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Launch of New Book, What to Do for Heavy Kids, Coincides with First Lady's Campaign to Fight Childhood Obesity

Coinciding with First Lady Michelle Obama's launching of a campaign to battle childhood obesity in the U.S., a new self-help book, What To Do For Heavy Kids, was released last week

La Habra, Calif. (PRWEB) March 10, 2010 -- Coinciding with First Lady Michelle Obama's launching of a campaign to battle childhood obesity in the U.S., a new self-help book, What To Do For Heavy Kids, was released last week.

"Mrs. Obama's 'Let's Move' awareness campaign is a big step forward in combating a serious lifelong health issue for young children," said Gloria Mayer, Ed.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., president of the Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA), the non-profit organization that published the new book, and one of the book's co-authors.

According to Dr. Mayer, a big part of the childhood obesity problem is low health literacy and she points to the need to help reading-challenged parents with this serious health issue. Research in the health literacy field indicates that only 11% of the U.S. adult population is considered "proficient" in health literacy and most healthcare information is written at a grade reading level beyond the recipient's ability to understand.

In an effort to help address the childhood obesity trend, which indicates that one-third of the nation's children are carrying too much weight, What To Do For Heavy Kids is written at a 5th grade reading level. It is the most recent book in the IHA's highly popular What To Do for Health book series, which has sold more than 2.5 million copies since 2000, using simple language, short, active sentences and single syllable words to convey health information.

"Given the sensitivity of weight issues with their patients, many healthcare providers often give non-specific health instructions such as, 'Lose some weight' and 'Get some exercise,'" said Dr. Mayer. "As a result, many parents often walk out of the office just as confused as when they walked in. And as with any other chronic health problem, the challenge of low literacy may further impact how patients understand the information being presented. This primer provides parents with needed tools to do something about childhood obesity if they observe it in their family."

The book is authored by Dr. Mayer and Michael Villaire, MSLM. In 200 pages, it presents the reader with oversized print and generous line spacing that makes it easier to read, using common conversational words without the use of medical jargon. The book also provides action-oriented "What to Do" sentences and simple illustrations throughout to make it easy for readers to put the new information to use right away. Each topic is presented in a logical, step-by-step format that answers the most common and important questions from parents. Topics include nutritional guidance, food shopping, lifestyle issues, feelings and self-esteem, and a chapter on diabetes, as well as chapters devoted to overall healthy eating issues in adulthood.

What To Do For Heavy Kids sells for $12.95 for individual copies or can be purchased in larger quantities at a discounted rate. A Spanish version of the book will also be available by June 2010. For more information or to order the book, call (800) 434-4633 or go to and click on the "Bookstore" link.

The "What To Do For Health" books series includes What To Do When Your Child Gets Sick, What To Do For Teen Health, What To Do When You're Having A Baby, What To Do For Senior Health, and What To Do For Healthy Teeth, all of which are available on the IHA website. All titles are available in English or Spanish; the Senior book is also available in Vietnamese, and the Sick Child book is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese.

The Institute for Healthcare Advancement is a La Habra-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering people to better health. It is nationally recognized for its efforts in health literacy and provides healthcare information through its various publishing efforts, the Internet, and its renowned local and national education programs. The organization is headquartered at 501 S. Idaho St., La Habra, CA 90631; 1-800-434-4633. For more information, go to the IHA website at

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