Karen Springen

Stories by Karen Springen

  • FAMILY: ETHICS, PASS IT ON

    It's always nice when Uncle Charlie leaves you a fat inheritance. But a growing number of people are handing down something extra: an ethical will. The document, which can be a simple one-page sheet or an elaborate write-up with an accompanying video, spells out their beliefs and wishes for family and friends. Someone might, for example, say he hopes his children will continue their religious traditions and spend more time with their own offspring. It's a way to "bequeath your values," not just your valuables, says Dr. Barry Baines, author of "Ethical Wills: Putting Your Values on Paper," who recommends that everyone keep a legal will, a living will (which spells out your end-of-life care preferences) and an ethical will.Start by reading free samples at sites like ethicalwill.com. You can also contact a member of the Association of Personal Historians (personalhistorians.org), who will help you through the process (a simple will starts at $200 to $500). There's no need to wait until...
  • Being the Boss

    Three months ago, college student Megan Dougherty, 20, quit a waitressing job where she felt under-appreciated and unhappy with the "insane" turnover. She moved on to Nick's Pizza & Pub in Crystal Lake, Ill. after hearing great things about the place from another server. "[At Nick's] everyone I met was like, 'I've been here four or seven years. I was like: What!'" she says. Dougherty likes the philosophy at Nick's, including its "grandma test." "If you're picking up your pizza, look at it and make sure it's good enough to serve your grandma," she explains. The emphasis on service is reflected in generous tips, which Dougherty says are twice what she got at her old gig. She also appreciates her un-bossy bosses. "[Owner] Nick [Sarillo] comes and if we're busy, he'll help out," she says. "I see him running food and busing tables. The manager in my other job, if I dared ask anyone for help, he would re-evaluate why was I there."Small wonder that at the beginning of the summer, 50...
  • Breaking the Rules

    Joffrey Ballet dancers typically wear tights, tutus and pointe shoes. But on a Chicago stage next week, they will be dressed in sweatshirts and sneakers for a sultry pas de deux by "West Side Story" choreographer Jerome Robbins. You'd be forgiven for assuming that the street clothes are beneath ballet dancers. Far from it: along with 14 other dance companies from around the world, the Joffrey will perform at the Jazz Dance World Congress Aug. 3-6.Look for dancers donning sneakers, jazz shoes, even nothing at all on their feet, as 800 students and performers spend the days taking classes and their nights watching a choreography competition and performances by different companies. Masashi Action Machine from Japan will combine jazz with martial arts moves. Other groups will infuse their shows with elements from African tribal dance, hip-hop and tap. "This is really the Christmas for jazz dancers," says Lisa Arnett of Dance Spirit magazine.It's been the case virtually every August...
  • The Magic of Meditation

    At 59, David Lynch is already arguably America's best-known avant-garde filmmaker. His directing career has spanned more than three decades, including films like "Eraserhead" (1978), "Blue Velvet" (1986) and "Mulholland Drive" (2001), as well as the early 1990s TV series "Twin Peaks." But he's hardly resting on his laurels now. Lynch is directing a new movie, "Inland Empire," which stars Laura Dern, Jeremy Irons, Harry Dean Stanton and Justin Theroux. And at his Hollywood home on July 21, the father of three officially launched the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education. His goal: to raise enough money to train any U.S. child who wants to learn how to practice Transcendental Meditation (TM). Lynch talked with NEWSWEEK's Karen Springen about his latest project. Excerpts:NEWSWEEK: I understand your sister introduced you to Transcendental Meditation while you were making "Eraserhead" in the 1970s and you've been practicing it ever since. Why?David Lynch: When you...
  • ADULT: A MORE POSH VIBE

    Adult toys are no longer women's dirty little secret. In the post-"Sex and the City" era, these products have gone mainstream--and upscale. Today 46 percent of U.S. women own vibrators, according to a 2004 study by condom maker Durex. And they no longer need to buy them in seedy sex shops. Instead, they can go to ritzy places like the Rykiel women's boutique at Henri Bendel in Manhattan. Products like her $688 silk whip are "very chic, very humoristic, very cool and never vulgar," says Nathalie Rykiel, Sonia Rykiel's daughter and the brand's artistic director. (One vibrator looks like a lipstick tube, another like a rubber duck.) High-end designers like Shiri Zinn and Mi-Su also offer adult creations that sell for hundreds and even thousands of dollars.At Chicago's G boutique, which advertises on the mainstream Chicago radio station WXRT, products are kept in an antique cabinet, and shopping bags are filled with pink tissue and tied with a big pink bow. Customers are responding....
  • IN THE NEWS: 'E' IS FOR NO EFFECT

