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Fitness and Nutrition

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Government in action on fitness and nutrition

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The U.S. government and women's health

BodyWise – Eating disorder educational campaign

Project leader: Ann Abercrombie, M.L.S.

Eating disorders are disabling illnesses that affect between 1-3 percent of young women in the United States. Congress, in the report language of Health and Human Services (HHS ) Appropriations for Fiscal Year (FY) 1998, directed the Office on Women's Health (OWH) to "develop a national media campaign targeting, but not limited to adolescent girls and women, to educate the public about healthy eating behavior." OWH is sponsoring the BodyWise Eating Disorder Educational Campaign (archive) targeting middle school educators and providers. The goal of the program is to increase awareness and knowledge of eating disorders, including their signs and symptoms, steps to take when concerned about students, and ways to promote healthy eating and reduce preoccupation with weight and size. An information packet is available that includes materials emphasizing the links among healthy eating, positive body image, and favorable learning outcomes, with some materials targeted to specific racial and ethnic groups.

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BodyWorks: A toolkit for healthy girls and strong women

Project leader: Ann Abercrombie, M.L.S.

Related information

BodyWorks is a program designed to help parents and caregivers of young adolescent girls (ages 9 to 13) improve family eating and activity habits. Using the BodyWorks Toolkit, the program focuses on parents as role models and provides them with hands-on tools to make small, specific behavior changes to prevent obesity and help maintain a healthy weight.

The BodyWorks program uses a train-the-trainer model to distribute the Toolkit through community-based organizations, state health agencies, non-profit organizations, health clinics, hospitals and health care systems. The program includes one six-hour training module for trainers and ten 90-minute weekly sessions for parents and caregivers. The Office on Women's Health, developed BodyWorks following two years of formative research.

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Project leader: Ann Abercrombie, M.L.S.

Girlshealth.gov was created in 2002 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office on Women's Health (OWH) to help girls (ages 10-16) learn about health, growing up, and issues they may face. Girlshealth.gov promotes healthy and positive behaviors in girls, giving them reliable and useful health information in a fun, easy-to-understand way. The website also provides information to parents and educators to help them teach girls about healthy living.

The girlshealth.gov tagline is "Be Happy. Be Healthy. Be You. Beautiful." It focuses on the idea that being yourself — finding what makes you smile and how to live well — is what makes you "you." And that is beautiful!

Content last updated: January 15, 2015.

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