‘We Can!’ Offers Healthy Lifestyle

In April the designated area of Mableton joined We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition), a science-based, National Institutes of Health (NIH) movement that teaches parents, caregivers, kids and communities ways to eat healthier, increase physical activity and limit screen time to help children ages eight through 13 maintain a healthy weight.

“In We Can! we’ve found an easy-to-use, science-based program that not only provides us with valuable resources—it also lets us tap into the expertise of more than a thousand other communities that are already committed to using the program to help overcome weight gain in their communities,” said Cathy Wendholt-McDade, Health Promotion Coordinator for Cobb & Douglas Public Health (C&DPH).

Cobb County Commissioner Woody Thompson, along with the entire Board of Commissioners, recognized the designation through a proclamation presented at the Commissioners meeting.  As a collaborative effort, C&DPH was joined by representatives of community partners such the Mableton Improvement Coalition, Lifelong Mableton, Mableton Community Day and AARP as they received the proclamation.

The We Can! in Mableton proclamation states that the community will make a commitment to increase physical activity, improve nutrition choices, and reduce screen time – the three goals of the We Can! program.  In addition, the We Can! in Cobb Coalition will provide evidence-based obesity prevention programs, materials, and tips to the Mableton Community. We Can! in Mableton is an product of the broader We Can! in Cobb Coalition which is largely supported by the Cobb County School District and Cobb & Douglas Public Health.

The designation will be celebrated at the upcoming Mableton Community Day, Saturday, May 19, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Mable House Arts Complex at the specially designated We Can! in Mableton Health and Wellness Pavilion.  Children and their families, older adults and everyone in between will participate in fun physical and nutrition education activities.  We Can! in Mableton partners, Lifelong Mableton, Cobb & Douglas Public Health, AARP, and the Mableton Improvement Coalition, have joined together to sponsor this area to showcase their combined commitment to create Mableton as a healthy place for all ages.  Additionally, We Can! in Cobb will sponsor Mableton Community Day’s first ever Children’s Fun Run.  For more information about Mableton Community Day please visit www.mabletonday.com.

Childhood obesity is a growing national epidemic.  In Georgia, nearly one million kids are overweight or obese.  The state has the second worse rate of childhood obesity in the United States, falling just behind Mississippi.  Most people know that they need to eat better and exercise, however childhood obesity is a crisis because nearly 40 percent of children in Georgia are overweight or obese.

“Our community needs tools and tips on how to put our kids—and ourselves—back on the road to healthy weight,” said Amy Hoffman, Coordinator of the We Can! in Cobb Coalition. “That’s why I am so excited that Mableton has become part of the We Can! movement. It will benefit the whole community.”

For more information about the We Can! in Cobb Coalition please call or email Amy Hoffman,

We Can! is spearheaded by NHLBI and three other NIH institutes—the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the National Cancer Institute. More than 1,000 sites in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and 11 other countries, have committed to using We Can!, with new sites continuing to sign up regularly.  For more details on We Can!, visit or call toll-free at 866-35-WE CAN.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH)—the Nation’s Medical Research Agency—includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more on the NIH, visit www.nih.gov.

From the May  2012 issue of The Bright Side, Cobb County Georgia’s Newspaper covering Smyrna, Vinings, Mableton and Austell, GA.