    Confused by the recent flurry of vitamin E studies? Last week researchers reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association that vitamin E supplements failed to protect healthy women against heart attacks, stroke or cancer. But, unlike a 2004 paper, it found that the pills did no harm. The JAMA study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, looked at 39,876 healthy women 45 and older who were randomly assigned to receive 600IU of vitamin E every other day (a dose found in many supplements) or a placebo.What should you do? Get your vitamin E from foods like olive oil, nuts and avocados. Not only are they healthier than pills, but they taste a lot better, too.
  • Building A Perfect Pizzeria

    For the past 10 years, Marge and Bob Quinn, both 62, have shared an onion and mushroom pizza (with tomatoes and spinach on his half) every Friday at Nick's Pizza & Pub. Their regular server, Lisa Fisher, knows them so well that she automatically puts in their order when she sees them. The Quinns watched former construction worker Nick Sarillo, now 43, build his first restaurant out of a century-old dairy barn in Crystal Lake, Ill., about an hour northwest of Chicago--and curious, tried it out as soon as it opened. From their first Friday, the Quinns loved the pizza and the ambience. Sarillo himself "comes around and says hello to everybody," says Bob Quinn. "And those young girls who are greeting people are always smiling. You can see that they've been trained to do that. Today that's not normal."Both construction and the restaurant business are in Sarillo's blood. His Italian dad ran a beef stand, a pizzeria and an aluminum siding business. Sarillo enjoyed construction but was ...
  • Dying to be Tan

    At 14, fair-skinned, blue-eyed Charlie Guild got a bad sunburn after she forgot to reapply her sunscreen at a pool party. When she was 16, she mistakenly fried herself on a family Christmas vacation trip to Puerto Vallarta. Charlie was just 25 when she learned she had melanoma. She died from it eight months later. "I never had the faintest idea that literally a burn could cause you to get a fatal disease. It can," says her mom, Valerie Guild, president of the Charlie Guild Melanoma Foundation (charlie.org), a national advocacy group trying to raise awareness about skin cancer prevention and detection through sun-safety education for children and other efforts.Getting tan may not be as harmful as smoking. But unprotected exposure to its ultraviolet rays in the teen years dramatically increases the risk of skin cancer, the most common form of the disease in America today. And doctors are concerned about the rising rates of skin cancer, particularly sunburn-linked malignant melanoma-...
  • INJECTIONS: THE 'YOUTH CORRIDOR' IS THE NEW FOREH

    Botox bestowed furrow-free foreheads on the masses. Last year alone, U.S. doctors performed 2.8 million injections with the wrinkle-smoothing drug. But a growing number of patients are realizing they've got the foreheads of 25-year-olds--and the smile lines and jowls of 45-year-olds. "I noticed that my forehead was looking so perfect, and I needed to match the bottom," says Botox user Jodi Abramowitz, 33, a New York lawyer. So she requested a collagen-tightening laser on her nasolabial folds and jowl area and Restylane, a gel filler, in her cheekbones.She's not the only one. Last year U.S. doctors administered 882,469 injections with synthetic gel fillers (such as Restylane and Hylaform)--up from 116,211 in 2003. Paying attention to the "youth corridor" on the bottom of the face is not as invasive or as pricey as a face-lift. The cost: $350 to $450 every three to six months for Botox in the forehead and at least $500 every six to nine months for fillers between the mouth and nose....
  • IT'S NO LONGER A HOG HEAVEN

    Alejandro Silva has spent 27 years making pork rinds, those love-'em-or-hate-'em snacks made from deep-fried pigskin. During that time he's seen how news events can drive his business, for good and for bad. In the early 1980s, while he was running a pork-rind company in Mexico, the peso was devalued, forcing him to come to the United States. At the end of that decade, sales spiked, driven by the buzz that the first President Bush had brought pork rinds to the White House to replace Ronald Reagan's jelly beans. Then, a few years ago, the dieting craze took hold of his business as millions of Americans went on the high-fat, low-carb Atkins diet. Pork rinds, which are carb-free, are practically the only snack Atkins dieters are allowed to munch on. The result: sales at Silva's Chicago-based company, Evans Food Group, tripled over five years, reaching $96 million in 2004.Alas, then the bust came. Dieters are now moving beyond Atkins. According to NPD Group, 4.5 percent of Americans were...
  • Red and Purple Buying Machine

