Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A $12.5 million dollar donation from toy maker Hasbro’s founding family will help launch a new institute at Brown University to study children’s health. The collaboration with local hospitals will focus on new approaches to kids’ most urgent health problems.

The early focus of the new institute will be to dig deeper into the drivers behind asthma, autism, and obesity. Hasbro Children’s Hospital pediatrician-in-chief Dr. Phyllis Dennery will help lead the effort.

General Mills

School is nearly out for the summer. And that means thousands of children who rely on free or reduced price school meals are at risk of going hungry. That's why there's a USDA-funded summer meals program. In Rhode Island, the program serves an average of 300,000 meals each summer.

County Health Rankings 2015 / Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released its annual County Health Rankings, and Rhode Island's counties (Providence in particular) seem to be faring worse than the national average on a few measures, and much better on a few, too.

Researchers with the Hasbro Children’s Hospital Pediatric Refugee Health Program in Providence have found that the longer child refugees stay in the U.S., the greater the chance they'll become overweight or obese.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Fewer elementary and middle school students in Rhode Island are obese. That’s according to a new analysis from Rhode Island Kids Count. But the needle isn’t budging on obesity in high schoolers.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

In honor of Labor Day, I decided to check the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data on workplace injuries. What are the most dangerous industries in Rhode Island?

Health care, beat only by trucking, being a messenger/courier, or working in some retail outlets. Surprised?

Health care includes nursing homes, which seem to have some of the highest number of work days missed because of injury. That's partly because of all the heavy lifting.

It depends on what you define as progress, or on what you define as an acceptable risk.

Every two years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts out results from its latest Youth Risk Behavior Survey, or YRBS. Teens are surveyed about all kinds of risky and healthy behaviors, from how likely they are to wear a bike helmet to whether or not they've eaten fruits or vegetables in the past week, as well as the usual suspects like smoking and unprotected sex.

My First 5K

Nov 1, 2013

I'd like to share a personal experience, about getting back into an exercise routine after giving birth this past July. In a word, it's been tough.

Add to that recovering from an unexpected C-section, less time to myself, and no budget for a gym membership, and I've got some pretty good reasons to procrastinate. But there are many more reasons to exercise than not to exercise, and we seem to hear about more by the day. Check out some great reasons here.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Parents everywhere may be looking forward to dipping into that plastic pumpkin to sneak a Halloween treat tonight – and for several nights to come. Is that so bad?

Not necessarily, according to Johnson and Wales University pediatric nutrition expert Barbara Robinson. She joined us in the studio to talk about Halloween candy, along with a giant bag of "fun size" treats.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

UPDATE: The AMA voted yes on calling obesity a disease, despite a committee's recommendations against it.

Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurers will be able to charge smokers up to 50% more than non-smokers for health insurance. Fair or not, a Politico article points out how difficult that policy might be to enforce - and not simply because smokers could lie. For instance:

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently (end of June, 2012) issued revised guidelines for treating obesity. They recommend that doctors (1) screen all patients for obesity (defined as a body mass index of 30 or higher) and (2) refer obese patients for comprehensive behavioral “interventions” to help them lose the weight.That means some insurers could be asked to cover multiple group or individual behavioral counseling or weight management sessions for overweight patients. But could it mean your insurance rates go up?