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Lighten Up New Hampshire! Comes Online

December 5, 2007

UNH Cooperative Extension announces the launch of Lighten Up New Hampshire! a health-promotion Web site designed to help Granite Staters working to address overweight and obesity.

Supporting the efforts of New Hampshire individuals, families, communities, schools, and health care professionals, the site features subsections containing the latest research-based information on food and nutrition, fitness, motivation, creating healthier communities, and resources for professionals. The site will also host interactive blogs and discussion forums.

"More than half the people in New Hampshire are obese or overweight, including about 20 percent of the state's children," says Charlene Baxter, who heads Extension's Family and Consumer Resources program. "Nationally, the annual direct and indirect costs associated with obesity add up to more than $231 billion."

"UNH Cooperative Extension has been reaching out to individuals, families and communities with health-promotion messages and programs for 91 years," Baxter continues. "This project expands the health education work we already do.

"We know the Web can serve as a powerful tool for organizing information and connecting people, yet no statewide Web site was collecting and integrating obesity-prevention resources specific to New Hampshire. We decided to create one."

A $215,000 grant from the HNH Foundation funded the Lighten Up New Hampshire! initiative. In addition to the Web site, the grant also funds the formation of a statewide Lighten Up NH! Alliance, a collaboration among agencies, organizations, and concerned individuals who will collectively continue to develop and expand the Lighten Up New Hampshire! Web site, at http://lightenupnh.org/index.cfm.

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