Only a Kid: Telling the Stories of Kids in Duke's Healthy Lifestyles Program
We all know that there is an obesity epidemic in the United States today, and despite intensive programs to address it, it continues to grow at an alarming rate. Obesity is the second-leading cause of death in the United States (tobacco is the first).…
We all know that there is an obesity epidemic in the United States today, and despite intensive programs to address it, it continues to grow at an alarming rate. Obesity is the second-leading cause of death in the United States (tobacco is the first). 65% of American adults are considered overweight or obese and 16-33% of children in the United States are obese, depending on the region.
This semester, through the service-learning course “Documentary Engagement” at Duke University, my students and I had the enormous privilege of working with Dr. Sarah Armstrong, Director of the Duke Healthy Lifestyles Program, and the kids and families enrolled in this model program. Service-learning is a teaching and learning approach that integrates community service with academic study to enrich learning, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Over the course of the semester, Duke undergraduate and graduate students met weekly with these youth enrolled in the Duke Healthy Lifestyles Program, in order to get to know them and over time, to tell their stories.
We wanted to hear directly from the kids and their families about what brought them to this program, the challenges and successes they have faced while there, and the wisdoms gained.
We are deeply grateful that these youth and their families have taken the time to share their stories and wisdom with us, as a way to guide their peers in the right direction, and hope you feel the same.