Posts Tagged ‘ childhood obesity ’

Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Study: Childhood ADHD May Lead to Troubles Later On
Nearly a third of people diagnosed as children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) still have the condition in adulthood, according to a large new study that also found they’re more likely to develop other mental disorders and to commit suicide. (via Reuters)

K-12 Student Database Jazzes Tech Startups, Spooks Parents
An education technology conference this week in Austin, Texas, will clang with bells and whistles as startups eagerly show off their latest wares. (via Reuters)

U.S. Baby’s HIV Infection Cured Through Very Early Treatment
A baby girl in Mississippi who was born with HIV has been cured after very early treatment with standard HIV drugs, U.S. researchers reported on Sunday, in a potentially ground-breaking case that could offer insights on how to eradicate HIV infection in its youngest victims. (via Reuters)

Rewards Get Kids Active, But Don’t Improve Health
Children will meet activity goals to earn rewards, but the extra effort doesn’t necessarily affect their weight and health, according to a new study. (via FOX News)

Los Angeles Board Race Attracts National Attention and Money
On Tuesday, voters in Los Angeles will go to the polls for a mayoral primary. But much of the attention will also be on the three races for the school board, a battle that involves the mayor, the teachers’ union and a host of advocates from across the country — including New York City’s billionaire mayor — who have poured millions of dollars into the races. (via New York Times)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

6-Year-Old Transgender Girl, Not Allowed To Use School Bathroom
At first, Jeremy and Kathryn Mathis didn’t think much of their son’s behavior. Coy took his sister’s pink blanket, and shunned the car they gave him for Christmas. (via Huffington Post)

Is One of the Most Common Drugs Prescribed During Pregnancy Safe for Your Baby?
Many expectant mothers are wary of taking drugs during the early weeks of pregnancy, as this time period can be crucial for the development of their baby. However, sometimes it’s hard to know for sure just what kind of effects medications can have on an unborn child. (via Fox News)

Texas Ten Commandments Resolution Calls For Prayer, Religious Displays In Schools
Texas state Rep. Phil Stephenson (R) filed a resolution on Monday calling for more “acknowledgement” of Christianity in public schools, encouraging Ten Commandments displays, prayer, and use of the word “God.” (via Huffington Post)

Children With Autism Show Increased Positive Social Behaviors When Animals Are Present
The presence of an animal can significantly increase positive social behaviors in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), according to research published February 20 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Marguerite E O’Haire and colleagues from the University of Queensland, Australia. (via Science Daily)

School Safety Addressed At House Education Committee Hearing; Arne Duncan’s Sequestration Hype
On Wednesday, members of the House Education & Workforce Committee mulled over ways to keep schools safe in light of the horrific Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting, reports Politics K-12. (via Huffington Post)

First Lady Announces Effort to Help Kids Exercise
Imagine students learning their ABCs while dancing, or memorizing multiplication tables while doing jumping jacks? Some schools are using both methods of instruction and Michelle Obama would like to see more of them use other creative ways to help students get the recommended hour of daily exercise. (via Yahoo!)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Teacher Survey Shows Record Low Job Satisfaction in 2012
As school districts continued to cut budgets, increase class sizes, and implement teacher performance evaluations, teachers’ job satisfaction plummeted in 2012, reaching an all-time low, according to a survey released Thursday. (via Huffington Post)

Standardized Test Boycotts, Protests Gain Momentum Around U.S.
High school students and teachers in cities around the U.S. have decided they hate standardized tests so much, they’re just not going to take them, according to news reports.
(via Huffington Post)

Lasting Legacy of Childhood Bullying: Psychiatric Problems in Adulthood
It’s not just the victims of bullying that experience long-term consequences; bullies themselves are also at risk of mental health issues later in life. (via TIME)

Adults Cut Back Fast Food, but U.S. Kids Still Eat Too Much Fat-CDC
American adults have made a little progress in recent years in cutting back on calories from fast food, but children are still consuming too much fat, U.S. health researchers say. (via Reuters)

Caffeine Linked to Low Birth Weight In Babies
One cup of fresh coffee a day significantly increases the chances of giving birth to an underweight baby, a study has found. The new findings from a large Scandinavian study suggest current guidelines on caffeine consumption during pregnancy may not go far enough. (via Fox News)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, February 4th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

NYC Teen Pregnancies Down Over a Decade
Teen pregnancies among New York public school students have dropped by 27 percent over a decade.  Officials says the dip is due to contraceptives and delayed sexual activity, as reflected in new data released by the city Department of Health on Sunday. (via Fox News)

