Obesity-Related Fictional Children's Book Passes California Department of Education's Out-of-Cycle Legal and Social Compliance Review

Book that enlightens, empowers and motivates children to get healthy included on the Department's Web-based list 'Legal and Social Compliance Approved Out-of-Cycle Instructional Materials'

SAN DIEGO, Calif., February 20, 2006 - Child health advocate Merilee A. Kern, co-founder and CEO of KidsHealthDepot.com - a soon-to-launch online catalog offering "Solutions That Foster Healthy Children™, today announced that her healthy living-themed 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" (www.notfault.com) has passed the California Department of Education's Legal and Social Compliance Review and, as such, is now listed among the Department's Web-based list of "Legal and Social Compliance Approved Out-of-Cycle Instructional Materials" located at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cr/cf/lc.asp, materials from which may be purchased using either Proposition 20 Lottery Funds or any Instructional Materials Funding Realignment Program (IMFRP) funds remaining after districts have purchased their required standards instructional materials.

Specifically, the review panel found both the paperback version for grades 1-7 and the coloring and activity storybook adaptation for grades K-1 of "It's Not Your Fault That You're Overweight - A Story of Enlightenment, Empowerment and Accomplishment for Overweight and Obese Kids" to be "in compliance with social content requirements of Education Code sections 60040-60044 of the State Boards of Education guidelines that are outlined in the document, Standards for Evaluation of Instructional Materials with Respect to Social Content. These guidelines ensure that materials portray democratic values, cultural pluralism, and the diversity of our population by emphasizing people in a variety of positive roles."

Although the legal compliance process does not include a review of the education content, which must be done at the county office, district or school level, and the approval is for social content only and does not constitute state-adoption, the title will be listed on the Department's Web site for a full 6-year period.

"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 intended to help overweight kids get - and stay - on a healthy track. It also aims to motivate those within a healthy weight range to not only continue making wise lifestyle choices, but also better understand and empathize with peers currently struggling with a weight problem. The book, which comes in both a boys' and girls' edition, uniquely depicts an average overweight American child as (s)he encounters - and ultimately overcomes - the emotional and physical challenges associated with an adolescent overweight condition.

Through both easy-to-read text and endearing illustrations by esteemed artist Jerry DeCrotie, "It's Not Your Fault That You're Overweight - A Story of Enlightenment, Empowerment and Accomplishment for Overweight and Obese Kids" helps young readers better recognize and, in turn, circumvent the constant stream of negative cultural influences encountered each day. It also encourages kids to take control of their own health situation, educations them on how to make wise dietary and fitness choices, and motivates them by depicting the many specific benefits of getting an overweight condition under control.

For more information on the IMFRP, please visit the CFIR Web site at www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cr/cf/imfrpintro.asp. The book, itself, may be purchased online at www.notfault.com.

About the Author
Child health advocate Merilee A. Kern, MBA is the Co-Founder and CEO of Healthy Kids' Catalog (www.healthykidscatalog.com) - 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 eDiets.com, 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 info@notfault.com 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 press@notfault.com 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 www.notfault.com/NotFaultArt.zip. Additional information, including childhood obesity statistics, can be found at www.notfault.com.