It’s the time for making New Year’s resolutions and Iowa women are being encouraged to take better care of themselves and to take charge of their families’ wellbeing ,too.

Dr. Joann Shaffer, a disease prevention specialist, says she’s trying to get a message out to women in the state about an increasing problem. Shaffer says obesity is up among women and children and since women direct the family in many ways, making many of the health care decisions, it’s important they get the message and take care of themselves. Women also tend to buy much of the food and do the cooking.

She says the process starts with eating healthy and physical activity. Shaffer says, "We’re below the national average for deaths from heart disease but it’s still the number-one killer of women," while cancer is a close second.

Shaffer says one in-depth study finds that since 1994, Iowa women are 27-percent more overweight. She says obesity effects diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and can bring a higher risk of cancer. Healthy lifestyles are a must, as is weight control, but Shaffer says we tend to ignore the good advice and the warning signs while continuing to pack on pounds.

She says there are misconceptions about nutrition, portion sizes are terrible, we don’t practice moderation like we should and the things we eat aren’t good for us.