Insulin-requiring Diabetes Up in Young Children, Study Finds
The number of cases of insulin-requiring type 1 diabetes rose sharply in children under the age of Philadelphia over a two decade span, paralleling increases seen across the United States and in Europe, according to a U.S. study. (via Reuters)

Israeli and Palestinian Schoolbooks Fault Other Side in Conflict
Both Israeli and Palestinian schoolbooks largely present one-sided narratives of the conflict between the two peoples and tend to ignore the existence of the other side, but rarely resort to demonization, a U.S. State Department-funded study released Monday said. (via Huffington Post)

California Preschool, Rocked by Sex Sandal, Is Closing Its Doors ( VIDEO)
A California preschool is reportedly closing its doors amidst allegations of sexual activity among its young students. According to KABC-TV, at least two young boys say they received oral sex from a five-year-old girl on the premises of the First Lutheran Church of Carson School, where the three children are students. (via Huffington Post)

Key TB Trial Fails; More Waiting in the Wings
A highly anticipated study of the first new tuberculosis vaccine in 90 years showed it offered no added benefit over the current vaccine when it came to protecting babies from TB infections, a disappointing but not entirely unexpected outcome, researchers said on Monday. (via Reuters)

Junk Food in Schools: USDA Proposes Calorie, Sugar Limits
Most candy, high-calorie drinks and greasy meals could soon be on a food blacklist in the nation’s schools. For the first time, the government is proposing broad new standards to make sure all foods sold in schools are more healthful. (via Huffington Post)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Charter Schools That Start Bad Stay Bad, Stanford Report Says
When it comes to charter schools, the bad ones stay bad and the good ones stay good, according to a report on charter school growth released by an influential group of Stanford University scholars on Wednesday. (via Huffington Post)

Greek Yogurt In School Lunches Introduced As Meat Alternative In USDA Pilot Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is launching a pilot program that could place Greek yogurt in school cafeterias across the country by April as a protein, or meat alternative, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced Wednesday. (via Huffington Post)

Childhood Obesity Linked To Multiple Sclerosis
A new study has found an association between childhood obesity and the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) in children and teenagers. Though still rare, pediatric MS is more common now than it was 30 years ago. (via Fox News)

EPA Moves To Ban Certain Rat and Mouse Poisons
The Environmental Protection Agency is moving to ban the sale of a dozen rat and mouse poisons sold under the popular D-Con brand in an effort to protect children and pets. (via Fox News)

Long-delayed School Snack Rules to Come Soon: Vilsack
After more than a year’s delay, American schools will soon see new U.S. government rules targeting the kinds of snacks sold to students, a move nutritionists say could play an important role in fighting childhood obesity. (via Reuters)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Pediatricians Issue First-Ever Diabetes Guidelines for Children
With childhood obesity rates on the rise, pediatricians are doing something they couldn’t have imagined a need for a decade ago: they’re debuting guidelines for managing weight-related diabetes among youngsters. (via TIME)

Top K-12 Senator Tom Harkin to Retire
Sen. Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat who sits at the top of the Senate panels that deal with both K-12 spending and policy, isn’t planning to seek re-election in 2014. This is a very big deal: Harkin is arguably the most powerful lawmaker in Congress when it comes to education. (via Education Week)

Diet, Parental Behavior and Preschool Can Boost Children’s IQ
Supplementing children’s diets with fish oil, enrolling them in quality preschool, and engaging them in interactive reading all turn out to be effective ways to raise a young child’s intelligence, according to a new report published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. (via Science Daily)

Controversy Over Parents Treating Severely Autistic Son with Medical Marijuana
An Oregon family has turned to medical marijuana to manage their son’s severe autistic rage, KPTV reported. Alex Echols, 11, is severely autistic, and his doctor said Alex’s self-destructive behavior is brought on by tuberous sclerosis, a rare, genetic disorder that affects about 50,000 people in the U.S. (via Fox News)

Schools Background Check Visitors In Illinois For Criminal Record
Visitors to schools in a suburban Chicago, Ill., district are now required to undergo a background check as part of added security measures in the weeks following last month’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. (via Huffington Post)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Obama Evaluating Early Childhood Education Push In Second Term
Arne Duncan, President Barack Obama’s education secretary, has a slogan that summarizes his tenure and the view of his mission that he shares with his boss. “Education is the civil rights issue of our generation,” Duncan says. (via Huffington Post)

Duncan On Guns In Schools: Hard To Teach Kids Scared Of Being Killed
Too many students worry more about being killed by a gun than learning in the classroom, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said on Thursday, as he cautioned that firearms alone do not make schools safer. (via Huffington Post)

Potential to Prevent, Reverse Disabilities in Children Born Prematurely, Study Suggests
Physician-scientists at Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children’s Hospital are challenging the way pediatric neurologists think about brain injury in the pre-term infant. (via Science Daily)

