School Diary promotes healthy lifestyles to young Europeans
For the past 20 years, estimates of the number of overweight children in Europe have been rising steadily. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over 60% of children who are overweight before puberty will be overweight in early adulthood. Youth obesity is also strongly associated with risk factors for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, orthopaedic problems, mental disorders, underachievement in school and lower self-esteem.
Alarmed by these trends, Generation Europe Foundation (GEF) has assembled an international editorial advisory board of experts and national partners in order to promote healthy lifestyles among young Europeans. On 25 June, at a first meeting in Brussels chaired by Generation Europe Foundation, the team kicked off the production of the ‘My Choices' Planner, a new school diary available to 12-14 year old students and their teachers as of early October 2013.
The ‘My Choices' Planner is not only a diary, but a pedagogical tool based on a methodology that goes far beyond providing information: it teaches crucial life skills such as critical thought, goal setting and self-analysis. This way, young people are empowered to make and implement their own lifestyle choices.
The ultimate goal in the long term is to embed and consolidate effective healthy lifestyles education as part of national curricula.
In this first ‘pilot' year, printed copies are very limited and will be distributed for free only to teachers in the UK, Greece and Germany who commit to using the Planner consistently throughout the school year with their students, and provide thorough feedback on outputs and outcomes.
Orders can be placed by teachers in the participating countries via www.mychoices.eu.