Making healthy food and lifestyle choices easier for families - evidence from the European funded I Family Study research project

February 9, 2017



Professor Wolfgang Ahrens based in Germany and joins eHealth Radio and the Children's Health, Health News & Family Channels. Ahrens is Project Co-ordinator of the European funded I Family research project into what drives food and lifestyle choice in European children and families and how those choices impact on lifelong health.

Listen to interview with host Eric Michaels and guest Wolfgang Ahrens discuss the following:

  • The I Family Study won funding from Europe in the face of strong competition. What was it about your proposal and your ambitions for the 5 year research project that secured that approval and the funding?
  • What is the I Family Study contributing to further our understanding of how European families and children in particular can be helped to live healthier lives? What’s new in terms of science and evidence that can help individuals help themselves?
  • What would be the one key, that the I Family Study and their message for families and particularly parents about how they can help their children invest in their life long health? Is it food choice or is it engaging in physical activity – where should parents place their efforts? How can we help ourselves and our families to combat obesity and other health issues?
  • What practical advice can I Family give to healthcare professionals across Europe as to how best they can support families? Where should they put their efforts? Are there interventions that work & can be relied on to provide that support?
  • Can families and healthcare professionals on their own deliver the change that’s needed to combat the global long-term trend towards sed-en-tary lives and weight gain? Isn’t there a need for Europe-wide and also national regulation to combat this trend?

Conclusion: At an individual level there is much that families – adults and children – can do to help themselves if they prioritise their lifelong health. But at a population level, to support particularly the most vulnerable/those with least advantages, as professionals we believe there has to be appropriate regulation and policies to help us all combat modern society and life which makes it too easy to eat and act less healthily than we should.


Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Ahrens is professor of epidemiological methods at the faculty of mathematics and computer science of the University of Bremen, Germany. He is Deputy Director of the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS in Bremen and head of the department Epidemiological Methods and Etiological Research. Having finished his biology studies in 1985 he worked as scientific assistant in numerous epidemiologic studies with focus on work- and environment-related cancer.

In the years 1995-1998 he established the working group Epidemiology at the Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, University Clinic Essen. After his PhD thesis on "Retrospective assessment of occupational exposure in epidemiological case- control studies" he established the cross sectional division Epidemiological Methods and Field Work at the BIPS. From 1998-2003 he was Head of the division.

In 2000 he qualified as professor for Epidemiology and Public Health. In 2003 he was offered a W3-professorship for Epidemiological Methods at Bremen University. A key focus of his research addresses the causes of lifestyle diseases as well as their primary prevention and the scientific evaluation of intervention measures. Further research interests lie in the area of the aetiology of cancer with focus on environmental factors and occupational exposures and the use of secondary data for epidemiological research. He initiated the largest Europe-wide intervention study on overweight, obesity and other disorders in children conditioned by nutrition, lifestyle and social factors (; 2006-2012) and is currently coordinating the subsequent prospective cohort study on lifestyle, diet and exercise in children, adolescents and their parents - the I.Family study (; 2012-2017).

Furthermore, he is a Member of the Board of Directors, chair of the Northwest cluster and PI of the study centre Bremen of the German National Cohort (GNC). The German National Cohort is a joint interdisciplinary endeavour of scientists from the Helmholtz and the Leibniz Association, universities, and other research institutes. Its aim is to investigate the causes for the development of major chronic diseases, i.e. cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative/-psychiatric diseases, musculoskeletal diseases, respiratory and infectious diseases, and their pre-clinical stages or functional health impairments. (



Social Media Links:
Twitter: @IFamilyStudy

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) in young men

January 31, 2017


Rebecca DeLeon, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Intensive Program Coordinator at Optimum Performance Institute, a residential treatment program that promotes lasting independence for young adults utilizing a real world approach joins eHealth Radio and the Mental Health and Health News Channels.


Listen to interview with host Eric Michaels and guest Rebecca DeLeon discuss the following:

  • What is Borderline Personality Disorder?
  • How does it present differently in males?
  • How can this be misdiagnosed in males at times?
  • How do the symptoms cause a failure to launch for these young men?
  • How does OPI treat this in your program?

