This issue of The Forum is mainly nutrition-focused, addressing some critical nutrition areas with younger age groups including preschoolers and adolescents. Of the two papers that give us insight into nutrition and preschoolers, one focuses on using critical thinking in increasing offerings of certain vegetables into the diets of children from limited resource families. In its introduction this paper effectively engages the reader’s interest in the ‘critical thinking educational approach’ as well as the overall design and results of the intervention. Discussions of this topic and targeted group can make a potential contribution to the field, as increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables is one of the recommendations for reducing childhood obesity. The second paper provides some interesting information about the opinions of Head Start teachers, referred to as caregivers in the paper, concerning portion size for their preschoolers. Educators interested in developing educational programs for child caregivers on nutrition services might find this information valuable. The paper focusing on adolescents also concerns nutrition issues. In this case the authors discuss healthy nutrition behaviors among African American adolescents that should be of interest to readers.
Another paper, a feature article, addresses a conceptual framework for infusing behavior change theories into financial management program design and evaluation. These authors argue that educators can accomplish many goals including behavior change by designing and evaluating educational programs using several theories that are well known, but rarely combined in their described way, in adult and Extension education. Readers should find the author’s discussion and approach interesting.
Finally the issue concludes with a review of “The Fattening of America, How the economy Makes Us Fat, If It Matters, and What to Do About It,” a book on obesity and overweight, that was written by an economist with the assistance of a business writer. Their book helps us gain a better understanding of the underlying causes and powerful forces behind the obesity epidemic. Suggestions are offered for dealing with or confronting the obesity epidemic.
It is, as always, my hope and opinion that you will gain knowledge, resources, and ideas from these articles to assist you in your endeavors. Enjoy!
Jacquelyn W. McClelland, Ph.D.