You are what you eat

In this, the all-kids edition of Moving and Shaking, I’d like to start by recognizing Chico State University, which has received a $590,000 grant to help prevent unhealthful weight gain in children.

Using Prop. 10 tobacco tax funds, the Children and Families Commission allocated the three-year grant, which comes with matching funds of more than $100,000 from the California Nutrition Network. OPT (Overweight, Prevention and Treatment) for Fit Kids will target children in Butte County.

Professor Faye Johnson, from Chico State’s Nutrition and Food Services, will oversee the program, while Cindy Wolfe will serve as its coordinator. There are several other partners, mostly public entities.

In a press release, Wolff said being overweight as a child can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol problems. Johnson suggested that OPT will address poor diet as a culprit, including more fast food being eaten by busy families, and “children [being] increasingly responsible for preparing their own meals, resulting in more high-calorie, high-fat meals.” Also, physical activity needs to be increased for children to be at their optimal level of health.

Their lips are really sealed

Last spring, I wrote a little review of the premiere of Mary-Kate and Ashley Magazine, which proved to be a fresh, fun publication geared to the early-teen set. Now, it turns out all is not well in Olsen-land.

I got an e-mail from Linda Sherry, editorial director at, who is looking into the Case of the Missing Subscriptions. (If you know those busy twins at all, you know they’re also great hands at solving mysteries.) Turns out the magazine’s publisher, H&S Media, went belly up, leaving Mary-Kate and Ashley Magazine subscribers in the lurch. Now, the twins’ production and marketing machine, Dualstar, is trying to figure out how to make nice to a bunch of disappointed little girls who are out their subscription money after the mag only made it to a couple of issues.

Other publications that bit the dust when H & S filed Chapter 11 include, according to Great Grilling, Pojo’s Pokemon, Scooby Doo Scooby Snacks and a wrestling mag called WOW Xtra.

A call to H & S Media drew a recording that the number was “being checked for trouble.” Michael Pagnotta, a publicist for the Olsens’ Dualstar Entertainment (which was expected to take in $500 million in sales in 2001), said Dualstar’s hands are somewhat tied because, due to the bankruptcy, they can’t legally be in touch with H & S customers.

“Right now there are talks going on to publish the magazine with a new publisher,” Pagnotta said, adding that Mary-Kate and Ashley did so well that it probably caught H & S by surprise.

Here, kitty, kitty

Quiz: Who’s from London, England, and weighs as much as three shiny apples? No, not Prince William’s ears. It’s Hello Kitty, that’s who! I met her in person (or is that “cat"-son?) last Saturday at the Chico Mall, where she was holding court at Candy Tyme.

Her nice handler was taking pictures of the kiddies, and I asked if I was too old to join in the fun. "Never!" said the handler. It was a very special moment for me. I made a scrapbook page about it that very day.