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Inactive Brains

An Interrupted Case Study

Co Authors:

David K. Spierer
School of Health Professions
Long Island University–Brooklyn Campus

Sandra Williams
College of Nursing
University of South Alabama–Springhill Campus

Jim Lyttle
School of Business, Public Administration and Information Sciences
Long Island University–Brooklyn Campus


Two speakers have been invited to a town hall meeting to help decide a hotly contested issue. A grant has been awarded to the school district with the stipulation that the money be dedicated to only one program. School officials wish to use the funds to improve the science curriculum, but district parents favor an investment in physical education to improve the health of their children. Since the grant money cannot be divided, students are forced to grapple with the role of science in education, the growing problem of childhood obesity, and related issues of public policy.

  • Provide an understanding of how far-reaching childhood obesity is in the United States.
  • Encourage discussion on issues of obesity and its physiological consequences.
  • Provide a forum in which obesity is seen as a health risk and not just a challenging aesthetic.
  • Emphasize the need for critical thinking in deciding how grant money should be spent.
  • Provide a forum for a discussion of the challenges we face in reducing obesity in this country and strategies to prevent it.
  • Encourage students to look at government as both an enabler and a protector.
  • Encourage students to make a choice on a sensitive issue.
Keywords: Childhood obesity; overweight children; obese; resistin; school nutrition; school exercise programs; scientific literacy; grant funding
Topical Area: Policy issues, Social issues
Educational Level: Graduate, General public & informal education
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Dilemma/Decision, Discussion, Interrupted
Language: English
Subject Headings: Public Health   Sports Science   Nutrition  
Date Posted: 04/15/07
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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