New Book Features Families’ Creative Ways to Fight Childhood Obesity in Their Homes and Communities, One Month at a Time

- Free Book Available to All Families to Empower Parents to Take an Active Role in Creating Healthy Lifestyles for Their Families-

AUSTIN, Texas and NEW YORK – A new book featuring month-by-month, smart and simple tips from moms, dads and kids on tough topics like eliminating intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, getting your kids to eat more vegetables and increasing physical activity is available at no cost to any family in the U.S. The book is a product of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a national nonprofit organization founded by the American Heart Association and 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. The book’s foreword is written by President Bill Clinton.

A Year of Being Well: Messages from Families on Living Healthier Lives is an easy-to-follow, 13-month quick-start action guide that features the stories of 20 families who are creatively finding ways to live healthier lives, and fight childhood obesity in their homes, schools and communities. These families come from a variety of backgrounds, but they all share a common struggle: Balancing healthy habits against the challenge of tight schedules and budgets. The aim of the book is to make it easy for parents to start their families on a path to a healthier lifestyle by undertaking simple steps each month, organized to increase a family’s chance for success.

A Year of Being Well is available free online at www.BeWellBook.org in English and Spanish. It’s also available for free through local schools and community centers around the nation. Community healthy-living programs, health clinics, book clubs, parent associations or schools can order free books bundled with discussion guides and DVDs to start discussion groups or book clubs in their communities.

The new book comes on the heels of the successful book project called Be WellMessages from Moms on Living Healthier Lives, which was released in 2009. Since the original book was first printed, 1.2 million copies have been distributed for free to individuals, schools, health clinics and community groups, and the ideas found in the book have come to life in every state in the U.S.

“We started this project because we wanted to help families take their first steps toward healthy living. Everyone has to start somewhere, but it always seems like starting something new is the hardest part,” said Susan Dell, co-founder and chairman of the board of the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. “Our hope is that A Year of Being Well will act as a how-to guide to help families jump-start changes in their own homes. The time to take action is now, and the everyday heroes in the book – regular families who are willing to stand up and make difference –are inspiring other families across the country.”

“Parents and kids must take an active role in creating healthy lifestyles for their families,” said Ginny Ehrlich, chief executive officer of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “Our hope is 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 becoming involved in their schools and communities.”

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’s 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 on promoting healthy eating. Dell also has four children of her own.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a national nonprofit organization founded by the American Heart Association and 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 2007. The foundation funds two districtwide 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. Families can also visit the site to submit their personal stories–or the stories of people they know–to help others develop lifelong, healthy habits. Stories may also be shared at facebook.com/bewellbook. Follow us on Twitter at @BeWellBook.