    Several times a month, Linda Glenn, 57, of Luck, Wis., puts on one of her 97 red hats and heads to high tea, a play or a parade with a few dozen similarly attired women. She is "founding queen mother" of the Rowdy Red Hat Mamas of northern Wisconsin--one of 41,200 chapters of the Red Hat Society, a seven-year-old for-profit group based in Fullerton, Calif. devoted to fun and frivolity for women over 50. Like the nation's 1.5 million or so other "Red Hatters," she wears red hats and purple clothes--the more outrageous, the better. Feather boas and blinky-light finger rings are particularly popular with the Wisconsin chapter's 64 members, ages up to 92.The society dates back to 1997, when founder Sue Ellen Cooper, now 60, gave a friend who was turning 55 a red hat and a copy of the Jenny Joseph poem, "Warning," about an aging woman who wears a red hat and a purple dress. Cooper then gave hats to three other close friends. In 1998, Cooper and these four women wore their red hats with...
  • The Tip Sheet

    Until last month, Lindsay Christiansen, 26, hadn't worn a bathing suit in three years. The San Diego, California-based flight attendant gained weight after college and felt self-conscious about her increasingly dimpled thighs. "It got to the point where I didn't even want to wear shorts," she says. Then Christiansen heard about a new treatment for cellulite that combines intensive massage and cool laser light. She signed up at a local spa and, after just a few weeks, saw a big difference: her legs were slimmer and less rippled. "Every day, people are, like, 'You lost weight, what are you doing?' " she says.Christiansen's treatment, TriActive, is the product of a new wave of research into cellulite. The orange-peel-like skin that forms around the butt and thighs affects 85 percent of all women older than 18. Yet, for a long time, dermatologists had little information about its nature or how to treat it. "Only in the past three years have we really understood what causes it," says Dr....
  • MEDICINE TAILORED JUST FOR YOU

    Suppose you've just been diagnosed with lung cancer, which is fatal in most people within two years. Your doctor tells you there is a new drug that has kept some patients alive for as long as five years, but it can have serious side effects, including liver and eye damage. Worse, it works in only 10 percent of the people who receive it. You would probably respond, Let's see what else you've got--which is more or less what the FDA said about just such a drug, Iressa, when it was approved in 2003 as a so-called third-line therapy. This means it should be given only to patients who have failed to respond to at least two other therapies. By that point, of course, it could be too late to save patients who might have been successfully treated at an earlier stage.Now, suppose there's a genetic test that can predict whether you're in the 10 percent for whom the drug works.The day after researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute announced they would begin...
  • ON THE MARCH TO ERADICATE CHILD ILLNESS

    Dr. Bruce Aylward is yielding no ground. As coordinator of the World Health Organization's $4 billion Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Aylward runs a worldwide immunization program that is supposed to eliminate the virus forever by the end of this year. He's still not ready to push back the schedule, even though cases of the devastating childhood illness have been popping up in countries like Indonesia and Yemen, where it was wiped out long ago. "The virus has never been in this much trouble," he insists. When the global campaign began in 1988, the disease was paralyzing350,000 or more victims a year on five continents--mostly children. So far this year, the number of confirmed cases hasn't passed the low hundreds. Now, says Aylward, the essential thing is to finish wiping out the disease. "If we blink," he says, "it will be not hundreds, but hundreds of thousands."People forget too quickly the horrors of sicknesses like polio. In 1954, the year before Jonas Salk introduced his...
  • EDUCATION: CLASSY GIFTS

    The last day of school is right around the corner. What's the best way to thank your child's teacher? Some advice:Check school policy. If your principal allows gifts, remember that giving a present is optional. "You should not feel you have to do that," says former elementary-school principal Cindy Post Senning, great-granddaughter of Emily Post and coauthor of "Emily Post's The Guide to Good Manners for Kids."Don't break the bank. Extravagant gifts could be "misperceived as a bribe," says Senning--especially if you give them before report cards come out.Avoid cliches. "Don't give anything with apples," says Tim Sullivan, president of PTO Today, a bimonthly magazine for school parent-teacher organizations. Sullivan, whose mom spent 20 years as a teacher, remembers her opening every kind of apple imaginable, including ceramic and plastic ones.Organize a class gift. Any parent can take the initiative and collect money based on each person's ability to pay. "If someone can give $5, and...
  • HEALTH: A STAPLE IN TIME...

