Our youth don’t always have enough knowledge to make wise decisions about food and eating. Since these are important life skills, learning about it is fundamental as it is the basis for a healthy lifestyle. In Achla Drama, we combine drama techniques with nutrition topics to offer a fun and experiential chug. Through the process of acting, role playing and teaching others, students will internalize knowledge which they will then be able to apply on a practical level.
In 2006, NEDA, the National Eating Disorders Association, reported that there are 10 million cases of girls and women of all ages that suffer from eating disorders; it is also the third most common chronic disease among teenage girls.
According to intervention studies carried out in schools to try to decrease the incidence of eating disorders and diminish the impact of this disease, the more successful programs emphasized active participation of the students, while the didactic methods were less effective. (see studies by Wade and Shaw).
In Israel, there is not a lot of information on the numbers of girls(and boys) with eating disorders and disordered eating. However, it is known that these diseases are becoming more widespread.
One of the challenges remains that not all of children and youth have enough information and tools to make informed decision about food and eating. Since these are an integral part of ones lifestyle, it is vital that they acquire this information.
The “Achla Drama” workshop offers an innovative and creative way of getting students involved and having them learn about food and eating. It is our hope that through this workshop we can to prevent or lessen the impact of ED’s. By role playing and presenting original commercials, skits, etc., the students will internalize the material that they can then apply practically. For instance at the end of the workshop, we can plan and carry out a party with healthy food.
The language and atmosphere in the workshop is positive and constructive. One of the goals of the workshop is to have the girls become agents of good nutrition. (The above-mentioned stats are given to provide background information for staff. We will not dwell on them with the students.)