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As part of the Center for Health Journalism Fellowship, journalists work with a senior fellow to develop a special project. Recent projects have examined health disparities by ZIP code in the San Francisco Bay Area, anxiety disorders and depression in the Hispanic immigrant community in Washington state, and the importance of foreign-born doctors to health care in rural communities.

Journalist Maureen O'Hagan examines the complex challenges facing parents trying to help their children — and perhaps themselves — lose weight.

Nathan's just 14, but he's no slouch. He's articulate, creative, has a good group of friends and seems to take time to think about what he's doing. He's also been overweight for most of his life. To him, it feels like a curse.

For a decade, Washington has been fighting for your life. Yet you might not even know this because it's been a quiet battle, a fight designed to work its way into the fabric of your life. It's about your weight — or, more important, the weight of your children.

It's third period at Castlemont Business and Information Technology School in East Oakland. A visitor begins a discussion about poverty, bad food and crime. Tough times? Tough streets? These high school students aren't stressing.

Castlemont High School students cope with stress and violence

To a teen living in the rough areas of East Oakland, sorrow is no stranger. Random violence, worry about the future and a constant battle for basics such as healthy food or good schools add up to a kind of life that can make an East Oakland teen far older than his or her chronological age.

Interviews with and writings by nearly 100 students at the Castlemont Campus of Small Schools reveal three major stressors jeopardize their health: academic anxiety, lack of healthy food and an environment that limits their freedom and imprisons them indoors. Even more alarming, factors such as a poor diet and lack of nutrition can lead to health problems that can be passed on to future generations, researchers say.

Ditiyan Franklin was a B student with college aspirations and a big, dimpled smile. Just last week he went to his senior prom, dressed in an impeccable white suit -- a memory stored in a key chain photo his father now carries in his pocket. Had he lived another month, Franklin would have experienced another rite of passage: high school graduation. But on Wednesday, gunfire cut his future short.

Latino Teen Suicide: A Problem that can be Prevented

Second part of Linda Perez' series on the causes of, and efforts to prevent suicide among Latino teens in Georgia.

Latino Teens Under the Shadow of Suicide

What's being done to prevent suicide among Latino teens in Georgia? Linda Perez investigates for MundoHispanico.

A flood of ill health

The construction of a dam near an Indian reservation on the Missouri River forced residents to less fertile land and put an end to their farming habits. Since then, American Indians have experienced a lack of nutrition, leading to diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

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