March 12, 2015 Last Updated 9:16 am

Bridges Communications Group play mid-March of new monthly magazine TheWEIGH

Press Release:

DETROIT, Mich. – March 11, 2015 — Bridges Communications Group, Inc. (BCG) and founder Jackie Berg have announced the mid-March launch of monthly magazines TheWEIGH™, Neighborhood News Hub and the related TheWeigh.com. These new publications, which are focused on promoting neighborhood community health including the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity, will be distributed through minority newspapers statewide. (Click here to view pdf of TheWEIGH.)

The publications are supported by political and community leaders, including Gov. Rick Snyder and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, who co-wrote the foreword for the inagural issue of the Neighborhood News Hub. Michigan Department of Community Health Director Nick Lyon co-wrote TheWEIGH’s foreword.

TheWeigh-400Berg created TheWEIGH out of frustration, as a parent, in trying to make sense of the science surrounding childhood obesity and the lack of tools available to help combat the problem.

“Obesity, as a whole, has been on the rise in Michigan, but the increase in childhood obesity is especially troubling,” said Berg. “According to the Centers for Disease Control, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.”

Although childhood obesity affects every population, it is particularly prevalent within the African American and Hispanic communities. Today, nearly 39 percent of Hispanic youth ages two to 19 are obese according to the Overweight and Obesity Among Latino Youth report issued by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). In addition, according to the organization’s Overweight and Obesity Among African American Youths report, 35.2 percent of Black non-Hispanic youth are considered overweight or obese. These young individuals are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.

“These stats are just staggering. Something needs to change,” says Berg.

With knowledge of these statistics, each print issue will include accredited professionally-reviewed content about healthy lifestyles, non-sedentary activities, balanced and nutritional diet plans, as well as tips on self-responsibility.

With an initial circulation of 90,000, TheWEIGH will be distributed in M2 Alliance newspapers and on free news racks in the Detroit, Flint/Saginaw, Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo and Lansing/Jackson markets. The Alliance is made up of Michigan’s largest and most respected minority newspapers and digital properties covering the African American, Hispanic, Arab American and Chaldean communities. Members include American Arab Chamber, ARISE Detroit!, Chaldean News, CPSA Courier, Daily Detroit, Detroit Driven, Detroit Regional News Hub, El Vocero Hispano, Grand Rapids Times, Jackson Blazer, Lansing Chronicle, Latino Press and Prep Star.

“Through this innovative media partnership, our intention is to elevate the awareness of this critical childhood obesity epidemic, especially in the minority communities, educate our readers about weight bias in America and champion conversations about the state of inner city health and its effect on economic development,” said Berg. “It is our mission to provide a unified voice on these issues and knowledge to the community and its neighborhoods on real life solutions on everyday challenges.”

As part of TheWEIGH, the Neighborhood News Hub will seek to close the existing gap between community health and economic well-being. It will include hyper-local information and positive stories about grassroots neighborhood block clubs, community organizations and activities, and small business owners. Another section called “Stir,” presented by the Michigan Fitness Foundation (MFF), will feature nutrition news, tips and delicious recipes developed by the foundation’s food and wellness experts.

Online, TheWEIGH.com, which will go live shortly, will focus on the prevention and treatment of childhood obesity through a Q&A feature, polls, personal stories, tips and more. Initially it will include aggregated content, but will generate original posts as the publication grows. In addition, beginning in the spring, TheWEIGH.com will feature GOguide, the largest repository of low and no cost, non-sedentary activities statewide.

Hispanic-owned ASG Renaissance developed the publication’s website and is providing on-going service support.

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