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)
New Autism-Related Gene Variants Discovered
Genetics researchers have identified 25 additional copy number variations (CNVs) — missing or duplicated stretches of DNA — that occur in some patients with autism. These CNVs, say the researchers, are “high impact”: although individually rare, each has a strong effect in raising an individual’s risk for autism. (via Science Daily)
Colicky Babies May Have Wrong Bacteria
Doctors don’t clearly understand why some babies cry excessively and others don’t, but a new study suggests abnormal gut bacteria could play a role. (via My Health News Daily)
Fast Food Linked to Asthma and Allergies in Kids
Obesity isn’t the only potential toll that dinner from the drive-thru may have on your health. It’s not just your waistline that may pay a price for eating fast food meals three or more times a week, but your immune system as well. (via TIME)
Docs Should Know About Kids and Alternative Medicine
Your child’s pediatrician isn’t likely to ask whether you are giving your youngsters herbs or treating them to acupuncture. But enough children are now using alternative therapies that physicians should be inquiring about it, and parents need to volunteer information about any complementary medicine approaches their children are using to avoid any potential harmful interactions with conventional treatments. (via TIME)
Parents Television Council Blasts Torture Scene in ABC’s Scandal-Group Calls for Reform In TV Rating System
ABC could have had better timing. On the same night the entertainment industry was meeting with VP Joe Biden to discuss media violence, the network aired an episode of Scandal that included a graphic, three-minute torture scene.
The coincidence didn’t get by the Parents Television Council, which pointed to the episode as another example of a “failed [TV] ratings system.” (via Adweek)
Newtown Weighs Future Of Sandy Hook Elementary After School Shooting
Newtown residents are divided on what to do with the school building where 26 people were killed, with some favoring demolition and construction of a memorial and others encouraging renovations. (via Huffington Post)
Longer School Year: Will It Help Or Hurt U.S. Students?
Did your kids moan that winter break was way too short as you got them ready for the first day back in school? They might get their wish of more holiday time off under proposals catching on around the country to lengthen the school year. (via Huffington Post)
Pedestrian Safety Program Prevents Student Injuries
Fewer kids were injured during early morning and after school hours once new traffic lights, pedestrian signals and speed bumps were put around New York City schools, according to a new study. (via Reuters)
Fast Foods Linked to Asthma, Eczema in Children: Study
Eating fast food three or more times a week was linked to a higher risk of severe asthma and eczema in children, researchers found. (via Bloomberg)
Digital Health for Kids, Seniors and Workout Buffs
Any pedometer will count how much you’ve walked, but a good, connected mobile app can push, encourage and sometimes even shame you into putting down the milkshake, getting out of the beanbag chair and meeting a fitness goal. (via CNN)
America is one of the fattest nations in the world, and our kids are tipping the scales, too: one-third of American children are overweight or obese. We’ve talked about preparing nutritious meals and fun ways to get moving, but making smart choices becomes tricky when you’re on the road or crunched for time. Good news: restaurant chains are making it easier for consumers to know exactly what we’re stuffing in our mouths.
Earlier this summer, the Supreme Court voted to uphold President Obama’s health care plan, which requires all food chains with more than 20 locations to post nutrition information. Starting Monday, McDonald’s will post calorie counts at locations nationwide. Chains such as Subway and Panera are already on board, too. McDonald’s is also testing new, healthier menu items including an egg-white McMuffin on a whole grain roll. The chain now includes apple slices in Happy Meals and recently rolled out a “Favorites Under 400” campaign that spotlighted lower-calorie choices.
But will it make a difference? We asked Parents’ adviser David Ludwig, MD/PhD, Director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. “Knowing the calorie content of a fast food meal is certainly a step in the right direction,” he says. “However, when it comes to obesity prevention and overall health, quality matters. A 100-calorie pack of junk food isn’t healthy simply because it contains only 100 calories. In addition to calorie count, consider also what’s actually in that fast food meal before placing the order.” When possible, eat fresh ingredients prepared without added fat from deep-frying. But when you do reach for fast food, use this info to make smart choices.
Share your thoughts: will knowing the nutrition information change what you order at fast-food joints?
Risky Pregnancy Drug Raised Daughters’ Cancer Odds
A drug that millions of pregnant women took decades ago to prevent miscarriage and complications has put their daughters at higher risk for breast cancer and other health problems that are showing up now, a new federal study finds.
Prehistoric Kids Left Marks in Caves
Archaeologists say the shapes of finger marks suggest that children as young as 2 years old made drawings on the walls of a Paleolithic cave dwelling, with an occasional boost from the grown-ups.
IUDs officially recommended for healthy women, teens
A female contraceptive device whose reported side effects kept it off the frontline of birth control for years has been formally endorsed for all healthy adult women and adolescents by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (USA Today)