Rebecca DeLeon holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology. Her Bachelor of Science in Family Studies was awarded by California State University, Northridge.

During her academic time with CSUN Rebecca worked in the Child and Family Studies Center which acknowledges the needs of the individual child and the values of the family with the provision of a safe and nurturing environment. She trained with New Directions for Youth during her graduate program working with court referred adolescents in therapy.

Rebecca participated in Behavioral Tech’s Dialectical Behavior Therapy 10-Day Intensive Training Course© as well as several other DBT trainings such as, Using DBT on the Front Lines.

Rebecca is a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and the American Psychological Association.


Divorce Mediation: What Are the Benefits?

November 25, 2016


Chris Griffith, Founder and Divorce Mediator at Split Simple joins eHealth Radio and the Family and Relationship Channels. Split Simple is a unique divorce mediation firm with offices in Colorado and Illinois that helps couples navigate divorce with less stress, expense and uncertainty than adversarial courtroom proceedings.

Listen to interview with host Eric Michaels & guest Chris Griffith discuss the following:

  • What are the main differences between divorce mediation and litigation?
  • What is unique about your approach to mediation?
  • What are some misconceptions about divorce mediation that you most often hear?
  • Is mediation a more expensive option than litigation?
  • In terms of child custody, what are the benefits of mediation?

Duration: 10:56

As a Founder of Split Simple, Chris Griffith became the firm’s first attorney-mediator. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wake Forest University, a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from East Carolina University (graduating first in class) and a law degree at the University of North Carolina School of Law.

Mr. Griffith has extensive experience in traditional divorce proceedings as well as mediation. Working on divorces in and out of the courtroom showed him the toll that family court takes on families.

Drawing on his background in mediation and family therapy, Mr. Griffith helped create the rigorous, transparent, data-driven process for divorce that provides spouses a constructive framework to reach mutual decisions on matters attending the end of their marriage, saving time, money and distress for the parties involved – as well as their children.

Split Simple was founded in Colorado and currently has locations in the Denver area and multiple counties. The firm recently opened offices in Chicago and Cook County, Illinois.



Social Media Links:
Twitter: @splitsimple

Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships

September 6, 2016

Dr. Nikki Martinez, Psychologist and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor again joins eHealth Radio and the Relationship Advice Channel to discuss healthy and unhealthy relationships.

Listen to interview with host Eric Michaels & guest Dr. Nikki Martinez discuss the following:

  • What are signs of an unhealthy relationship?
  • What are signs of a healthy relationship?
  • What components do you consider vital to a healthy relationship?
  • What are some common bad habits and behaviors that can break down a relationship?
  • What are a few things a couple can do right away to start to repair their relationship, and make it a more healthy one?

Duration: 8:11

Dr. Nikki Martinez received her Masters and her Doctorate from Illinois School of Professional Psychology, and completed her pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellowship at Gateway Foundation in Lake Villa, Illinois.

She is the Head of Clinical Development for, where she can be reached if you are interested in individual or couples work with her. She is an Adjunct Professor for 2 graduate programs, a Blogger for the Huffington Post, Everydaypowerblog, Older Dating, Success Stories, and a Contributor to the Chicago Tribune. She just published her first 8th book through

Twitter: @DrNikkiMartinez

The views and opinions expressed on any program are those of the persons appearing on the program and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the eHealth Radio Network.

The Dangers We Face in a Technology Driven World

August 4, 2016

Dr. Lisa Strohman, the Founder and Director of the Technology Wellness Center, one of the first organizations to address the global issue of technology addiction and overuse joins eHealth Radio and the Mental Health, Psychology and Technology Channels.

