- 375,000 Books to be Provided Free or at Low Cost Online and Through Local Schools and Community Centers to Empower Parents to Take Small Steps with Big Impact -
AUSTIN, Texas and NEW YORK — A new book featuring smart tips from moms on tough topics like cutting down screen time, getting your kids to eat more vegetables and increasing physical activity is available to any parent in the U.S. at low or no cost. The book is a product of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint initiative between the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation. Susan Dell – healthy living advocate, co-founder of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and wife of tech legend Michael Dell—narrates the book. Be Well: Messages from Moms on Living Healthier Lives features the stories of 15 moms who are creatively finding ways to fight childhood obesity in their homes and communities.
Be Well is available free or at low cost online at www.BeWellBook.org, in English and Spanish versions, and through local schools and community centers around the nation. The aim of the book is to make it accessible to any parent who wants to start their children on a healthy path.
“Obesity crosses all socio-economic lines, but the moms featured in Be Well don’t have the resources that many other moms do,” said Susan Dell, co-founder and chairman of the board of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. “What they do possess is the creativity and determination to guide their children toward the healthiest lives possible and show us all that healthy living can be easy and inexpensive. I hope women across the country find a story in this book they can identify with and are inspired to jump-start healthy habits in their own homes, or even share their own personal story on the www.BeWellBook.org Web site.”
“We want to enable parents to take an active role in creating healthy lifestyles for their families, as it is an important piece of the puzzle in the fight against childhood obesity,” said Ginny Ehrlich, executive director of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “It is our hope that the book will not only inspire families to create a healthier environment for their children at home, but that they will become active in creating healthy communities by joining the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Network.”
The foreword is written by Dr. William H. Dietz, M.D., PhD, Director, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The moms’ creative strategies in the book map to five levers Dr. Dietz attributes to preventing childhood obesity: 1) decreasing screen time, 2) decreasing high-energy density foods, 3) decreasing sugar-sweetened beverages, 4) increasing physical activity and 5) increasing fruits and vegetables.
A flavor of the moms and tips featured in Be Well: Messages from Moms on Living Healthier Lives:
- Debra in Harlem takes care of not only her own children, but also feeds upwards of 10 children on her own dime to ensure they have access to healthy food. She also finds creative serving techniques like “turkey hotdog necklaces” and “broccoli forests” to make healthy fare appealing to little ones.
- Ashley in Houston runs with her two young sons for at least 60 minutes each night to teach them the importance of physical activity and setting goals. Her eldest son’s grades and behavior improved since starting their nightly routine.
- Jamilia in Oakland had a family history of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. As a 26-year-old mother of four, she made great efforts to cut out fast food by involving her kids in planning the weekly menu and rides the bus 30 minutes each week to buy fresh produce at a farmer’s market.
- Andrea in Tucson recognized the need to improve her family’s habits but wanted to honor her Mexican heritage and ancestors with her cooking. She adapted her culture’s traditional recipes and makes them healthier without sacrificing taste. Instead of frying beans and meats, she uses a slow cooker.
Resources Behind the Book
The book was developed by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The Dell family foundation advocates the need for childhood obesity prevention strategies to intervene at all levels of a child’s environment, including at the individual level, within families, within schools, and in the community. The foundation’s Health Portfolio reflects the passion of book narrator, Susan Dell, the co-founder and chairman of the board and the driving force behind the foundation. An accomplished athlete, Susan was a member of the President’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sports and is a board member of the Cooper Institute in Dallas. In the U.S. she is specifically focused on encouraging kids to be more physically active and promoting healthy eating. Dell also has four children of her own.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation, was created in May of 2005 with the goal of reducing the nationwide prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015. The Alliance has been a grantee of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation since 2006. The foundation funds two district-wide implementations of the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program with goals to establish healthier school environments for students, teachers and staff.
To obtain a copy of the book, go to www.BeWellBook.org. Parents can also submit their personal stories or the story of someone they know–and help others develop lifelong, healthy habits. Stories submitted may be published on www.BeWellBook.org.
About the Alliance for a Healthier Generation
The American Heart Association and William J. Clinton Foundation joined forces in May of 2005 to create a healthier generation by addressing one of the nation’s leading public health threats – childhood obesity. The goal of the Alliance is to reduce the nationwide prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015, and to empower kids nationwide to make healthy lifestyle choices. The Alliance works to positively affect the places that can make a difference to a child’s health: homes, schools, restaurants, doctor’s offices and communities.
About the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (www.msdf.org) is dedicated to improving the lives of children living in urban poverty around the world. With offices in Austin, TX, New Delhi, India, and Cape Town, South Africa, the Dell family foundation funds programs that foster high-quality public education and childhood health, and improve the economic stability of families living in poverty. The foundation has committed more than $530 million to global children’s issues and community initiatives to date.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is separate and distinct from the Dell Foundation. In any first reference, please use the ‘Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.’ For second references, ‘the Dell family foundation’ may be used.