’s female high school students and increasing numbers of male students report signs of eating disorders.

Atlantic General Hospital is a 62-bed acute care hospital serving residents and visitors of Worcester County, Md. and surrounding areas of the Eastern Shore. Its health system extends a network of more than 25 primary care providers and specialists in nine locations to the communities it serves. For more information, visit www.atlanticgeneral.org.

THIS IS YOUR LIFE! was created by Barbara Storper, MS, RD, a leader in the field of children’s nutrition and Executive Director of FoodPlay Productions, with award-winning writer/actors Paul Wagner and Michael Dorval. The research-based program was developed under original sponsorship by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and has been highly evaluated—showing dramatic improvements in students’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding nutrition and health issues.

FoodPlay Productions is a national award-winning nutrition and health media company that creates touring theater shows, video/DVD kits, and media campaigns to turn children on to healthy habits. Since its founding in 1982, FoodPlay Productions has reached over three million children coast to coast with its live nutrition and health theater programs.

For more information about shows and other fun-filled nutrition resources, contact FoodPlay Productions at 413-247-5400/1-800-FOODPLAY, info@foodplay.com, or www.foodplay.com.

Categories: Press Releases