Posts Tagged ‘ obesity ’

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

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Teachers With Poor Ratings Clustered In NYC, Charter School Quality: Ed Today
The New York Daily News takes another look at the StudentsFirstNY teacher distribution report and finds something stunning: 20 percent of teachers are “bad” teachers in each of 14 Brooklyn schools. (via Huffington Post)

Light Exposure During Pregnancy Key to Normal Eye Development
New research in Nature concludes the eye — which depends on light to see — also needs light to develop normally during pregnancy. (via Science Daily)

Wow—Obese Kids’ Health Is Much Worse Than We Thought
The research looked at over 43,000 kids ages 10 to 17 around the country and asked about kids’ health issues like asthma, diabetes, and pain, as well as developmental and behavioral issues. (via TakePart)

Kids at Center Stage in Emotional Gun Debate
“Dear President Obama,” began a letter from 8-year-old Grant Fritz, with the shaky printing — missed words, spelling errors — of someone just learning how to put thoughts down on paper. (via Reuters)

Flu Vaccine Not Linked to Fetal Death
Getting the flu vaccine while pregnant does not increase the odds that the fetus will die in the womb, according to a new study of tens of thousands of women in Norway. (via Reuters)

Can Children ‘Grow Out’ of Autism?
New research has found that some children diagnosed with autism actually ‘grow out’ of their symptoms – as well as their diagnosis. (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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Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

No Exercise, More Than Couch, Tied To Fat In Kids
For kids, time spent inactive seems less of a factor in higher body fat than does a lack of exercise, according to a new study. Researchers found that the more minutes kids spent exercising at the pace of a fast walk each day, the lower their body fat percentage was. But the time they spent as couch potatoes made no difference, according to results published in the Journal of Pediatrics. (via Reuters)

Childhood Trauma Leaves Legacy of Brain Changes
Painful experiences early in life can alter the brain in lasting ways. A difficult reality for psychiatrists and counselors of child abuse is that young victims are at high risk of becoming offenders themselves one day, although it’s unclear why. But now a team of behavioral geneticists in Switzerland report a possible reason: early psychological trauma may actually cause lasting changes in the brain that promote aggressive behavior in adulthood. (via TIME)

Sleep Stealers: What’s Keeping Children From Getting Enough Shut-Eye?
The latest research homes in on the biggest sleep robber. Children are sleeping less, and there’s no shortage of reasons why: with television, video games and the internet, they are finding it harder to shut down and go to sleep. (via TIME)

Some Children Lose Autism Diagnosis: Small Group With Confirmed Autism On Par With Mainstream Peers
Some children who are accurately diagnosed in early childhood with autism lose the symptoms and the diagnosis as they grow older, a study supported by the National Institutes of Health has confirmed. The research team made the finding by carefully documenting a prior diagnosis of autism in a small group of school-age children and young adults with no current symptoms of the disorder. (via Science Daily)

Risk To All Ages: 100 Kids Die of Flu Each Year
How bad is this flu season exactly? Look to the children. Twenty flu-related deaths have been reported in kids so far this winter, one of the worst tolls this early in the year since the government started keeping track in 2004. (via Yahoo News)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

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)

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Parents Daily News Roundup

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Goody Blog Daily News Roundup

Kids on “The Biggest Loser”: Is It Exploitation?
One of the most popular shows on TV, The Biggest Loser, debuted its 14th season on January 6 featuring a new kind of contestant: children.  (via Take Part)

Gates Foundation MET Report: Teacher Observation Less Reliable Than Test Scores
A few years ago, Bill Gates decided to learn more about whether a teacher’s effect on student learning could be measured. For the first time, the randomized trial shows that teachers who perform well with one group of students, on average, perform at the same levels with different groups of kids.. (via Huffington Post)

Review Questions Blood Pressure Tests for Kids
Despite long-standing recommendations that doctors check children’s blood pressure at every office visit, a new review of research says there is not enough evidence to support that guideline. (via Reuters)

Record Number of Misconduct Complaints Are Made Against City School Employees
A record number of allegations of wrongdoing against teachers and other Department of Education workers were received last year by the office that investigates misconduct in New York City schools, according to a report released on Tuesday. (via New York Times)

More Health Harms for Children Exposed to BPA
The latest study shows the compound found in plastic and food packaging can put youngsters at risk for future heart disease. (via TIME)

Chicago Faulted on Learning Disabilities
When Rashaan Payne was 2 years old, his pediatrician noticed that he was not talking at the level of most children his age. After autism was diagnosed, Rashaan began receiving speech therapy once a week at his home on the South Side of Chicago, paid for by the federal and state governments. (via New York Times)

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