    Getting stitches once meant a week spent looking like Frankenstein. No more. Today, doctors are increasingly turning to two alternatives: glue and staples. Both make treatment less traumatic and require less follow-up.Glue. The adhesive is faster and easier than stitches, because it requires no sewing, anesthesia or later removal--it sloughs off naturally in seven to 10 days. And patients can shower immediately. But it's not recommended for scalp wounds or "high tension" areas like knee joints, says Dr. Margaret A. Dolan, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics' committee on pediatric emergency medicine (see aap.org).Staples. Last year Incisive Surgical introduced absorbable staples (placed under the skin's surface) for abdominal wounds. For a C-section, a doctor places 14 one-eighth-inch staples a half inch apart. The staples are faster than sewing (which means less time under anesthesia), and don't require a return visit for removal. They also heal better, says Dr. K....
  • FAMILY: WAITING FOR HARRY

    On July 16, muggle kids will finally get their hands on book number six, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." Here's what they can read while they wait (for more options, see ala.org)."The Two Princesses of Bamarre," by Gail Carson Levine. In this fairy tale, by the author of "Ella Enchanted," a princess outsmarts dragons and ogres while on a quest to save her sister's life."A Wrinkle in Time," by Madeleine L'Engle. In the first book of a series about an unusual family, a girl and her younger brother travel through space and time to rescue their missing father."The Witches," by Roald Dahl. This wicked story by the author of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" features nasty witches who try to turn the world's children into mice--but are thwarted by a scrappy boy."Clemency Pogue: Fairy Killer," by J. T. Petty. A girl accidentally kills seven fairies--and then heroically (and humorously) travels to correct her mistake.
  • PUBLISHING: THE 'BOYS' ARE BACK. NICE HAIR, JOE!

    When the "Hardy Boys" series began in 1927, the brothers were helping Dad figure out who robbed a neighbor. Now they're taking on radical environmentalists and a murderer at the X Games. "They have a little more of an edge," says Rick Richter, president of Simon & Schuster's children's publishing division, which is launching the revamped series next month. While the boys maintain their wholesome image, they cruise around on motorcycles, rely less on Dad and take on risky undercover missions. (In one, Joe Hardy gets a--gasp--mohawk.)The reason for the re-release isn't much of a mystery. When S&S gave Nancy Drew a similar makeover last year, she landed on The New York Times's best-seller list. There are currently more than 800,000 copies of the new "Nancy Drew: Girl Detective" series in print; they've been snatched up by fans of the original series who now have kids. " 'Hardy Boys' and 'Nancy Drew' are essential to American adolescence and learning to be a reader," says Bill...
  • HEALTH: LIVING THE HARD LIFE

    Here's a novel alternative to Viagra: exercise, eat right and stop smoking. In "The Hardness Factor: How to Achieve Your Best Health and Sexual Fitness at Any Age" ($25.95), out next week, New York University Medical Center's Dr. Steven Lamm argues that good overall health is the secret to good sexual health. "That's what's going to convince a 26-year-old to stop smoking, lose 20 pounds or get his blood pressure checked," he says. Here are key steps to take:Lose weight and exercise. Diabetes raises your risk of heart attack and stroke, and also leads to "unpredictability" in sexual performance.To promote good circulation, watch your blood cholesterol levels and don't smoke. (See americanheart.org for guidelines.)Eat right. "When you have fatty food, you are stunning your blood vessels," says Lamm. He recommends antioxidant-rich fruits like bananas and grapes that are also "sensuous." Lamm also likes niacin (found in poultry, tuna, avocado and peanuts), which raises good HDL...
  • FAMILY WET, BUT NOT WILD