Listen to interview with host Eric Michaels & guest Dr. Lisa Strohman discuss the following:

  • Tell us about your background in the field and what inspired you to specialize in technology addiction.
  • We all use technology, whether it is professionally or recreationally; what are signs that you have crossed the line into unhealthy use and addiction?
  • We learned from a recent interview that you worked with a middle school where 30% of its students were suspended due to some inappropriate text messages. Can you tell us a little more about this & why parents should be concerned?
  • Parent's biggest concern with their child's internet use was once cat phishing and online predators, is sexting the next upward battle?
  • You are about to release an online program called The Digital Citizens Academy, can you tell us more about that and how parents/teachers can bring it to their schools?

Recognizing the growing challenges parents now face with their children, and the increasingly serious issues her young patients are dealing with due to our growing dependency on technology, inspired Dr. Strohman to launch the Technology Wellness Center, which she co-founded with Dr. Melissa Westendorf JD, PhD in 2014.

After growing up in California, Dr. Strohman attended the University of California, Davis, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She then completed a joint, integrated program in law and Psychology at Villanova and Drexel Universities, where she met Dr. Westendorf.

During her undergraduate career, Dr. Strohman gained experience as a lead program coordinator with Families for Early Autism Treatment (FEAT), as a family reunification therapist and a hospice counselor. While attending graduate school, she performed research in substance abuse, risk communication and child abduction. Her avid interest in public policy earned her the honor of becoming a legislative intern for Congress. She was also selected as an honors intern with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and invited to become a visiting scholar with the FBI’s National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime division as she completed her dissertation.

After earning her Juris Doctorate, Strohman worked at a large law firm, while completing her residency at the Arizona State Hospital in both a clinical and forensic rotation in clinical psychology. She eventually settled back into her counseling practice as the clinical psychologist with Lifescape Medical Associates, where she utilizes her training in cognitive behavior therapy to help patients.

In addition to establishing the Technology Wellness Center, Dr. Strohman and Dr. Westendorf developed an assessment test (TUC) to help parents identify if their child is at risk from technology overuse. The two have also co-authored a book, Unplug: Raising Kids in a Technology Addicted World, published in July 2015.

In an effort to educate parents, caregivers and students, Dr. Strohman frequently speaks at schools, parent organizations and with students to help raise awareness and offer preventative tools and resources. She is also frequently featured in the media as an expert source for issues related to technology use and behavior.

Dr. Strohman is married to her high school sweetheart, Dr. William Strohman and is a devoted mom to their two children.


Declutter your Life: Family, Safety & End of Life Planning

June 30, 2016

Dr. Nikki Martinez, Psychologist and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor again joins eHealth Radio and the Health and Personal Development Channels to continue the discussion of decluttering your life in regards to family, safety & end of life planning.

Listen to interview with host Eric Michaels & guest Dr. Nikki Martinez discuss the following:

  • What are a few ways in which you can help organize your family and have things run more smoothly?
  • What are some of the organizational family tips people would not think of?
  • What is the importance of having safety information available, where should it be, and what should it include?
  • While hard to discuss, what is the importance of having funeral plans?
  • Does your book cover these areas?

Duration: 7:27

Dr. Nikki Martinez received her Masters and her Doctorate from Illinois School of Professional Psychology, and completed her pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellowship at Gateway Foundation in Lake Villa, Illinois.

Head of Clinical Development for, she is an Adjunct Professor for 2 graduate programs, a Blogger for the Huffington Post, Everydaypowerblog, Older Dating, Success Stories, and a Contributor to the Chicago Tribune. She just published her first 7th book through

Twitter: @DrNikkiMartinez

Keeping kids active and why soccer is a great choice

May 31, 2016

Dean Butler, Coaching Manager at Ginger Sport joins eHealth Radio and the Children's Health and Health News Channels, who is here with us to talk about why soccer is such a great sport for little kids. Ginger Sport provides fun soccer sessions to thousands of kids every week across Queensland, Australia.

Listen to interview with host Eric Michaels & guest Dean Butler discuss the following:

  • Choosing an activity for your kids can be overwhelming. Why do you think soccer is such a great sport for little ones to start out with?
  • Physical fitness is an obvious benefit, but can you tell us a little more about the effects of sport on the emotional wellbeing of our kids?
  • Some sports are traditionally thought of as boys only or girls only. What is it, do you think, that makes soccer so great for both boys and girls?
  • What do you think is the most rewarding thing about coaching little kids?
  •  We’ve all heard the saying, you shouldn’t work with children and animals! But what’s the funniest or most embarrassing thing a child has said or done at a session?
  • Finally, have you got any tips for our listeners on how to keep kids enthusiastic about sports?

