What does 'healthy' look like on the inside?
‘We are all running on the Homo Sapien 1.0 operating system and we are not expecting any updates’.
Joanna Giles – Founder, Metabolic Symphony Program and YiYO games
If a child asked you “What does healthy mean?”, what would you say? Would you be confident to explain what it takes to be a healthy human in this chaotic world? Would you have the time to make sure they understood and followed through?
There are many different kinds of ‘normal’, but what baseline are we using? Little by little we are losing sight of what ‘optimum’ looks like, and abandoning the simple, foundation lifestyle principles that have nourished and protected our species for over 150,000 years.
The potency of inherited risk factors for lifestyle disease is increasing with each generation. 20 years ago, the idea of a child developing type 2 diabetes was unthinkable. Now, one child in every four is overweight or obese, and children are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes as young as 3 years old.
Prevention is infinitely better than treatment or cure, and education is the key to long-term, sustainable health. We want to provide children and their families with the knowledge they need to understand, and get involved in, the global discussion around lifestyle management and related diseases.
Our goal is to inspire people – particularly children – to better understand their mind and body, and feel empowered to independently navigate our challenging food and lifestyle landscape for lifelong health.
‘In examining disease, we gain wisdom about anatomy, physiology and biology. In examining the person with disease, we gain wisdom about life.’
Oliver Sacks – Neurologist
A team of passionate and creative health and education specialists have immersed themselves in both the biological and psycho-social aspects of metabolism and lifestyle, and distilled it all down into a clinically robust, engaging and thought-provoking story that children and adolescents from all backgrounds can understand.
The goal is to promote conscious living and create a deeper understanding of how sustained metabolic disharmony can silently progress to a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, and a variety of other lifestyle related health problems.
The program supports parents, grandparents, teachers and health professionals to increase their own understanding of metabolism, and provides them with interactive tools and strategies to empower children and adolescents to reach their potential and avoid lifestyle disease.
Metabolic Symphony ONSITE
Metabolic Symphony ONSITE is an immersive, multi-age (Level 1 – young adults) health/science education program for schools.
It provides Teachers and Community Educators with a comprehensive, turnkey lifestyle management education program that aligns with the Australian National Curriculum covering many key ACARA streams including science, numeracy, literacy, physical education, music and drama. The program also serves the ‘Sustainability’ cross-curriculum priority.
The program is delivered over 8 weeks (1 hour per week) during a school term. All resources required to run the program are supplied including lesson plans, video presentations, student worksheets and quizzes, and feedback surveys for children, teachers and parents.
Educators are provided with continuous phone and online support from the Metabolic Symphony organisation, plus home linkage materials and an online inclusion portal for parents and families.
The Metabolic Symphony Program kit includes online access to lesson plans, presentations and hands-on activities, as well as tangible resources such as musical instruments, a 3D molecule model and the YiYO lifestyle games.
‘If you cannot explain it simply, you do not understand it well enough.’
Albert Einstein – Physicist
The Metabolic Symphony Program is a quirky fusion of physiology, brain and biochemistry, numeracy, literacy, health and physical education, music, drama and universal lifestyle management principles.
We provide health and education professionals with turn key resources to help children and adolescents increase knowledge and appreciation of their metabolism, and inspire them to consciously manage their individual energy needs for lifelong good health.
The program covers topics such as healthy metabolic function, energy requirement, nutrition and food labelling and food product marketing, exercise, hydration, sleep and stress management, and the environmental impact of poor lifestyle.
The program is designed for students from Level 1 to young adult. The curriculum has been verified by accredited health professionals and is aligned with the Australian national curriculum (ACARA), the Australian Dietary Guidelines (NHMRC) and World Health Organisation (WHO) policy.
Metabolic Symphony ONLINE
Metabolic Symphony ONLINE is a supervised wellness intervention for distribution by Health Practitioners (e.g. GPs, Dietitians, Diabetes Educators, Pharmacists) and Educators (e.g. Teachers, Community Health Workers) to support and empower children and families to prevent or manage lifestyle disease.
Patients/students (and their families) are given free access to the Symphony where they work through 20 interactive, video-based learning modules to help them to understand their body and what it takes to maintain lifelong metabolic health.
Participation in the program is incentivised with virtual rewards, merchandise and collectables, discount vouchers for healthy food and physical pursuits, and the chance to win tickets to major events such as an actual Symphony Orchestra performance!
Practitioners and Educators subscribe to the service (per practice, school, community centre) which allows them to invite unlimited participants to the Symphony.
Participant progress can be tracked and reported to the supervising Practitioner, to monitor patient compliance, and/or Educator to facilitate student assessment or measure community engagement.
- Provides a proactive and positive wellness pathway that health practitioners can offer to well, ‘at-risk’ (overweight/congenital risk factors) and diagnosed children (type 1 and type 2 diabetes).
