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Friday, May 9th, 2014
Over the years we have heard a lot about the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States. But Fed Up, a new documentary produced and narrated by Katie Couric, suggests that we’ve been battling this disease in all the wrong ways.
Instead of blaming a lack of will power and pushing kids to exercise more, Fed Up puts the responsibility squarely on the sugary processed foods so many kids and families rely on for their daily nutrition.
The doc follows four overweight children who are struggling with their weight, and, frankly, it’s heartbreaking. These kids desperately want to be healthy and accepted by the other students at school. They are afraid of getting diabetes or cancer or even dying young. But they are confronted at every turn—at school, at home, on TV, and online—by the foods that are making them fat. As one of the kids says, alcoholics don’t have to keep liquor in the house, but everyone needs to eat.
Here are just a few of the shocking things I learned while watching:
A calorie is not a calorie. One hundred and sixty calories of almonds is not equal to 160 calories of soda. One provides healthy fats, vitamins, and fiber. The other is absorbed instantly by the liver and turned immediately to fat. Guess which is which.
Based on lab studies, sugar is eight times as addictive as cocaine. For this reason alone parents should go easy on the added sugars given to babies and toddlers. The more sugar kids consume at this age, the more they’ll crave it as they grow up.
In 1980 there were no reported cases of Type 2 diabetes in the U.S. In 2010, that number was 57,638.
There are 600,000 packaged food items in America. Eighty percent of them contain added sugar. As Dr. Robert Lustig recently told Parents, naturally occurring sugars in fruits are perfectly healthy since they come with fiber to balance it out. But most added sugars enter our bodies with little fiber and go straight to our liver where they’re turned into fat.
One can of soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar, and 80% of America’s public schools have a deal with Coke or Pepsi. Mark Bittman, New York Times columnist, calls soda “the cigarettes of the 21st century.”
When it comes to school lunches the federal government considers tomato paste a vegetable; thus a slice of pizza can help meet a lunch’s produce requirement. I love pizza, but it doesn’t look like a vegetable to me.
It is possible to be “TOFI”, or thin on the outside and fat on the inside. Meaning, thin people who eat junk food are still at risk for major health problems.
What does this mean for me and you and our families? The prescription is simple: eat more real food. Cook at home and rely less on processed foods that are typically sugar-laden and nutrient-poor. Home-cooked food doesn’t need to take a long time or be fancy. Here are some of my favorite recipes from Parents.com:
• Get recipes for three weeks of easy, weeknight dinners, plus a grocery list.
• Try a stir-fry kids will love.
• Make ahead parts of your meal for easy family dinners.
Fed Up opens in movie theaters today. Learn more about the film and how we can feed our kids better.
Image via Fed Up
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addiction, childhood obesity, coke, fed up, Katie Couric, movie, obesity, sugar, sugary drinks | Categories:
Food, GoodyBlog, Health & Safety, Must Read
Monday, May 20th, 2013
Childhood ADHD tied to obesity decades later
Boys who are diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in elementary school are more likely to grow up to be obese adults than those who don’t have the condition, a new study suggests. (via Reuters)
Newer whooping cough vaccine not as protective
A newer version of the whooping cough vaccine doesn’t protect kids as well as the original, which was phased out in the 1990s because of safety concerns, according to a new study. (via Reuters)
Home visiting programs are preschool in its earliest form
Through programs across the country, nurses, social workers or trained mentors offer support to new or expectant parents and impart skills to help them become better teachers for their children. (via Washington Post)
City closure of Cobble Hill preschool means kids are having ‘classes’ in parks, museums as parents fume
The Linden Tree Preschool is run by the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island. The city closed it on May 9, saying it did not have permits for infants or toddlers. Since then, parents have taken their kids to the park and other field trips where teachers have been instructing the kids. (via NY Daily News)
USA Football health and safety survey shows few youth concussions
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Fewer than 4 percent of youth players surveyed in a USA Football-sanctioned study suffered concussions in the 10 leagues examined. (via Fox News)
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
‘Don’t Feed Me’ T-Shirt by Comedian Kym Whitley, Alerts Caregivers of Kids’ Food Allergies
Now kids can wear a warning of the foods that will harm them. All parents have to do is fill in the blanks. A new “Don’t Feed Me” T-shirt with a checklist of food allergies tells caregivers what not to serve, ABC News reports. To customize the shirt, parents simply fill in their child’s name and mark the boxes next to the appropriate allergies, such as “peanuts” or “gluten.” If an allergy is not included on the shirt, parents can write the food in one of the blank spaces. (via Huffington Post)
