Jump Start Health! Practical Ideas to Promote Wellness in Kids of All Ages
reviewed by Glenn Hushman - June 22, 2011
Title: Jump Start Health! Practical Ideas to Promote Wellness in Kids of All Ages
Author(s): David Campos
Publisher: Teachers College Press, New York
ISBN: 0807751782, Pages: 240, Year: 2011
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David Campos wrote the book Jump Start Health! Practical Ideas to Promote Wellness in Kids of All Ages primarily for individuals currently working with children and adolescents in an educational setting or teaching in a K-12 setting. The intent of Camposs book is to offer a resource for teachers to help address current obesity and nutrition issues of children and adolescents by providing information and activities in a practical and accessible fashion.
The book is divided into seven chapters. The first chapter covers obesity and the epidemic of unhealthy practices of society with a specific focus on children. This chapter begins with current trends of obesity, proceeds to discuss why current negative health trends of children should concern society, and goes on to reasons why it is an important tool to help make positive changes for the health of children.
Chapter Two builds on the introduction by shifting the focus from the obesity epidemic to current programs that advocate health and wellness. The main topics covered are media influence and a discussion of the plethora of programs offered by government organizations that intend to inform society about current health trends and promote positive health and physical activity practices. These discussed programs include Healthy People 2010, My Pyramid, Lets Move, Healthier US, Center for Disease Control programs, and US Department of Health programs.
Chapter Three focuses solely on concepts of nutrition. The book takes the reader through a presentation of specific food groups that includes grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat, oils, salt, and sugar. Each of these food group sections contains discussions of basic principles and reasons why consumption of such foods is beneficial.
Chapter Four presents ideas on how to promote healthy eating habits. Campos first sets out general concepts for promoting positive eating habits, and then he provides examples of questions informed through Blooms Taxonomy that encourage student learning about eating habits. Of particular usefulness in this chapter is the section that describes 15 creative and unique lesson ideas to help educate children about subjects such as energy balance and portion control. The reader is encouraged to visit the Teachers College Press website to download free reproducible materials that accompany the 15 described ideas. All of the activities presented in this chapter are very accessible to the reader by including detailed step-by-step instructions and ideas of how to motivate students to learn the material.
Chapters 5 and 6 work together to first present an argument for more time dedicated to physical activity followed by ideas to help promote physical activity in school and community settings. Chapter 6 has a similar format to Chapter 4, offering the reader 13 ideas of how to help children become more physically active with supporting motivation advice and step-by-step guidelines of implementation. Campos concludes with a chapter on how to transfer the concepts from his book to a broader community setting with intent to promote physical activity and concepts of health and wellness outside the school setting.
Overall, Campos has written a textbook that is useful and accessible. This book would be a good reference for any physical education or health teacher that works with children. Designed so the reader can move between practical application ideas and theoretical concepts with ease, the book uses both theory and practice to orchestrate a quality lesson. Information is presented in a clear and concise fashion, allowing the reader to come away with a basic understanding of issues in health and wellness. The strength of the book is in the lesson ideas that focus on promotion of healthy eating habits and encouraging physical activity. A rationale statement accompanies each lesson idea, which is particularly useful when trying to motivate students to buy-in to a specific lesson. Moreover, each lesson describes objectives, offers step-by-step instructions, gives a clear idea of the activity, and provides a conclusion. A refreshing component of this book is that it allows the reader to move quickly between the theoretical content and practical application components of each topic.
Although Jump Start Heath! has a creative approach to lesson plans, it does little to add anything groundbreaking to the field of health and physical activity. I believe this book should be viewed as a supplement to an already developed library of resources as it adds to the current base of existing books on how to promote physical activity and health. For example, the information in the first three chapters on obesity, government programs for health, and the basics of nutrition is not only accessible in many other books and websites, but these subjects are often presented in greater depth elsewhere. Additionally, most of the ideas on promoting healthy eating habits and increasing physical activity share similarities to already published lesson ideas on the subjects.
Campos states his reasons for writing this book in the preface:
I empathize with busy teachers who have what seems a never ending flow of demands placed on them. And to comb through pages of an academic text to construct lessons to teach not only can prove to be cumbersome, but also can exhaust treasured time and energy. (p. ix)
This insinuates that this book would simplify the process of finding quality lesson material and then allow the reader to seamlessly implement such material into lesson plans with little effort. While many of the lesson ideas presented by Campos are creative and include reproducibles from a website, they are no simpler to implement than many academic textbooks on similar subjects that offer electronic ancillary materials.
In summary, Camposs book would be a useful addition to the library of any health or physical education teacher currently working in a K-12 teaching environment. Written in a fashion that avoids the jargon of some academic type textbooks, it is accessible and offers clear rationale, objectives for all lessons, and a step-by-step process for implementing creative ideas of how to motivate children to eat healthier and become more physically active.