RAP Revisited


Session 1A: Wellness

  1. Physical health is one component of wellness. Other components are mental health, rest, nutrient-rich food, movement, community, and environment.
  2. Wellness is practicing healthy habits every day to reach better physical and mental health—so that instead of just surviving, you’re thriving!
  3. All people, including those with chronic diseases, can achieve wellness through disease management and the other components of wellness.
Sam tells Miss Georgia that his son just got a new job that includes a wellness program. Miss Georgia isn’t familiar with that and asks what it includes. Sam and Miss Georgia wonder how they could help create a wellness program at the community center and what it might include. They think creating a survey for the community would help them understand what a wellness program could look like. Read story “Alive and Well”

Session 2A: Inflammation and Chronic Disease

  1. Chronic disease is a long term health condition that may not have a cure.
  2. Inflammation is the body’s normal response to injury. Usually inflammation ends when the injury heals, but inflammation that continues for a long time can cause chronic diseases.
  3. Inflammation related to chronic diseases like asthma can be reduced or managed. For example, asthma is managed with medication and reduced by health behaviors and avoiding environmental triggers.
Cardi cuts her finger chopping vegetables for dinner. The next day while leading her aerobics class, it is red, swollen, and sore. Pops notices the finger after class and comments on how it must hurt. Cardi agrees, but points out that the inflammation is the body’s way of healing an injury, and will be gone soon. Pops says his doctor told him recently that inflammation was the cause of many chronic diseases like his rheumatoid arthritis, but instead of being helpful and healing the body, the inflammation causes harm because it is constant. Read story “Inside Inflammation”

Jazzy tells Big Sam her story of going to the emergency room with an asthma attack and what she learned about how asthma works.

Watch video story Breathe Easy

Session 3A: Family History and Diabetes

  1. Family health history can identify individuals at higher risk for certain diseases because of genetic predisposition.
  2. Relatives are similar to each other but not exactly the same because the combination of genes we each inherit from our parents is unique. If predisposition for a disease runs in a family, each person’s risk will be different.
  3. For most diseases, genetics plays a role but lifestyle choices are often even more important.

“Miss Georgia is talking to Cardi (aerobics instructor). Miss Georgia tells Cardi that she has been recently diagnosed with diabetes, and her doctor noted that diabetes often runs in families and that her siblings should be tested. Miss Georgia says she might have to try and come to exercise class more often because the doctor also said that exercise helps manage diabetes.

Cardi tells Miss Georgia that its interesting that diabetes runs in families. Cardi explains her mother was just diagnosed with diabetes and that her grandmother had it too. Cardi wonders if she will get diabetes with her family history even though she exercises a lot being an aerobics teacher. Miss Georgia and Cardi both wonder if a family history of diabetes or lifestyle things like exercise and food are the bigger factor in whether a person gets diabetes.”

Read story “Diabetes Dilemma”

After teaching aerobics class, Cardi is really thirsty and drinks a bottle of 100% pomegranate juice which is advertised as being full of antioxidants. After drinking the juice, Cardi happens to glance at the nutrition label and sees that it contains 40 grams of carbohydrates, 34 grams of it from sugar. She knows the sugar wasn’t added, because its 100% juice, but it still seems like a lot.

Cardi thinks about her mom’s new diabetes eating plan that limits the carbohydrates she’s supposed to consume to 45–60 grams per meal. Even though Cardi doesn’t have diabetes, with her family history, Cardi wonders if she should cut down on juice and drink something else. Miss Georgia tells Cardi she’s been drinking bubbly water with fruit essence but no sugar added and she’ll bring some to the next aerobics class.

Read story Decoding Diabetes

Session 4A: Fruit and Vegetable Super Powers

  1. The antioxidants found in colorful foods, including fruits, vegetables, and beans protect our cells from damage and inflammation that can lead to diseases such as heart disease and asthma.
  2. Different foods contain different amounts and kinds of antioxidants.
  3. Eating a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables provides the best variety of antioxidants and other nutrients.

Jazzy and Vito learn about the science of antioxidants from Pops and test fruits and drinks to compare antioxidant levels.

Read story “Antioxidant Super Powers”

Vito meets Pops at a grocery store and he is impressed with what Pops has in his shopping cart. Pops has multiple fruits and vegetables in a variety of different colors. Vito thought just eating one kind of fruits or vegetable was good enough. Pops explains why it is important to eat fruits and vegetables in a variety of different colors. 

