Briefs: Aug. 15

C.O.M.A. sponsors author, advocate

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An author and advocate in the fight against methamphetamine use is scheduled to visit Craig next week to deliver a presentation on the devastating effect of the illegal narcotic.

Dr. Mary F. Holley, author of "Crystal Meth: They Call it Ice (Tate Publishing)," is scheduled to appear at 7 p.m. Aug. 26 and at 2 p.m. Aug. 27 at the Moffat County High School auditorium, 900 Finley Lane. Her one-hour presentation, titled "Crystal Meth: The High is a Lie," is sponsored by the local advocacy organization, Communities Overcoming Meth Abuse.

Holley is the founder and director of Mothers Against Methamphetamine, a national drug education organization started in 2001 and based in Arab, Ala. She has also produced numerous educational videotapes regarding the ill effects of methamphetamine.

Holley's presentation is free and open to the public.

WIC offers help against childhood obesity

Colorado's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children is tackling childhood obesity in Colorado by focusing on increasing breastfeeding rates, physical activity and consumption of fruits and vegetables and decreasing television time.

This is being accomplished by providing individualized nutrition education to each participant in the WIC program.

Bill Eden, director of the WIC Program, which is based at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said, "In 2004, 9.6 percent of the 94,244 Colorado children who were in the WIC program between ages 2 and 5 were overweight, up from 6.5 percent in 1994. Children are consuming more total fat than children living 20 years ago. They also are getting less than 2/3 the daily recommendation for vitamins and minerals from their diets. Unhealthy diets are on the rise and physical activity is on the decline. The result is an epidemic of overweight children. One-half of all infants and one in four young children ages 1 to 5 participate in Colorado WIC. Contact with so many children gives WIC the opportunity to provide nutrition education specifically targeting children at risk for being overweight."

In addition to providing one-on-one consultations about how to eat healthy and incorporate exercise into daily routines for a healthier lifestyle, the program is supplying program participants with brochures and pamphlets on a variety of nutritional topics.

WIC, one of the nation's most effective nutrition and public health programs, annually adjusts the income eligibility guidelines to reach women and children in families with incomes at or below 185 percent of poverty. To qualify in this state, a person must live in Colorado and meet income guidelines. A household of four can earn up to $37,000 gross income a year and still qualify for WIC. Many working families meet income guidelines and are eligible to participate in WIC.

WIC serves the following categories:

  • pregnant women
  • breast-feeding women, up to the infant's first birthday
  • non-breast-feeding postpartum women, up to six months after delivery
  • infants and children up to their fifth birthday

The Colorado WIC program currently provides vouchers for supplemental foods such as cereal, eggs, juice, milk, peanut butter, beans, cheese, carrots, tuna and infant formula to about 85,000 low-income women, infants and children in the state each month. Participants also receive nutrition education, breastfeeding education and referrals to other health and social services. WIC is an equal opportunity provider.

For more information about how to enroll in WIC in Moffat and Routt counties, call VNA's WIC program director, Mary Grace Hahn at 871-7647.

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