Girl Scouts Empower Other Girl Scouts to Consume 3-A-Dayâ ¢ of Dairy
Parra, Danielle Elizabeth
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Osteoporosis affects half of all women over the age of fifty, but can be prevented through proper nutrition and exercise early in life. Few studies have been conducted that document positive gains in knowledge about osteoporosis prevention in young girls and no research has been completed in which osteoporosis education is delivered by peers in children. A 3-A-Dayâ ¢ of dairy peer education program was developed by local Girl Scouts with the purpose of teaching other Girl Scouts about the importance of calcium intake and weight-bearing activities in the prevention of osteoporosis, overweight, and hypertension. Peer educators had significant increases in their overall knowledge of dairy (p<0.001) and self-efficacy related to 3-A-Dayâ ¢ (p<0.05) after teaching peer education programs. Program participants had significant improvements in knowledge of calcium-rich foods (p<0.001) and weight-bearing activities (p<0.001). Participants were able to identify the recommended number of dairy servings per day (p<0.01). Although parents indicated that their daughtersâ knowledge increased after participation in the peer education program, parentsâ ratings of knowledge were not significantly related with daughtersâ ratings. Qualitative evaluation indicated that these Girl Scouts enjoyed serving as peer educators. This research supports the importance of osteoporosis education in young girls and demonstrates positive outcomes of peer education for both educators and program participants.
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