Read story Eating the Rainbow

Session 5A: Air Pollution in My Neighborhood

  1. Air pollution is a combination of gasses and solid particles that come from many sources both outdoors and indoors.
  2. Air pollution can negatively affect health in many ways. How a certain source of air pollution affects health depends on the kinds of harmful substances it contains.
  3. The negative effects of air pollution on health can be reduced by removing sources, such as cigarette smoke, and limiting exposure, such as using air filters and closing windows on days with a poor air quality index.

Big Sam recently found he has high blood pressure. As a school security guard he spends a lot of time walking outside on the grounds, and the school is not far from the highway where there is heavy traffic early in the morning when he gets to school. His doctor explains that recent research shows that higher air pollution contributes to high blood pressure. Sam thinks about his conversations with Jazzy about her asthma and her concern about air pollution and other known asthma triggers found in indoor and outdoor air. He remembers that the meteorologist on the news recommended that people check the daily air quality index online to help them plan activities. Sam decides to start checking air quality daily for his part of the city to see how unhealthy the quality of air is.

Read story “Boosted BP”

The website where Sam checks the Air Quality Index identifies the “level of health concern” each day by describing the air as anywhere between “hazardous” and “good.” Sam has learned that his part of the city has air quality rated less than “good” on some days. He wonders what he can do to reduce his own exposure to air pollution.

Read story Don’t Jog in the Smog

Session 6A: Working Towards Wellness

  1. Our medical system tends to focus on “sick care” rather than “health care,” but we can make choices to promote wellness.
  2. The actions we take to promote wellness can prevent many chronic diseases and minimize the health impacts of chronic diseases.
  3. Those with chronic disease can achieve wellness through disease management and other components of wellness.
  1. Cardi’s brother was recently diagnosed with heart disease and has a lot of concerns about it will affect his life. Heart disease runs in Cardi’s family, so she decides to attend a support group for heart disease along with her brother. They meet a woman who has had heart disease for several years. She is very positive and is living a great life, enjoying her family and working in her local community tutoring students.
  2. Cardi wants to understand how this woman can have heart disease and be so positive. The woman explains that she uses a combination of diet, exercise, and medications to help manage her heart disease. But she also points out that having balance in her life is critical. She finds that her spouse and the students she works with provide her with positive energy.
  3. Cardi thinks about things she can do to help her brother manage his heart disease and stay positive. Her brother was prescribed an exercise program by his doctor. Since they both have bikes and have enjoyed bike riding together in the past, Cardi decides to invite her brother to go bike riding at the neighborhood park with her on Saturday mornings and have a healthy brunch at her apartment afterwards.

Read story “Working Towards Wellness”

The website where Sam checks the Air Quality Index identifies the “level of health concern” each day by describing the air as anywhere between “hazardous” and “good.” Sam has learned that his part of the city has air quality rated less than “good” on some days. He wonders what he can do to reduce his own exposure to air pollution.

Read story Don’t Jog in the Smog

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Meet Big Sam

Big Sam is a 40-something security guard at the high school Jazzy and Vito attend. Big Sam is worried about his health and recently found out his blood pressure is high. He covers up his worries with jokes. He lives in the apartment above Miss Georgia.

Meet Jazzy

Jazzy is a cheerful younger high school age girl. She is a cheerleader and does gymnastics. She enjoys spending time with older people and loves to bake with Miss Georgia. She has asthma and works hard to control it so she can enjoy her activities.

Meet Cardi

Cardi is a 30-something aerobics teacher at the community center who loves to help people get more fit and healthy but can be a bit too much “in your face” about it. She means well though!

Meet Vito

Vito is a plays-it-cool older high schooler who is sweet-natured at heart. He plays basketball at the community center and is friends with Jazzy. He loves pop and chips and can’t see why eating all he wants of them is a problem.

Meet Pops

Pops is a retired high school science teacher who loves to keep helping people learn about science and health. He likes to check out what everyone is doing or talking about and step in to give his opinion.

Meet Miss Georgia

Miss Georgia is a fun-loving lady in her 50’s who loves to sing, dance, and bake. She is always helping out at community events. She recently found out she has diabetes, and she is learning new ways to cook.