Great Body Shop

An Evidence-Based Practice


The Great Body Shop (GBS), developed by the Children's Health Market, is a comprehensive substance abuse and violence prevention and health curriculum for schools serving prekindergarten through middle school. The GBS curriculum contains a teachers guide and parent bulletins that support 10 monthly themes, which are taught through 40 lessons. A supplemental Coordinated School Health Kit links the eight components of school health with institutions involved in promoting public health among those who educate youth.

The monthly thematic units of GBS are developed from one grade level to the next according to State and national guidelines. Health topics addressed include injury prevention, personal safety, bullying, functions of the body, nutrition, community health and safety, character education, violence prevention, self-worth, growth and development, the cycle of family life, substance abuse prevention, HIV/AIDS and illness prevention, environmental health, consumer health, and physical fitness. Each grade level of the program from preschool through middle school is structured so that knowledge, values, life skills, and critical thinking skills are introduced through age-appropriate, familiar concepts. Weekly lessons, taught by classroom teachers, last from 10 to 15 minutes for preschool, 20 to 35 minutes at the primary level, and 45 to 60 minutes at the middle school level.

Goal / Mission

The goal of this program is to educate children about health and to prevent substance abuse and violence.

Results / Accomplishments

The program has been subjected to three independent evaluations. The initial evaluation involving sixth graders found that students with greater exposure to GBS reported significantly lower use of alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, and other substances than comparison students not exposed to GBS. Students with greater exposure to GBS reported significantly fewer violent acts and conduct problems and significantly more family caring, higher self-esteem, lower emotional distress, and less antisocial behavior than comparison students. GBS students reported significantly fewer school, family, and peer risk factors than comparison students.

The second evaluation found that students who receive the program for at least 1 school year score higher on health knowledge, health attitude, and health self-efficacy than students without the curriculum. Students in low-income schools showed he largest and most consistent gains and were especially improved in knowledge of nutrition and safety. The researchers also found that parents made changes at home as a result of GBS.

The third evaluation found that third and fifth grade students exposed to the GBS curriculum showed significant improvement in an overall curriculum posttest score based on health knowledge, values, learning skills, thinking skills, and behaviors when compared with students in the control group. Students exposed to the GBS curriculum also showed significant improvement in a posttest score based on items related to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention risk areas (unintentional and intentional injuries, tobacco use, alcohol and other drug use, unhealthy dietary behaviors, and physical inactivity) when compared with students in the control group.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Nancy M. Grace
The Children's Health Market
27 Cannon Road, Suite 2A
Wilton, CT 06897-2618
(800) 782-7077
Health / Substance Abuse
Health / Children's Health
Education / School Environment
The Children's Health Market
Date of publication
Target Audience

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