A Scientific Approach to Weight Control

    Medical science in the 21st century has made remarkable advances in understanding how the body's metabolic system works. The metabolic system controls the energy use and storage inside your body. Changes in the modern lifestyle, mainly eating sugar and not getting physical activity, have led to a "metabolic dysfunction" that is the root cause of several chronic (and deadly!) diseases including diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, strokes, and liver disease. Obesity is just a symptom of metabolic dysfunction, not the cause. Obesity is the result of left-over energy molecules (lipids) that are packed into the fat cells and can't get out because the metabolic system is not working well enough to utilize that energy.

     Unfortunately, the science is pretty complicated, which is why it took so long to discover! This web page attempts to break it down and make it easier to understand. Be prepared: it's still going to be difficult because many of the concepts go against what we have learned as "the truth" during the previous century. However, it is vitally important that we learn this new science in order to turn back the epidemic of chronic disease that has made the life expectancy of humans worse than the prior generation for the first time since the Middle Ages.

Our Mission

The Healthy Weight Kids Coalition was formed as a community partnership in 2005 in Bowling Green KY to serve the region of South Central Kentucky.

We hope to greatly reduce the epidemic of metabolic dysfunction through preventive measures in the following areas:

(1) Work with schools to improve nutrition teaching and to improve the nutritional quality of foods available to children while at school. Increase the opportunities for physical activity in schools.

(2) Educate physicians to identify and treat metabolic dysfunction (overweight) in their patients. Provide resources for them to educate their patients about prevention, and treat those who are already affected.

(3) Make the public aware of the problem of metabolic dysfunction so that parents can recognize it (as overweight) at an early stage in their own children. Make the public aware of the serious health hazards resulting from metabolic dysfunction, and the options available to treat it.

(4) Influence the local and state legislatures to bring about laws which favor the reduction of overweight (metabolic dysfunction) in children, and promote cultural changes that allow children to maintain a healthy weight.

(5) We also hope to guide and improve existing overweight treatment facilities within the community, improve access and availability of exercise and fitness resources within the community, and to set an example for treatment facilities everywhere.

Contact Information

Please do feel free to get involved! The overweight and chronic disease epidemic has already surpassed infectious diseases as the leading cause of death world-wide. It has just passed tobacco as the leading preventable cause of death in the USA.

We welcome your input!


Rick Voakes MD, President

Dennis Chaney, Treasurer

Leah Ashwill, Secretary

Postal address

Healthy Weight Kids Coalition of Southern Kentucky

c/o Dr Rick Voakes

PO Box 54

Bowling Green, KY 42102

Electronic mail

DrVoakes@gmail.com (Dr. Voakes)

[Funded in part by a grant from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky]