Thinking about making changes for your family? Small changes add up over time. Here are a few sites that offer information, suggestions and other ideas for healthier families:
- kidshealth.org Appealing and easy to understand, it is full of easy-to-find information divided among parents, kids and teens. Offers the most parent-friendly body mass index explanation and calculator.
- choosemyplate.gov Plenty of useful information from the USDA about diet and fixing healthy meals on a budget.
- letsgo.org Useful for kids, teens, parents, childcare and health providers, schools and workplaces, from the state of Maine, in attractive handout form. Specific ideas for healthy shopping on a shoestring.
- National Association for Sport and Physical Education This site is not written for kids, but offers physical activity ideas and guidelines for children of different ages and guidelines for parents about what makes sense at different ages.
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Childhood obesity page, is full of useful information for anyone interested in keeping children -- and themselves -- healthy.
- National Institutes of Health Healthy weight tools and straightforward, non-gimmicky advice for parents. Free iPhone app, BMI calculator and meal planner.
- Center for Science in the Public Interest This site is loaded with information about processed food and other hazards lurking in the supermarket.
- Weight-Control Information Network offers excellent definitions and basic info.
- The federal Centers for Disease Control have BMI calculators for adults, too. Very easy to use.
West Virginia leads the nation in diabetes, heart attacks, and obesity, among others. One in four West Virginia 11-year-olds has high blood pressure and high cholesterol. One in five kindergartners is obese.
As one public health official said, “This is a public health emergency.”
Learn about the problem, meet people who are trying to bring those numbers down, and learn what you can do.
This ongoing project has been created with the help of the Dennis A. Hunt Fund for Health Journalism, administered by the California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
The stories can also be viewed in chronological order at www.theshapewerein.wordpress.com