Duration: 6:49

Ginger Sport is a kids’ soccer business based in Queensland, Australia. We are passionate about improving the physical and emotional wellbeing of children, via our unique brand of fun and energetic soccer for kids.

We believe that sport is for every child and every ability. We provide soccer sessions that encourage children to participate, have fun, and above all let their abilities shine. We want all children to experience the feeling of inclusion you get from playing in a team and working together towards a common goal.

Established in 2009, thousands of children play soccer with Ginger Sport each and every week.


Social Media Links:
Twitter: @ginger_sport

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How To Take A Healthy Vacation with Bob Caputo

May 27, 2016

Bob Caputo, Host of Bob Caputo Living Well, a web series encourages people to live healthier lives by providing workout tips and guiltless recipes the whole family will enjoy joins eHealth Radio and the Nutrition Channel to discuss how to take a healthy vacation.

Listen to interview with host Eric Michaels & Bob Caputo discuss the following:

  • Should people stick to their diet on vacation?
  • Can you give the listeners some tips on how to avoid weight gain on vacation?
  • What if you're going on a cruise or an all-inclusive vacation where they supply the food?
  • What if you're taking a road trip this memorial day?
  • What should listeners do once they arrive to their destination?

Duration: 9:50

Bob Caputo wants to share his passion for healthy food that is easy to make and that tastes great with the world, along with his knowledge of how to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Bob is best known for hosting Cookin’ Lite Cookin’ Easy, Livin’ Lite Livin’ Easy, Living Well Sports, Grundy and Caputo, MMITK, as well as for his work on Tom Izzo’s Secrets to Getting In-Shape. In addition, Bob is currently working on Cookin’ Lite Cookin’ Easy: EntertainingHealthy Heart & Soul, Taste Buds, and a lifestyle series about traveling.

In order to gain experience, and to drive new ideas for his cooking series and lifestyle series, Bob spends a month of each year in Northern Europe, studying cooking and filming travel videos. He takes the knowledge he gains back with him to the United States, where he shares it through his cooking and lifestyle series.

Bob loves being the host of his cooking television series, and constantly experiments with recipes for the shows. In his spare time, he enjoys staying fit, and leading a healthy lifestyle: the motivation behind Livin’ Lite Livin’ Easy. Bob also loves being active and going to the gym, which is the motivation behind his exercise and workout related series. Bob also takes care of his pond during his free time. Bob is a competitive mixed martial artist, as well as an avid sailboat racer, having raced in every major body of water. Bob is also an enthusiastic repeller.


Social Media Links:
Twitter: @BCLivingWell

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Helping Your College Student Through the Transition from Adolescents to Adulthood

January 27, 2016

Dr. William Courter, the Founder of the Boomer Health Institute, the author of The Boomer Survivor Kit (An Indispensable Guide for Yourself * Your Relationships * Your Life) and the author of A Father’s Letters joins eHealth Radio and the Family and Relationships Channels. He has been the associate director of a large health-care agency and he is still a national consultant of difficult cases, helping shape the care for of thousands of patients per year.

Listen to interview with host Eric Michaels & guest Dr. William Courter discuss the following:

  • What led you to write your new book, A Father’s Letters (with subtitle “To His College Daughters)?
  • The critics described your approach as “counter cultural form of parenting” … could you explain why they drew that conclusion?
  • What did you recommend to your daughters for that transition through college?
  • Do you have any other recommendations for parents of college students?
  • Did you think your approach worked with your children? And do you think the same approach would work for other students?
  • How does this topic relate to improving the parent's health? And how does this topic relate to improving the student's health?

