By tamara It may surprise you to learn that November, a month in which we celebrate by over-eating (Thanksgiving), is also Good Nutrition Month. Did you know that no state in the United States has an obesity rate lower than 21%, and approximately one-third (33.8%) of all U.S. adults are obese? The rates for childhood obesity have tripled over the last 30 years; there are now over 12.5 million children and adolescents who are over-weight. People who are obese are at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem, as well as a host of other health risk factors. It’s definitely time to take a closer look at what we eat and start making healthier choices. To help get you excited about making the change to a healthy lifestyle, I’ve listed some financial incentives (scholarships) that may provide you with free money for college. All you have to do is choose to make a difference in yourself or in your community. Healthy Lifestyles Scholarship: To be eligible for this award, you must be a citizen of the U.S. or Canada, be under 25 years of age and provide an answer to the following essay question (1,000 words or less): “Why is a healthy lifestyle important in school?” One $5,000 scholarship will be awarded. Youth Leadership Scholarship Program: Any high school senior in Manitoba (Canada) who has engaged in meaningful leadership and citizenship volunteer activities during the past year that were targeted at promoting healthy living in his/her community or school may apply. A total of 200 scholarships will be awarded; each scholarship is worth $500. Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship: U.S. high school seniors who have promoted vegetarianism in their schools or communities should apply and include essays that address any of the topics: how they promoted vegetarianism, the challenges/successes promoting this lifestyle or why being a vegetarian is important. Two $5,000 scholarships will be awarded. Hopefully, these scholarship programs will inspire you to make a change in your eating habits and lifestyle. By adding more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and a little exercise to your life, you’ll find yourself having more energy and carrying around a little less weight. Don’t wait until January to make a healthy resolution; kick things off now and you’ll be feeling fantastic by 2012. Hopefully, the only place you’ll see a little more “fat” is in your college savings account!