Atypical Brain Circuits May Cause Slower Shifting in Infants Who Later Develop Autism
Infants at 7 months of age who go on to develop autism are slower to reorient their gaze and attention from one object to another when compared to 7-month-olds who do not develop autism, and this behavioral pattern is in part explained by atypical brain circuits.(via Science Daily)
Health Officials: 1 in 50 School Kids Have Autism
A government survey of parents says 1 in 50 U.S. schoolchildren has autism, surpassing another federal estimate for the disorder. Health officials say the new number doesn’t mean autism is occurring more often. But it does suggest that doctors are diagnosing autism more frequently, especially in children with milder problems. (via FOX News)
Skim Milk May Not Lower Obesity Risk Among Children
Got milk? It turns out that low-fat versions may not be the answer to helping kids maintain a healthy weight. Long a staple of childhood nutrition, milk is a good source of calcium and vitamin D, which can help to build bone, and experts believed that lower-fat versions could help children to avoid the extra calories that came with the fat in whole milk. (via TIME)
Doctors Urge FDA to Limit Caffeine Content in Energy Drinks
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A group of health experts urged the Food and Drug Administration Tuesday to take action and protect teens from the possible risks of drinking large amounts of caffeine from energy drinks, The New York Times reported. (via FOX News)
ASD, autism, caffeine, energy drinks, food allergies, gluten allergy, Kym Whitley, News, obesity, Parents Daily News Roundup, peanut allergy, skim milk, whole milk | Categories:
Friday, March 15th, 2013
New Early Warning System for the Brain Development of Babies
A new research technique, pioneered by Dr. Maria Angela Franceschini, will be published in JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) on March 14th. Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School have developed a non-invasive optical measurement system to monitor neonatal brain activity via cerebral metabolism and blood flow. (via Science Daily)
Celebrity Endorsements May Spur Kids’ Unhealthy Eating
Kids eat more of a food product that has been endorsed by a celebrity, researchers report in a new study. (via Fox News)
Lawsuit Says 2-year-old Ate Used Condom at Chicago McDonald’s
McDonald’s Corp has been sued by a woman who said her 2-year-old son ate a used condom he found in the play area of one of its restaurants in Chicago. (via Fox News)
Bill Clinton Delivers Keynote Address At Global Education And Skills Forum
Bill Clinton is delivering the keynote address at the inaugural Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai. (via Huffington Post)
California Teacher Layoffs Decline Because Of Prop 30
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After years of threatening to lay off tens of thousands of teachers due to budget shortfalls, California has some relatively good news: less than one-eighth of the number of teachers who got pink-slipped last year will be out of work next year. (via Huffington Post)
Babies, Bill Clinton, brain development, celebrities, childhood obesity, education, fetus, healthy eating, News, obesity, Parents Daily News Roundup | Categories:
Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
Nora Espinoza, New Mexico Legislator: Keep Mexican-American Studies Books Out of Schools
A New Mexico state representative wants to keep Hispanic history books out of public schools, following in the footsteps of some of her conservative colleagues in Arizona. New Mexico state Rep. Antonio Maestas (D-Albuquerque) proposed a memorial on Monday praising diversity in the state’s curricula and slammed Tucson’s decision to ban seven ethnic studies books from classroom use. (via Huffington Post)
Breastfeeding for Longer May Not Lower Children’s Obesity Rates
Breastfeeding babies for a longer period of time may not lower their risk of becoming overweight or obese during childhood as previous research has suggested, according to a new study from Europe. (via Fox News)
Elementary Students Rushed to Hospital After Eating Marijuana-Laced Brownies
Seven elementary school students are recovering in Costa Mesa after they took a bite of a marijuana brownie that a boy brought to school. The kids are all aged 10 to 12. (via Fox News)
Omega-3 DHA May Prevent Earliest Preemies
For pregnant women, supplements of an omega-3 fatty acid called Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may help to reduce the likelihood of giving birth very prematurely, according to a new study. (via Reuters)
Hard To Find Good Info on Drug Safety in Pregnancy
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Nearly every woman takes a medication at some point during pregnancy. Yet there’s disturbingly little easy-to-understand information about which drugs pose a risk to her baby, and what to do about it. Need some pain relief? In the fine print is the warning that painkillers like Advil aren’t for the third trimester. Left unsaid is whether to worry if you took them earlier. (via Yahoo!)
