Policy Luncheon Focuses on The New Normal: What Girls Say About Healthy Living

Members of Congress, Staff Learn About Latest Girl Scout Research Institute Report

Girl Scouts of the USA, in conjunction with Women's Policy Inc., the Congressional Caucus on Women's Issues, and the Honorary Congressional Girl Scout Troop (Troop Capitol Hill), held a policy luncheon Jan. 26 on Capitol Hill for members of Congress and their staff to learn about The New Normal? What Girls Say About Healthy Living, an original research report from the Girl Scout Research Institute.

Policy LuncheonAt the policy luncheon, from left, Dr. Susan Finn, chair, American Council for Fitness and Nutrition; Kathy Cloninger, CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA; Cindy Hall, president, Women's Policy Inc.; Judy Schoenberg, senior researcher, Girl Scout Research Institute, GSUSA; and Dr. Lilian Cheung, department chair of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health.

The report combined focus group research with online surveys of more than 2,000 eight- to 17-year-old girls and shed 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

During the policy lunch, Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Kathy Cloninger led a panel discussion on the report findings. The panel commented on the report's major findings and discussed the role Girl Scouts continues to play in encouraging healthy living for girls. A second panel comprised of Senior Girl Scouts from the Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital spoke about their own experiences and insights about issues of health and wellness so attendees could hear what girls say about healthy living.

Discussion PanelKathy Cloninger leads a discussion with a panel of Senior Girl Scouts from the Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital.

The previous day members of the press and other organizations gathered for a press briefing at the National Press Club for the report's official release. During the event, attendees heard from a panel of speakers that included Dominique Dawes, Olympic gymnast and spokesperson for uniquely Me!, the Girl Scout/Dove self-esteem program. The briefing also featured a preview of Dove’s new Super Bowl ad as part of its Campaign for Real Beauty. The ad promotes the Dove Self-Esteem Fund, a supporter of the Girl Scout/Dove uniquely Me! self-esteem program.