Judy Eberhardt's New Book Gives Teens Practical Ways to Shape Up Amid National Spotlight

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Author Judy Eberhardt’s Shape Up or bite me! is a humorous, cleverly illustrated novella that will inspire kids to “think” healthy.

The message in this book will raise kid’s self-esteem, increase their energy level, and help them improve their grades.

Kids with bogus ideas about what being “healthy” means or how to manage weight issues, as well as concerned parents, teachers and health-care professionals finally have something to sink their teeth into with author Judy Eberhardt’s book Shape Up or bite me! “SWALK” Lessons from Six Teens in Health Class. Clinical Advisor: Amanda Stein, MS RD.

"With Michelle Obama’s campaign Let’s Move and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, now more than ever I believe more parents will be looking for ways to talk to their kids about eating better," said Eberhardt. Unlike most books on the subject, Shape Up or bite me! is a humorous illustrated novella, written from a teens-eye-view, that is packed with enough witty dialogue and important health facts to levitate even the most reluctant sofa spud. As a timely motivational tool, it encourages kids to make better food choices, exercise and develop a different attitude about their least important priority: their health.

The story introduces six culturally diverse, health-challenged teens randomly grouped together as a team at a Magnet High School. Their mission: get the student body to develop healthy habits, or, as they put it, “force them to listen to this shocking waste of time.” As team “Tl,” they decide to video tape a documentary picturing their own learning curve. What happens to Marvin, Connie, Darrell, Beth, Hiro and Lali during the filming is a whole lot more than they, or the class, ever expected.

This funny yet poignant teen story not only reflects some of the problems kids face today, it gently, but firmly, moves them toward a healthy life style by signaling what will happen if they don’t make smart food choices or exercise enough.

Author Eberhardt’s novel Shape Up or bite me! was inspired by a teen relative who struggled with weight issues. But after working with Amanda Stein, the teen figured out that an attitude adjustment, eating right, and exercise can help. Having worked for animators Hanna-Barbera, and being involved with script development and production in the entertainment business in Los Angeles for years, Judy took this inspiration and created an entertaining story that she hopes will empower kids to make their own healthy choices.        

“My hope is that the book will be incorporated into middle schools and high schools as supplemental material for health and/or nutrition classes,” said Eberhardt. “Judging from the initial response from academia, it would be a welcomed addition to the curriculum," said Eberhardt.

"Bad eating habits is a critical problem facing teens and society in general today," said Ronald G. Forsyth, retired school administrator, Garden Grove, California. "Shape Up or bite me isn’t just an entertaining story, it’s an educational tool for the teacher and parent to put into practice," said Forsyth.

"The message of this book will raise kid’s self-esteem, increase energy level, and help improve grades," said Susan Mears, Diabetes Educator, Tucson, Arizona. The teen-speak acronym for Type 2 Diabetes – T2D – is perfect,” said Mears.

“The information in Shape up or bite me is easily accessible for both students and teachers and has high appeal value. It’s an excellent resource text,” said Joseph Lopez-Clarke, Health/Biology Instructor, Long Beach Polytechnic High School, California.

Everyone agrees, Shape up or bite me! reflect kids’ real lives today, and its loaded with vital facts about making smart food choices and avoiding inadequate foods. This book helps kids “move it” toward a healthy life style.

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Robin Swift
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