This page outlines the projects that HW Kids members are working on, and is a dynamic map of proposed actions. If you would like to add to your project or any project that you are interested in, please send your ideas to me at

This page will allow members to share ideas for their projects in between meetings, and with other members who are not able to attend meetings.


Anyone interested in reviving the health report card? We discussed this at the November meeting, and felt that a preliminary study and survey would be helpful in getting this implemented. Possible parameters to include: BMI, sleep (by report), use of candy in the classroom, diet habits, but not too much on the time-consuming end (such as physical fitness testing). Would Donita Kelly be interested? Maybe this could be included in the school study project with Dr Bremer?

Schools are organized by site-based councils. Superintendent Joe Tinius has regular contact with reps from these councils, usually the principal. We could communicate with schools via Joe Tinius. This might be a way to educate teachers and others in the schools about important issues such as nutrition and exercise.

Safe Routes to Schools...

What about starting up a school nutrition review team, and make visits to several schools, and give each school a grade based on objective criteria (quality of nutrition knowledge in the curriculum, sugar, fat and fiber content in the school lunches, availability of sugar drinks at school, including chocolate milk! and juice, etc) The scores could be announced publicly: the paper would eat this up! Some schools do not allow sugar foods to be brought into the school.

Kim Simpson and Gina Howard are working hard to get healthy nutrition supplied to the child in schools. We need to work on the "nutrition disasters" in schools, such as cupcake parties and "dog treats" (giving candy as a constant reward several times a day). Kim and Gina suggested that we write up a positive story about how some teachers are using healthy alternatives. Dr Voakes will get this info to the superintendents and hopefully find a way to get the message to teachers.

School gardens: this is a project promoted by the KY First Lady Jane Beshear. Kids learn how to grow gardens, so they can teach their parents! I see that Natcher has a project like this.

"Pack a Sack" program: City Schools are giving out easy-to-fix meals to kids on Fridays for getting better nutrition to needy families on the weekend. We could help with reviewing  the quality of these foods...they need a list of healthier choices, such as low sugar items, high fiber, low saturated fats... Could we get County Schools involved too?

Deborah Williams is looking into changing the chocolate and strawberry milk in all city schools to a fructose-free brand (TruMoo). This would be a huge step in reducing sugar intake!!!!

Dr Voakes and Dr Bremer would like to study ways to reduce sugar intake in the schools. School lunches are getting better, but there is still a high sugar content, especially in the drinks, in the form of juice, chocolate and strawberry milk. More importantly, many teachers use sugary food as a classroom reward. They met with the City School Board in August and will be planning a study. We hope to get the assistance of Dr Osu Nwasu of the graduate assistant program at WKU.



Develop a speaker roster with topics (Dr Voakes: fructose talk) (5-2-1-0)

Continue to have a table at the Expectant Parents Fair (Dr Voakes did this again this year for the 3rd time, 4-17-11) We could also do other health fairs. Dr Voakes will also do a presentation at FOOD DAY, Oct 24.

Not many people realize that healthy nutrition means being sugar free. We should name the campaign something with the word "sugar-free" in it. Sugar-free Kids Campaign? Sugar-free Communities? Sugar-free Healthy Bodies? I could start a web page for Campaign for Sugar-free Kids?

Promote newer obesity prevention guidelines such as the Colorado Guideline

Target groups: civic groups, chamber of commerce?, schools, PTA groups, medical groups, fitness trainers, doctors or other health professionals, local Board of Health. Include diversity of culture in target populations.

Appeal to business groups and Chamber of Commerce, "healthy weight citizens are good for business", healthy work force attracts smart businesses. San Antonio was recently turned down by a major industry as a site for expansion of their business because the children of San Antonio had BMI's over the national average: this is the future work force of any industry, and smart companies are going to be looking at this sort of statistic.

Ideas for reaching parents: write articles for BG Parent Magazine or SOKY Happenings, including sugar intake, reducing TV and screen time, outdoor exercise, home gardening, etc Dr Voakes wrote the "Caveman Diet for Kids" in SOKY Happenings.

