Healthy Lifestyles Toolkit

Being overweight not only puts physical stress on our bones which can cause joint problems, it can lead to many other issues. Obesity can lead to loss of energy, depression, heart disease, chronic respiratory illness, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, just to name a few. The Florida Department of Health in Santa Rosa County  (DOH-Santa Rosa) has put together a variety of research tools, materials, and internet links to help parents and children find the answers they need to make healthier food choices and be more active.

My Plate

Helping Americans make healthier choices

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) developed My Plate as its new food guidance system, replacing the older Food Guidance Pyramid. The My Plate image is easy to understand and shows suggested portion sizes for each of the 5 food groups. The emphasis of this new graphic is to encourage eating more vegetables and fruit with every meal while not avoiding necessary proteins, grains, and dairy.

The website,, features practical information and tips to help Americans choose healthier diets.

We Can!

DOH-Santa Rosa has partnered with the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to bring our community the We Can!® national education program which provides parents and caregivers with tools to help children 8 to 13 years old:

  1. Eat right

  2. Get active

  3. Reduce "screen" time (time spent watching television, playing video games or being on the computer).

Click on the We Can! logo to visit their website.

BMI Calculator for Adults

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person's weight and height. This calculation provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to chronic health problems. The BMI weight categories are:

  • Less than 18.5 = Underweight
  • 18.5-24.9 = Normal
  • 25-29.9 = Overweight
  • 30 or more = Obese

To use the calculator:

  • Enter your weight and height using standard or metric measurement.
  • Click on Calculate and your BMI will appear along with links to take you to more information.

The CDC's Body Mass Index for Children and Teens


*Note: This page contains materials in the Portable Document Format (PDF). The free Adobe Reader may be required to view these files.

Internet Links

The We Can! Parent Handbook offers practical tips on finding the right balance of eating well and being physically active to maintain a healthy weight: (.pdf - 1.5 MB)

Visit We Can! - the national childhood obesity prevention program website:

This BMI Brochure (.pdf - 607kb) more fully explains BMI.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information about BMI on their website:



We Can! Ways to Enhance Children's Activity and Nutrition, We Can! and the We Can! logos are registered trademarks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Participation by DOH-Santa Rosa does not imply endorsement by DHHS/ NIH/ NHLBI.

This page was last modified on: 06/26/2013 11:13:53