Health Column: Helping kids achieve healthy weights in Mesa County, Colorado |

Health Column: Helping kids achieve healthy weights in Mesa County, Colorado

Phil Mohler, M.D.
Free Press Health Columnist

Struggling to keep your children at healthy weights?

We all know the statistics on the rising rate of overweight children and the risks for developing diabetes and heart disease in the years to come. It is scary.

We know that we need to eat more fruits and vegetables and exercise more. Yet, finding the time and motivation to make those changes in our “obesogenic environment” is difficult.

“We Can! Mesa County” is here to help. It is a program to help families make healthy changes and have fun at the same time.

Since the program began in 2012, over 200 children and their families have participated. Families come weekly to meet individually with pediatricians and nutritionists to set small goals to eat healthier and exercise more. The group then gets together to discuss topics using the national “We Can!” curriculum developed by the National Institute of Health or participate in a monthly cooking class.

Families, doctors and volunteers all have fun doing a variety of activities including games such as dodge ball, soccer, basketball, Zumba, line dancing, kick boxing, hula hooping … well, the list is endless.

The classes are held at Western Colorado Pediatrics. “We Can!” is financed in part by a grant by the state of Colorado. Insurance will be billed. All kids are welcome, and finances can be worked out for everyone.

Interested? Call Dr. Barbara Zind or Dr. Cassie Littler, pediatricians with Primary Care Partners, at 970-243-5437. Find “WeCan! Mesa County” on Facebook, too.

Free Press health columnist Dr. Mohler has practiced family medicine in Grand Junction for 39 years. He has a particular interest in pharmaceutical education. Phil works part-time for Rocky Mountain Health Plans. Email him at

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