Dr Voakes has contacted Dr Drew Bremer (Vandy endocrinologist) who has a special interest in childhood obesity and fructose effects. He gave a talk to the Warren County Medical Society in August, 2011. Dr Bremer is a very dynamic speaker, and would be great for the fall educational project. He also spoke at the Medical Center in April 2012, and at the Bowling Green School Board meeting in August 2012.

Dr Voakes could ask to be interviewed on Drive Time at WKCT and talk about fructose and metabolic syndrome.


Partner with statewide groups, such as AAP-KY, Partnership for a Fit KY, Healthy for Life (UofL)

Need better guidelines from the AAP and FAAP about restricting sugar intake in kids. The AHA has already released very strict limits for sugar intake in adults.

Target areas: soda tax? Calories, saturated fat and sugar information on the menus?

Work for menu labels for food chains and schools, listing calories and sugar content.

Make the next step in school health laws: eliminate sugar drinks from school campuses.

New state guidelines for activity in day care setting (see AAP)

Try to influence WIC and food stamps to eliminate high sugar foods...

Food stamps could issue veggie coupons for FARMERS MARKETS like they do in Massachesetts:


Thoughts from our post-Try meeting: We could use a corporate sponsor (Compton Orthodontics has done this in 2012), much better advertising, appeal more to the average child rather than the highly motivated ones, call it a "run/walk try-athlon". Continue to coordinate with the adult triathlon. Need more volunteers around the course.  The increased distance this year seemed to go well. Get schools more involved. Some children had a "life-changing" experience, Leah Ashwill will put together some testimonials for the web page.

The 2012 Try was a huge success with over 100 kids participating!!


New ideas for the web page? How to promote the website?

New page about "anti-obese" bias (discrimination against overweight people)?

We should try to include the name of our webpage in any media events. Dr Voakes has put the website on the little fridge magnets that Dr Voakes will be giving out (again) at the Expectant Parents Fair twice a year.

New project: write up a summary of sugar content in common foods, which to avoid etc. Post on the web page. This is now done, and is at the front page menu on the left, called "How to be Sugar Free". We could add more about the Campaign to Be Sugar Free on that page.

The YouTube segments could direct many more viewers to the web page.


Need to develop a tool and a target group: school children, high school athletes (gatorade) 

Educate children to recognize fact vs fiction in media advertising (In schools?) (via a media campaign?)

Point out the tactics of Big Tobacco/Big Food. Use tactics that were effective against tobacco, such as legislation to remove advertizing from TV, link to children's health, educating the public.


Debbie Williams and Dr Voakes will work on developing a guide for healthy but low cost alternatives to high sugar foods.

One problem with getting families off high sugar diets is the cost of healthier foods.


Dr Voakes will post new info from the medical literature on the web page. Maybe some of the other health professionals in the Coalition could also post by forwarding the info to this box. Also medical tidbits and tips on weight loss etc could be forwarded to the Facebook page. This is an area we could promote breastfeeding (Kentucky is among the worst states in the nation with only 12% of mothers breastfeeding!!), tobacco-free and sugar-free kids from birth, AAP guidelines for prevention of obesity, and the new AAP guidelines for physical activity in day cares.


Chris Ingram has offered to maintain our FaceBook page.

We could link to Healthy for Life at U of L, and many other FaceBook groups.


Pads for doctors offices, talk it up at doctors' meetings

We should work together with the Wellness Center, and have them include our website on the Rx pads, as well as 5-2-1-0.


Dr Kelly Kries  suggested that we work with Erin Richter at Crossfit, to establish a treatment program for overweight kids. This would teach them how to continue doing exercises at home. They would also be trained to follow the AAP guidelines of 5-2-1-0 (5 servings of fruits and veggies, 2 hours or less TV time, 1 hour of exercise, and zero sugar per day).

Dr Kries and Dr Voakes have worked with Erin to put on a 1-week camp for kids ages 4-13 in June and July the last 2 years.  Dr Beth Bryant is also involved. Parents were targeted primarily, and the kids will have fun for a few hour-long sessions per day. Healthy nutrition will also be emphasized.






© Rick Voakes 2021