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The New Normal?

What Girls Say About Healthy Living

By Judy Schoenberg, Ed.M., Senior Researcher; Kimberlee Salmond, M.P.P., Research and Evaluation Analyst; Paula Fleshman, M.S., Research and Evaluation Analyst. (New York, N.Y.: Girl Scouts of the USA, 2006). 116 pp. (Executive Summary, 36 pp.)

On January 25, the Girl Scout Research Institute released a new original research report entitled The New Normal? What Girls Say About Healthy Living that combined focus group research with online surveys of more than 2,000 eight- to 17-year-old girls.

The New Normal? What Girls Say About Healthy Living sheds light on the childhood obesity crisis by asking girls directly how they define health and what motivates them to lead a healthier lifestyle. Findings suggest that today's girls are defining "health" on their own terms, placing the same value on emotional well-being and self-esteem as they do on diet and exercise. For girls, being healthy is more than just eating right and exercising; it is also about feeling good and being supported by family and peers. The study also highlights the important role that adults, and in particular mothers, play in shaping the healthy habits and self-perception of girls.

This report has also been translated into Spanish. For information, call (866) 830-8700 or visit www.girlscouts.org/espanol.

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