"The study's experimental group included 31 obese girls aged 9 to 13, who were enrolled in the Healthy Lifestyles Program at Duke Children's Hospital, a comprehensive family-centered weight loss plan that addresses patients' medical, dietary and behavioral needs. The girls read a novel called Lake Rescue (Beacon Street Girls #6), whose protagonist is an overweight preteen who struggles with low self-esteem, feelings of isolation and teasing because of her size. A group of 33 girls read a different book, Charlotte in Paris (Beacon Street Girls) (Beacon Street Girls) [by the same author, in the same series, which would seem to make the books comparable], which did not have an overweight heroine, and another group of 17 girls read neither book.
"At the end of the six-month intervention, all the girls who read books had lost weight, but the girls who read Lake Rescue lost more. They lowered their body mass index (BMI), a ratio of weight and height used to measure obesity, by .71, compared with .33 in the Charlotte group an average .05 increase among the nonreaders.”
Another way to look at this study is that it showed that reading a “problem book” actually helped kids with problems.
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