Proceedings of The International Conference on Teaching, Learning and Education
Towards A Healthy Diet by the Hand of Phileas Fogg and Passepartout
Beatriz Mederer-Hengstl Aurora Bueno-Cavanillas Pilar Núñez-Delgado
The importance of a healthy diet is unquestionable nowadays. Scientific evidence shows increased risk of obesity, diabetes as well as cardiovascular diseases attributable to an inadequate diet, both in developed and developing countries. At the same time, the dietary patterns of our population are increasingly based on nutrient-poor foods with high levels of fat, gradually moving away from a healthy eating pattern. Achieving healthy habits in our fast-food society might not be an easy task. Research undertaken in school contexts after interventions through educational programmes indicates more or less significant results in the short term. The problem lies in how to instil understanding and awareness about the importance of dietary changes and ensure the acquisition of good eating habits. Schools can and must provide a variety of opportunities to allow constructive dialogues and an effective consciousness. The aim of this paper is to reveal how the reading of a classic novel in a fourth-grade class might become a link in the chain which enables the promotion of health-consciousness about food in children, simultaneously with the implementation of curricular contents in both Spanish and English languages. This task provoked an enriching and reflective dialogue whilst creating a positive and appropriate climate for the development of a conscious attitude and the subsequent construction of healthy behaviours. The discussion with 9-10-year-old children regarding messages derived after the reading of children literature, promotes changes in the perception of healthy lifestyles.
Keywords: eating habits; health education; food consciousness; school context; classic literature.