- Reduces child/parent anxiety after diagnosis, and prevents overwhelm during disease management/lifestyle change education (type 1 and type 2 diabetes).
- The YiYO lifestyle games can be used during consultations to support diet/lifestyle change education for children, and can be recommended to parents to take home and play with the family (purchased on prescription at pharmacies).
- Teachers and Community Educators can use the Metabolic Symphony ONLINE program to support lifestyle education in the classroom or as a community health initiative.
- The YiYO lifestyle games can be made available from the school or community centre as part of a healthy fundraising activity.
Joanna Giles is the creator of the Metabolic Symphony health/science education program and YiYO lifestyle games.
Jo is primarily a communicator with a 25 year corporate video production career under her belt. A strong foundation in project management has allowed Jo to fulfil a variety of other professional roles including Business Analyst, Technical and Policy Writer, Change Manager, Professional/Lifestyle Coach and Educator.
Jo spent a decade at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne as a health educator – specialising in type 1 diabetes. She produced a suite of internationally award winning video resources to communicate the complexities of the condition, and associated lifestyle management strategies, to diagnosed children, teenagers and their families.
This experience provided Jo with a deep understanding of the human energy management system (metabolism), how diabetes develops and the health complications that result from poor lifestyle management.
The emergence of type 2 diabetes in children and young people sparked Jo’s passion to provide the adults of tomorrow with the knowledge, insight and strategies they need to live consciously and prevent lifestyle-related disease.
The Metabolic Symphony team are most grateful for continued support and clinical guidance from the Endocrinology and Diabetes Service at the Perth Children’s Hospital in Western Australia.
Our sincerest thanks to:
- Clinical Professor Tim Jones – Paediatric Endocrinologist and Head of Department
- Associate Professor Elizabeth A. Davis – Paediatric Endocrinologist
- Mark Shah – Diabetes Nurse Practitioner
We are also pleased to have had the assistance of the Unity of First People of Australia (UFPA) to ascertain the unique educational needs of Aboriginal children in the Kimberley and Pilbara areas of Western Australia. Our goal is to honour the memory of respected and much loved Aboriginal Elder, the Hon. Ernie Bridge, OAM AM, by working to provide self-sustaining and culturally appropriate resources for Aboriginal children and to support the community to improve their health and prosperity.
We gratefully acknowledge the generous financial support we have received from the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation.
We are also thrilled to assist the IGA Supermarket Family Program in their goal to support Australian families to live a happy and healthy life. Check out the Body Basics series, which is a preview of the Metabolic Symphony curriculum.
Heartfelt thanks to our growing team of Metabolic Symphony contributors:
- Joanna Giles – Founder/Author/Managing Director (Perth/Melbourne)
- Robert Edkins – Director/Business Consultant (Perth)
- Garth Kearvell – Business Development (Perth)
- Manny Spiteri – Strategy & Planning (Melbourne)
- Steve Williams – Brand & Graphic Design at Little Devil Design (UK)
- Aranka Nolan – Digital Marketing & Web Development at Einstein Marketing Group (Sydney)
- Holly Walton – Social Media and Promotion at Marketing West (Perth)
- Cathy Stubbs – Education Consultant/Facilitator – Primary & Secondary (Perth)
- Stephanie Crowe – Education Consultant – Primary & Indigenous Liaison (Kimberley)
- Rebecca Sahr – Education Consultant – Secondary (Melbourne)
- Laura Zinghini – Education Consultant – Secondary (Melbourne)
- Alexander Robins – Curriculum Development & Indigenous Liaison (Perth)
- Alexandra Seewann-Gaitatzis – Research Consultant & Medical Doctor
- Jessica Zilujko – Accredited Practising Dietitian & Nutritionist at Eat Drink Digest (Perth)
- Karen Garus – Fitness Consultant at Inside Outside for Wellbeing (Perth)
- Carol Beckerman – Business Development (Los Angeles, USA)
- Andrea Gilbey – Dietitian and Credentialed Diabetes Educator (Perth)
- Alison Climey – Dietitian at Start Right Nutrition (Perth)
- Rebecca Gebert – Credentialled Diabetes Nurse Educator at The Royal Childrens Hospital (Melbourne)
- Albert Griggs – Research Assistant
- Samantha Stevens – Student Liaison (Melbourne)
- Dillon Naylor – Illustrator (Melbourne)
- Chloe Griffiths – Graphic Design at Clo’s Line (Perth)
- Jackson Griggs – Musician and Composer
- Jenny Taylor – Music Composer at Jonpelian Music (Melbourne)
We welcome your feedback, comments or enquiries about the Metabolic Symphony Resources.
Please fill in your details below:
+61 0402 666 020
PO Box 794 SUBIACO 6904 Western Australia