New Study Challenges Links Between Daycare and Behavioral Issues
A new study that looked at more than 75,000 children in day care in Norway found little evidence that the amount of time a child spends in child care leads to an increase in behavioral problems, according to researchers from the United States and Norway. (via Science Daily)

Wait to Remove Kids’ Infected Adenoids: Study
Removing the adenoids of kids who frequently get colds, sinus infections and laryngitis is more expensive and doesn’t lead to better health or fewer symptoms than a “watchful waiting” approach, according to new research. (via Reuters)

Obesity in Young Kids Dropped in NYC, Grew in LA
In the battle against childhood obesity, New York City appears to be doing better than Los Angeles, at least for low-income preschoolers. (via Fox News)

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In Defense of the Mom Who Put Her 7-Year-Old Daughter on a Diet

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

What is it like to have the whole world call you a bad mother?

Mom Dara-Lynn Weiss would know. Last year Weiss wrote about putting her obese 7-year-old daughter Bea on a strict diet, and posed with her, post-diet success, for the pages of Vogue. Weiss has now authored a slim memoir called The Heavy, out yesterday, about the experience. (The heavy is Weiss, who was the one to monitor Bea’s diet, and get tough when necessary.)

I’d read the Vogue article before I read the howling on the Internet over Weiss’s piece—she was called “abrasive,” “irrational,” “truly disgusting,” and a “monster,” among other things—and I was always sympathetic. Weiss’s story didn’t fit the profile of your “typical” overweight American family’s. She had served well-rounded dinners with healthy vegetables. She kept no junk food in her cupboards (which is more than I can say). And she reserved fast food for a semi-annual treat (ditto).

But the darling Bea, who was never content with the serving sizes that would satisfy her younger brother or other kids her age, gained weight at an alarming rate anyway. Weiss, who like many of her peers had had her own up-down relationship with weight and fad diets, freely admitted she was unprepared and ill-equipped to handle Bea’s obesity. Feeling discomfort about her daughter’s growing size but reluctant to say anything about it, Weiss chose silence instead, even after Bea’s pediatrician said it was time to get the 7-year-old’s 93 pounds under control.

The problem didn’t disappear, and sadly, Bea was starting to notice it, too, and began referring to herself as “fat,” in spite of reassurances from her parents that she was beautiful. Eventually Weiss chose a child-friendly, calorie-restricting plan that would give Bea the lifelong skills necessary to make judgment calls about which foods were indulgences, and which were healthier choices, without depriving Bea of treats altogether. It wasn’t always easy, and there are examples of interventions by Weiss that her (many) critics saw as excessive, even psychologically damaging, but Weiss was taking on a daunting task: helping a child lose weight in a world of doorstopper-size cupcakes.

Perhaps I felt for Weiss, and for Bea, in part because I recently struggled with weight myself. (Not surprisingly, Weiss writes that others who had been overweight as children confided that they wished their parents had done more to help them.) I’d read moving stories written by plus-size women about loving their bodies the way they are, and while I admired their self-acceptance, I’d never been able to feel that for myself. Besides the obvious worries about my health, being fat sucked. I felt uncomfortable, embarrassed, even sad about my weight. I wouldn’t want my daughters or my son to go through it, and Weiss’s book says what I and most parents I know would feel squeamish saying aloud: No one wants her child to have to struggle with being fat.

Like Weiss had done, I watch my language around my kids, having banished “fat” and “bad” from my vocabulary when we’re talking about food, doing whatever I can to help my daughters, now 7 and 1, in particular sidestep a painful path towards self-loathing or an eating disorder. But I admit I also don’t want my kids going down the road to obesity, and its social ostracism and disease. So I felt drawn to Weiss’s candor about childhood obesity, and I just plain old liked her for her admissions about having made some mistakes along the way. (Who hasn’t?) I winced for her after reading about the surprising amount of pain she felt from the (international!) criticism of her Vogue article, and her genuine regret about having allowed Bea to pose with her.

I know some will accuse Weiss of trying to profit from her daughter’s battle. But I found it eye-opening to read an honest, firsthand account from a parent willing to speak difficult truths about her family’s experience with childhood obesity.

It takes a lot of courage to bare your failures and frailties as a parent. Perhaps a few moms and dads who read Weiss’s memoir will walk away from it, as I did, with a more intimate understanding of what it’s like to raise a kid who struggles with weight.

And maybe we can all be a little less judgmental of the friend or neighbor we know whose kid is coping with one of the last taboos: the public, painful experience of childhood obesity.

For a different view, read why one writer and mother strongly disliked The Heavy: Mother Puts Daughter on Crazy Diet in “The Heavy’

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