CSU, Chico News

Kinesiology Professor Josh Trout Co-authors Book on ‘Supersized’ PE

Date: 07-03-2008

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Josh Trout
Department of Kinesiology

Josh Trout, professor in the Department of Kinesiology at California State University, Chico, and David Kahan, PhD, San Diego State University, have co-authored “Supersized PE: A Comprehensive Guidebook for Teaching Overweight Students,” published by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education.

Trout said that the goal of the book is to help youth love physical activity and schedule it daily throughout their lives. The book is designed to help parents, physical educators and leaders of physical activity programs to better understand the physical, emotional and psychological issues that reduce the overweight child’s quality of life and help them learn how to be physically active for a lifetime.

“Being physically active every day is especially crucial for children struggling with weight issues,” said Trout. “That is why it is critically important for all parents to demand their children participate in quality physical education and physical activity programs, and get a minimum of 60 minutes of daily physical activity.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified overweight and obesity as major health concerns, growing into one of the biggest challenges facing the country. Physical education teachers will discover detailed information in the book, based on the most recent literature about the obesity epidemic, life as an overweight student, classifying obesity as a disability and motivational concepts for creating positive attitudes about physical activity.

“Overweight and obese youth carry social, psychological and emotional burdens that often lead to anger, despair and ultimately, a sedentary lifestyle, said Trout, who has conducted studies regarding physical activity and overweight children with Kahan. “Our goal is to give the physical activity instructors the insights needed to more effectively work with these students, offering sample lesson plans, guidelines for following the National Standards for Physical Education, after school activities, incentive programs and nutritional guidelines.”

Trout first became interested in overweight youth as a doctoral student in pedagogy at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, when he noticed that the physical education literature was pretty sparse regarding childhood obesity, even though it was prominent in the literature in other fields as well as in the media. He also had a hunch that experiences in physical education may play a significant role in shaping the way overweight students perceive physical activity and sport. So he flew to a weight-loss camp in Southern California where he interviewed high school students and their parents about their perceptions and past experiences in physical education classes.

Since then he has continued to study obesity trends and strategies physical education teachers can implement to enhance learning and get overweight students motivated to move. He has traveled to many state and national conferences as well as an international conference in Athens, Greece, to speak about this topic.

“Supersized PE: A Comprehensive Guidebook for Teaching Overweight Students” is available through the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, the national authority on physical education.