Duration: 14:06

William Courter, MD, earned degrees from Williams College, New York Medical College, and the University of Southern California. A board certified physician in psychiatry and neurology, he has served as associate medical director of a large health-care agency, and he has served as a national consultant for difficult medical, psychiatric, and substance abuse cases across the United States, shaping the care of thousands of patients per year.

Dr. Courter is also the founder of the Boomer Health Institute and the author of the the author of The Boomer Survivor Kit (An Indispensable Guide for Yourself * Your Relationships * Your Life). In addition, he is the author of his new book, A Father’s Letters, which focuses on helping your child through the difficult transition through college into adulthood. He has been a keynote speaker for multiple organizations, offering presentations on healthy habits, preventive medicine, career paths, relationships, and personal development.

Dr. Courter has created two web sites and and he has produced a series of YouTubes videos, covering a range of topics from the growing toxicity of our world to the explosion of chemicals / contaminants / GMOs to developing healthy habits to improving relationships to learning the keys to successful parenting (at all ages).

Dr. Courter lives in Coto de Caza, California with his wife of over 30 years. He has two daughters who live and work in Southern California.

Websites: |

Social Media Links:
Twitter: @drcourter

The harrowing experience of helping her son navigate his addiction

December 1, 2015

Anita Devlin, the author of the compelling new memoir entitled S.O.B.E.R: an acronym for Son of a Bitch Everything's Real, a gripping book that tells a story of addiction through the eyes of Anita and her son, Mike joins eHealth Radio and the Addiction Information & Health News Channels.

Listen to interview with host Eric Michaels & guest Anita Devlin discuss the following:

  • Tell us all about your memoir S.O.B.E.R*: A Story of Addiction Told by a Mother and her Son- why you decided to write it, and what message you wish to share with the release of this book.
  • It’s incredibly common, especially today in the midst of an epidemic, to hear about deaths and overdoses due to heroin, but what isn’t as common are the stories of how drug addiction affects the families. To what extent should a family be involved in recovery? 
  • How was Mike’s recovery affecting you? Did it make you sick at all? 
  • How was this journey ultimately YOUR recovery as well?
  • It’s a well-known phrase among family members of addicts going through denial to say things like “not my son/daughter,” or “this can’t happen to us.” For you, it was more like, “don’t tell anyone.” What was your experience like of trying to maintain the perfect family image, and being fearful about admitting the truth that was going on with Mike?
  • Addiction is a struggle that perhaps no one understands more so than those who have lived it, and those who have loved an addict. Where does your strength come from and how do you find ongoing support? How are you involved in the recovery community and with mothers of addicts today?
  • Tell us about how Mike has changed, and how you have changed as a mother, in Mike's sobriety. What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned? 

Duration: 17:38

Anita Devlin is the co-author of a compelling new memoir entitled S.O.B.E.R.*, an acronym for Son Of a Bitch Everything’s Real. In a phrase, that’s how Anita felt during the harrowing experience of helping her son navigate his addiction, which eventually led to his recovery. Her son & co-author, Michael Devlin Jr., has been sober for nearly five years.

S.O.B.E.R.* is uniquely written from two perspectives, simultaneously: Anita, grappling with the stigma of her son’s addiction, fearing for her son’s life and struggling to understand the disease of addiction; alongside Michael, suffering emotionally and physically while in the grips of the disease, and his empowering message of recovery after months in treatment.  Theirs is a story of struggle, hope and faith that has been called by many “a family love story.”  Addiction professionals have raved about the book, which aims to put real faces to the disease.

Anita is an addiction advocate for mothers, who have children suffering from addiction. Anita offers support and advice by speaking at parenting groups and treatment centers throughout New York and New England. She also makes the time to speak to any mom around the country who needs her support, aiming to make them understand that they are not alone. Anita’s message always includes that addiction is a family disease: the whole family needs to be in recovery/therapy in order for everyone to heal.

Anita was awarded the Woman of The Year award in 2013 by the National Association of Professional Women for her writing. Professionally, she has worked as a producer and casting director for more than 20 years and currently has four shows in development, one of which focuses on helping mothers of children suffering from addiction.

Anita lives in New York City with her husband, Michael.