breastfeeding, childhood obesity, DHA, hispanic, hispanic history, marijuana, Mexican-American, News, obesity, omega 3, painkillers, Parents Daily News Roundup, Pregnancy | Categories:
Friday, March 8th, 2013
‘The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told’ Protested By Pioneer Valley Performing Arts School’s Parents
The Daily Hampshire Gazette reported that Scott Goldman, head of school at the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts School received emailed petitions and phone calls protesting the school’s planned performance of Paul Rudnick’s award-winning 1998 play later this month. (via Huffington Post)
U.S. Childhood Obesity Fight Sees Some Success: Group
U.S. companies and other groups that have made attempts to reverse the nation’s rising childhood obesity rate are starting to see results as more American kids exercise and have better access to healthy foods, they said on Thursday. (via Reuters)
Less-frequent Pap Smears May Miss Cancer Precursors
Certain types of cervical abnormalities that can lead to cancer may be missed when young women go years between Pap smears, a new study suggests. (via Reuters)
In Arkansas, Challenges Expected for Nation’s Strictest Abortion Law
Abortion rights groups say they plan to challenge a new Arkansas law adopted on Wednesday that will prohibit most abortions after about 12 weeks of pregnancy and is the most restrictive abortion law in the United States. (via Reuters)
Kids on Food Stamps Don’t Eat Any Healthier: Study
Children whose families are on food stamps are just as likely to be overweight and obese as other low-income youth, a new study suggests. (via Reuters)
Mom Bloggers Petition to Rid Kraft Mac & Cheese of Artificial Coloring
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Two food blogging moms from North Carolina are petitioning Kraft to stop artificially coloring the cheese mix in its macaroni and cheese product. (via Fox News)
abortion, abortion law, artificial coloring, cervical cancer, childhood obesity, food stamps, healthy, healthy food, Kraft Mac & Cheese, low income, obesity, pap smears, Parents Daily News Roundup, Paul Rudnick, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told | Categories:
Thursday, February 21st, 2013
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
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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)
birth weight, bullying, caffeine, childhood obesity, education, fast food, low birth weight, mental health, obesity, Parents Daily News Roundup, school districts, standardized tests, teachers | Categories:
Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
Texas School System Finance Plan Unconstitutional, Judge Rules
The system Texas uses to fund public schools violates the state’s constitution by not providing enough money to school districts and failing to distribute it fairly, a judge ruled Monday in a landmark decision that could force the Legislature to overhaul the way it pays for education. (via Huffington Post)
Adult Diabetes Drug May Work in Very Obese Youth
A drug originally approved to treat adults with diabetes may also help severely obese youths lose some weight, according to a new study. (via Reuters)
Where Do Babies Come From: Why a Super Bowl Ad Got It Wrong
“Dad, where do babies come from?” The opening line of Kia’s Super Bowl commercial doesn’t beat around the bush. The question spills forth during a car ride, making Dad’s eyes bug out before he quickly recovers and spins a fantastical story of a planet, Babylandia, from which newborns of every ilk originate. (via Time)
Researchers Pioneer Treatment for Viral Infection Common in Children
Researchers at Imperial College London have discovered a new way in which a very common childhood disease could be treated. In the first year of life, 65 per cent of babies get infected by Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). (via Science Daily)
Playtime: Affectionate, Less Controlling Mothers Have Strongest Relations with Their Children
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Researchers long have evaluated the roles parents play in children’s development. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that mothers’ directiveness, the extent to which they try to control the content and pace of young children’s play, varies based on the children’s ages and the mothers’ ethnicities. In addition, the study found that the more directive the mothers were during play, the less engaged children were with them and the more negative emotion the children displayed toward their mothers. (via Science Daily)
adult diabetes, Babies, baby, child obesity, diabetes, education, obesity, play, public school, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, RSV, Super Bowl, texas public schools, weight loss | Categories: