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June 3, 2009

Picture Me Healthy: Photo-Based Inquiry for Youth Expression Informs Policy and Environmental Change

Lara Khalil, MPH, RD, Project Director for Healthy Eating Research

Participants took photographs in various environments to illustrate perceived barriers and facilitators to being healthy. Semi-structured interviews, writing assignments, and group sessions, combined with photographs, illuminated youth perceptions.Photography is an excellent tool for enabling young people to express their perspectives. Adapting elements of existing participatory photography methods (Photovoice and Literacy through Photography), we developed and conducted a method called Photo-Based Inquiry (PBI) with 83 North Carolina elementary and middle school students.

Future approaches to policy implementation and environmental change, including nutrition and physical activity standards in NC elementary and middle schools, must be grounded in a thorough understanding of student perceptions and priorities. Data (including photographs) will be used to educate stakeholders, such as school administrators, school staff, teachers, parents, and policy makers, about student perceptions in order to guide school nutrition and fitness policy design and implementation.

Seminar will be held in Room 236 of 1700 MLK Jr Blvd. Please bring your own lunch; fruit and water will be provided.

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