HealthTime, LLC Integrates Childhood Obesity-Related Fictional Children's Book into Innovative Adolescent Weight Management Program

Ground-breaking piece of children's literature being leveraged to 'emotionally connect' with youth

San Diego, Calif., February 6, 2006 - Merilee A. Kern, co-founder and CEO of - a soon-to-launch online catalog offering "Solutions that Foster Healthy Children™", today announced that her newly released fictional children's book "It's Not Your Fault That You're Overweight - A Story of Enlightenment, Empowerment and Accomplishment for Overweight and Obese Kids" ( has been incorporated into HealthTime, LLC's comprehensive weight management program for youths.

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, the HealthTime ( program helps children improve their health and well-being by achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. The multi-faceted program combines instructor led exercise, nutrition counseling and life-skills coaching to achieve long-term success, and teach students the lifetime skills and habits required to avoid serious health problems associated with an overweight condition.

Jeffrey Rice, MD, JD, HealthTime CEO, notes, "I believe Ms. Kern's fictional children's book, which addresses the topic of childhood obesity in a very sensitive and endearing way, will be an extremely useful tool to help empower and motivate our students, as well as help them better understand and navigate the many health 'landmines' throughout society. This book is a welcome resource for the HealthTime program."

"It's Not Your Fault That You're Overweight - A Story of Enlightenment, Empowerment and Accomplishment for Overweight and Obese Kids" is a first-of-its-kind fictional children's story that had been heralded by an array of health industry experts. The story is intended to help kids of all shapes and sizes get - and stay - on a healthy track. It also aims to help those within a healthy weight range to better understand and empathize with peers currently struggling with a weight problem.

Through both easy-to-read text and endearing illustrations by esteemed artist Jerry DeCrotie, the book, which comes in both a boys' and girls' edition to best resonate with the reader, uniquely depicts an average overweight American child as (s)he encounters - and ultimately overcomes - the litany of negative cultural influences encountered each day, often hour-by-hour. The story encourages kids to take control of their own health condition, educations them on how to make wise dietary and fitness choices, and motivates them by depicting many benefits of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

Randy DeLue, a parent San Diego-based parent who has read the book with his children, offers his perspective: "Although my children are not overweight, reading this important and timely book with them opened the door for me to engage them in thoughtful discussion about personal lifestyle choices that definitely had room for improvement. My 6 and 8-year old kids now realize that they have quite a bit of control over their own health, and that good choices lead to good results in many areas of their life. They also now put much more thought into selecting their snack options and, although they do occasionally want the sugary stuff, it's with less frequency, and they've actually started asking health related questions about the food they are being served at home. This publication has proven to be a sorely needed catalyst for my family to discuss this all-important topic in a gentle and effective manner, and I consider it a 'must read' for families whether or not a weight problem exists."

The gender-specific paperback versions of "It's Not Your Fault That You're Overweight" for 8 to 13-year olds can be purchased online at,, and - suggested list price is $11.95. The Coloring and Activity E-Book adaptation for children ages 7 and under can also be purchased online at - list price $4.95.

About the Author of It's Not Your Fault That You're Overweight
Child health advocate Merilee A. Kern, MBA is the Co-Founder and CEO of Healthy Kids' Catalog ( - an online storefront offering a wide array of "Solutions That Foster Healthy Children™." Ms. Kern has worked in the $48-billion plus weight loss industry for over half a decade, including a multi-year tenure as a marketing executive with, Inc. (NASDAQ:DIET), a leading online nutrition, fitness and healthy living destination. Ms. Kern is a life-long fitness enthusiast and former bodybuilding champion twice over. She has spent all of her adult years devoted to good nutrition, fitness and healthy living - a lifestyle that she, together with her husband whom she met at the gym, now impart on their two young children. She earned both her Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science degree from Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She can be reached via email at or via telephone at 858-577-0206.

Note to Editors: If you would like to receive a free reviewer's hard and/or electronic PDF-formatted copy of this title, please contact Merilee Kern at 858-577-0206 or with your format (hard copy or electronic) and edition (boy, girl, or both) preference as well as your shipping information, if required. To access an online zip file containing the front and back cover jacket design, including health expert endorsements, for both editions along with story and illustration excerpts, go to Additional information, including childhood obesity statistics, can be found at