Okay, so you guys know me pretty well now, where you know I stay away from all serious matters on the blog— all things political, religious, anything that might be a strong topic. Partially, because I don’t like debates and confrontation— they get me anxious and I don’t want to combat what anyone else believes…. but mostly because I don’t like to get involved in them myself. There are very few things I consider myself an activist for…. one thing I feel REALLY, REALLY strongly about is child health, nutrition (or lack of), and obesity. I think it’s an injustice to children for us to not pay more attention to the food we place in our children’s mouths. I mean, yes, there are always the cases of the picky and impossible eaters (I was one of them. and hell, I’m still a lover of junk food, but it comes second to a healthy diet), but for a majority of Americans, it’s a matter of money, lack of information, or more than likely, a combination of both. One head of cauliflower: 2.50-3.50$. Burger off the dollar menu? A buck. But…. buy a bag or rice and beans…. about 5$ and you can feed your family for a week. See where I’m going here…. cheap food seems cheaper, but little basics can be just as cheap, if not cheaper and much healthier. Also, the long term costs of a poor and cheap diet ends up costing unimaginable of amounts of money. So…. pink slime? Or real grains and protein? 
  We need to educate ourself and our children on the fundamentals of a healthy diet. With a healthy diet, we feel better, do more, live better, live happier, and we save ourselves A LOT of money in the long run on healthcare costs. Don’t quote me on this, but it’s something along the lines of over half of all deaths in the US are health and diet related deaths. Heart disease being number one and diabetes climbing up there. That’s kind of gross. I know, how professional do I sound calling something gross?… but it’s true. Giving an innocent child no choice, but to grow up struggling and obese, is gross. I think it’s really important that we start banning together more to make child obesity a rumored story that never was. Even if we live in a healthy home with great diets, we can still do more for others. Spreading awareness, teaching young kids why fruits and vegetables are important, breaking the bad-food cycle (children of obese parents are more likely to be obese, and have obese children), bringing healthcare costs down (we spend BILLIONS of dollars on diet-related preventablediseases each year), and well, most importantly… creating, educating, and enlightening happy healthy and thriving children. 
If you have the time, please look over what Reset Wellness is offering to children of the California East Bay Area. If you can, please help donate to their campaign to help create a future children’s wellness center, and to help young kids wanting and needing to create a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their future generations. 
Meet 555lb, 14 year old, Alexander Draper. 

His mother, Jerri Gray, was charged with criminal neglect for letting him gain too much weight. Alexander was soon placed in foster care and stripped away from his mother, as she faced her looming trial (2 felonies, 15 years, $50k bond). During her trial, she claimed that she didn’t have the education to help him live a healthy lifestyle nor the finances to put him in the recommended weight loss program.

Reset Wellness, a San Francisco Bay Area Non-Profit, has established a program that focuses on providing obesity intervention tools and academic enrichment to underprivileged children in U.S.(www.resetwellness.orgLater this year, Reset Wellness will be opening a child wellness center to expand their community reach and they need your help. “Alexander Draper’s situation is all too common. There’s a fine line between neglect and miseducation,” states Reset Wellness founder Jamal Williams. “As a nonprofit, we’ve come up with a program that educates families on healthy lifestyles and holds them accountable.”

Currently, there are no one-stop-shops, in the East Bay Area, that tackle child wellness and academics in a practical, economically accessible way.  The child wellness center will be the first of its kind and will feature hydraulic strength training circuits, vertical community gardens, technology smart academic classrooms, a childproof kitchen, and health counseling for families.
Donations to fund the $100,000 center start at $5, are tax deductible, and all donors will receive access to exclusive events, customized rewards from Nike, Specialized Bicycles, and more. Go to www.icanstopobesity.org to help make this center real, check out center renderings, and review donor rewards. Jamal concludes, “We’ve all heard the statistics, been alarmed by their severity, and know a child struggling with weight. However, our emotion is rarely combined with action. Donate and spread the word if you are able. Your help will improve the life of countless families.” 

Please donate and spread the word!


  1. Eating well on a low budget is a hot topic here in the UK at the moment. It breaks my heart when I see overweight children being fed yet more sugary, fatty, salty junk. Education and a different mindset are needed I think, but most of all parents need to make the effort. Junk is too easy an option. Making nutritious meals is seen as a chore, but I was reading only today that cooking is good for depression and makes people feel more positive. Until people start trying harder a problem will remain.

  2. I think about this often. I grew-up in a house with not a lot of junk, we rarely had fast-food (it was a treat), and we were on and off food stamps for a number of years… so I can't understand the economic stand point of eating junk vs. real food. It's cheaper to eat healthy… it's just more work. I have a tiny grocery store budget every week and I feed my family of four really good, it takes work though. Every breakfast/lunch is made the day before, dinner is planned before I go shopping- all of it takes time but my kids are healthy and that is what matters to me. I'm not saying every parent of an obese child is lazy but in some cases this is definitely a contributing factor, it is much easier to tell someone else two cheeseburgers then go home after a long day at work and make them yourself. I get it, believe me I get, but health is so much more important than if I get to watch the TV that night. At least in my opinion.

  3. Thank you for posting this Drea!
    I will be graduating in two months with my BS in Public Health, and all through out my schooling, we're taught the array of health issues facing our country. The western approach is to push meds, surgery, push meds… I'm the "crazy vegan girl" in class thats always talking about rice & beans! Living in San Diego, so close to the border, we obviously have a huge Hispanic population, which has an alarmingly high rate of childhood obesity. Whenever the topic of high food cost for health foods comes up, I'm always talking about rice & beans! Every project & mock program I create is aimed at treating/preventing childhood obesity.
    It's a scary diagnosis, but it's so good to see others taking the step to eradicating this epidemic!

  4. Awesome. I understand and I agree with you — even though people get all over me about it and call me snobby or "white privilege" etc. I am so happy you chose an east bay charity 😀

  5. i completely agree with your sentiments. i think a lot of what it comes down to is the fact that adults are not educated on how to eat well, and therefore they don't know how to feed their children healthfully. i grew up in a household that had healthy food in it, but we still ate at fast food restaurants, ate lots of junk food, and were heavier than we should have been. it wasn't until my brother and i became vegan that my entire family made a complete uturn, and even though we don't live at home anymore, my parents eat vegetable centric meals and veg friendly restaurants(never ever fast food), purchase organic food, eat low-gluten and low-dairy, and never have junk in the house. WE taught my parents how to eat properly.

    i wish there was a program that educated adults on the fundamentals of healthy eating, and how it can be cost effective. unfortunately, the public is educated by tv commercials boasting "low fat" food and sugary breakfast cereal, which are really just chemicals.

  6. I'm not sure I completely "buy" the ignorance *or* financial excuses, but there is a definite correlation between educating parents on nutrition and their kids' health. Also, some more economically depressed areas simply don't have decent stores that people who don't have cars can walk or ride a bus to. If your only choice is some bogeda where you can buy slim jims and sunny delight, you're going to buy it.

    However, I have been a stay at home mom for over a decade, and that means over a decade of us missing my income (soon to be over, hooyah!), and I didn't buy crap, because 1) it's UNHEALTHY and 2) it's more expensive to eat crap. Planning a menu makes everything possible–but then again, I was raised to eat healthfully.

    Feeding kids and getting them to understand fitness and also nature are probably the most important things to me as a parent and person. I will have to learn more about this program — I'd love to give them a little more exposure, too (being a recently relocated ex-SF Bay Area person myself, I am proud of the way my old home promotes these things).

    This sounds like a great program, thanks for sharing about it.