    Ready for a splash- filled summer? Here are some tips for keeping your family safe in the water:Maintain constant eye contact with a child who is not yet a strong swimmer, says Stew Leonard, coauthor of "Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim: A Child's First Guide to Water Safety." Also, see the Consumer Product Safety Commission's new "swimming-pool safety alert" at cpsc.gov.Insist on barriers. A four-foot fence--with self-closing and self-latching gates--should surround home pools.Check for missing or broken drain covers, which can entrap small kids.Bone up on first-aid skills and gear. See ymca.net for classes in your area.Educate your children. Make sure kids know not to swim alone--and not to jump into the water to save anyone else. The YMCA advises owners of backyard pools to post rules--and go over them with kids regularly.
  • PERISCOPE

    Ah Turkey: Old Hatreds Die HardCould Kurdish separatist leader Abdullah Ocalan do more damage to the Turkish state from inside prison than he was able to do while free? If the European Court of Human Rights has its way, Ocalan may have to be retried because it has deemed his 1999 terrorism conviction unsound. But a retrial could trigger an ugly nationalist backlash--not just against Turkey's Kurdish minority, but against Europe too, wrecking three years of unprecedented reforms and diplomacy that have brought Ankara to within a whisker of opening negotiations to join the European Union.Turkey's increasingly nationalist opposition party, the Republican People's Party (CHP), has already latched onto the case as an opportunity to denounce European perfidy. "[Europe] is playing with Turkey's honor, inciting the people," says Deniz Baykal, head of the CHP. "We should not bow our heads." Many Turks are suspicious of Kurdish aspirations, which they see as covert separatism, and of European...
  • Tip Sheet

    By Karen SpringenMen may earn more than women, run faster and buy more wide-screen TVs. But when it comes to health, they trail the opposite sex in nearly every category. Stroke, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and the six other leading causes of death kill men at a higher rate than they do women. Yet men are half as likely to see a doctor regularly. "They're busy with work, and they always make excuses," says Rep. Randy (Duke) Cunningham of California, a prostate-cancer survivor who is pushing to open an Office of Men's Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Here are some steps men can take to live longer, healthier lives. ...
  • 'There Is Hope'

    Alcohol and drugs killed icons like Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe. But some strong-willed addicts get help in time. In "The Harder They Fall: Celebrities Tell Their Real-Life Stories of Addiction and Recovery" (Hazelden), former rock 'n roll publicist Gary Stromberg and his partner, Jane Merrill, tell some of the famous folks' stories of redemption. Stromberg also weaves in tales of his own abuse. In the 1970s, he built a public-relations firm that represented a range of stars--from Muhammad Ali to Barbra Streisand, the Rolling Stones and Elton John--and produced a hit movie, "Car Wash." But he says his addiction to alcohol and drugs cost him his career and his long-time girlfriend in 1980. Today Stromberg runs a small PR company in Westport, Conn., where he lives with his two children who, he notes, have never seen him drunk or stoned. At 63, he eats only vegetarian food, runs regularly and works out on an elliptical trainer. He spoke with NEWSWEEK's Karen Springen about his...
  • BOOKS: OUT OF THE CLOSET AND ON THE SHELF

    Last year Dr. Justin Richardson and his partner, Peter Parnell, read a New York Times story about two male penguins who hatched a baby penguin in Central Park--and thought it would make a great kids' book. Simon & Schuster agreed. Next month "And Tango Makes Three" will hit bookstores, which are increasingly being stocked with gay-themed books for children and teens. In the next few months major publishers will back a spate of new gay titles: from "You're Different and That's Super," a picture book by "Queer Eye" 's Carson Kressley, to the humorous "Absolutely Positively Not," on a teen in denial about being gay.This is a far cry from the 1990s, when only indie houses would touch titles like "Heather Has Two Mommies." Today stories can be about finding the right boyfriend, not just about coming out, says David Levithan, an editor at Scholastic and author of "Boy Meets Boy." Not everyone approves. Three of the books on the American Library Association's 2004 "Ten Most Challenged...
  • Periscope

    A report bound for the U.S. Congress says Washington has underestimated China's "astonishing" recent progress in areas from nanotechnology to satellites. Written by former assistant under secretary of Defense Michael Pillsbury for the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a panel set up by Congress, the report is circulating at the Pentagon, where officials plan to use it to press for stricter technology-transfer controls on China in upcoming congressional hearings. A senior Defense official warns: "We've been allowing its scientific community to cherry-pick the technology they need to modernize their defenses."The Pentagon is a home for hard-liners on China, and the Pillsbury report is likely to revive old battles. The report argues that a patronizing U.S. view of China--and the absence of a Chinese sputnik to galvanize concern--have lulled the U.S. diplomatic and scientific community into complacency. It cites recent reviews by the U.S. National Science Foundation...
  • A PEACEFUL ADOLESCENCE

    At 16, Purva Chawla holds good rankings in schooland loves competing in drama and elocution contests. The New Delhi student is "head girl" of her school and plays for the table-tennis team. Recently she won a public-speaking contest organized by The Times of India, and the British Council selected her to travel to Britain with a group of young leaders to organize a sporting event for kids in Scotland. Even with all her extracurricular activities, she still makes it home for dinner with her parents and goes out to the movies with them twice a week. "I talk with them very freely about what's happening with my friends, boyfriends, whatever," she says.Is the Chawla family for real? Didn't they get the memo that says teens and their parents are supposed to be at odds until... well, until forever? Actually, they're very much for real, and according to scientists who study the transition to adulthood, they represent the average family's experience more accurately than all those scary TV...
  • WHO'S THE WEAKER SEX?

    Men may earn more than women, run faster and buy more widescreen TVs. But when it comes to health, they trail the opposite sex in nearly every category. Stroke, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and the six other leading causes of death kill men at a higher rate than they do women. Yet men are half as likely to see a doctor regularly. "They're busy with work, and they always make excuses," says Rep. Randy (Duke) Cunningham of California, a prostate-cancer survivor who is pushing to open an Office of Men's Health at the Department of Health and Human Services. Whatever Congress decides, here are some steps men can take to live longer, healthier lives.18 to 35. Focus on prevention. See your doctor every two years for routine tests, including blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar screens. Ryan Cooper, 28, saw his dad die of a heart attack at 40 and now visits the physician regularly. After a recent checkup showed his triglycerides (a kind of fat) were twice the normal level, he hit the...
  • BEYOND THE BIRDS AND BEES

    A few decades ago, many parents were content to let their kids learn about the birds and bees from pals on the playground. These days, smart parents know that straight talk on sex can ease some of the confusion surrounding puberty and help their kids make sound choices later on.The stakes have never been higher. Each year in the United States, more than 800,000 girls 19 and younger get pregnant and over 4 million teens contract sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea. In the old days, "the only way you could die from having sex," jokes Lynda Madaras, a sex educator and author of "What's Happening to My Body?," "is if your parents found out and they killed you." Today unprotected sex can lead to infertility and a life-threatening disease like HIV.Parents shouldn't wait until the junior prom to sit their kids down for The Talk. By then, it may well be too late. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance...
  • HEALTH: SHEDDING LIGHT ON HOSPITALS

    No one wants to trust his heart-bypass surgery to a mediocre hospital. But how do you sort the reliable ones from the rest? Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, along with the nation's major hospital groups, launched a database that offers free performance reports on more than 4,200 hospitals nationwide. For now, hospitalcompare.hhs.gov focuses on the quality of care for patients with heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia. It shows, for example, the percentage of patients at each hospital who are treated with beta blockers and aspirin at arrival and discharge--key recommendations from the American Heart Association. Until the site adds more information early next year, you may want to supplement it with data from other sources. Leapfroggroup.org, which is free, looks at such safety measures as computerized prescription ordering, which eliminates miscommunications caused by messy handwriting and helps staff check for harmful drug interactions....
  • PUMP UP THE FAMILY

    Bruce and Lisa Smith never skimped much on food. Chips, fried chicken, canned fruit, sodas--they ate as much as they wanted, whenever they wanted. Exercise? Pretty much nonexistent, unless you count working the TV remote or the computer mouse. "We were out of control," says Bruce, 42. And so was their son, Jarvae, who is 5 feet 4 and weighs 176 pounds. Three months ago Jarvae's doctor referred the entire family to a fitness program run jointly by the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. During weekly meetings, the Smiths learned how to change their eating habits--no more soda, lots more salad--and they traded TV time for walking and swimming. So far, the Smiths have lost 22 pounds altogether. And they're on a family quest for healthy living. "It's working," says Bruce. "We feel good."If you're like most Americans, you know you need to eat better. You know you need to exercise. You know you need to turn down the stress level. What many adults don't...