Monday, April 1st, 2013
A nationwide “silent and peaceful” protest aimed at the lingerie store Victoria’s Secret is being organized for April 6 by a parenting organization called The Mommy Lobby, in an attempt to convince the company to stop an ad campaign that features teen girls in sexually suggestive settings. The “Bright Young Things” ads advertise the company’s PINK line, which the company says is aimed at young women between ages 18 and 22. More from Fox News:
The marketing campaign, for Victoria’s Secret’s PINK line, first caught the attention of The Mommy Lobby’s CEO Cindy Chafin about a month ago. Since then, her group has been speaking out against the “bright young things” ads, which show younger girls in skimpy underwear with slogans like “Call Me” and “Feeling Lucky?”
The lacy thongs and bikini underwear, one style is called “The Date Panty,” are seemingly aimed at a younger buyer, Chafin said, and the members of The Mommy Lobby felt action needed to be taken.
“Victoria’s Secret, they are a corporation. They are free to run their product. We totally get that, but I think there comes a point where there are boundaries,” she told FOX 411. “Our daughters are not sex objects. We really want them to be innocent and young as long as possible…and [Victoria’s Secret is] not helping that.”
Amid the controversy, Victoria’s Secret posted on their Facebook page that the PINK line is aimed at 18 to 22 year olds.
“In response to questions we recently received, Victoria’s Secret PINK is a brand for college-aged women,” the message read.
But at a recent conference Business Insider reported the company’s CFO Stuart Burgdoerfer said, “When somebody’s 15 or 16-years-old, what do they want to be? They want to be older, and they want to be cool like the girl in college, and that’s part of the magic of what we do at PINK.”
Victoria’s Secret also recently teamed up with tween idol Justin Bieber for several of their projects. His voice provides the music for a recent video for the 2013 Swim line, and he performed—along with Rihanna—at this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
Image via The Mommy Lobby
Friday, March 22nd, 2013
The foods that many American babies and toddlers are eating contains too much sodium, according to new information compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and presented to a scientific meeting of the American Heart Association. Consuming too much sodium can lead to elevated risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, among other things. From a release announcing the findings:
In the first study to look at the sodium content in U.S. baby and toddler foods, researchers compared the sodium content per serving of 1,115 products for babies and toddlers using data on major and private label brands compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Baby food was categorized as intended for children less than one year old, and toddler food was categorized as intended for children between the ages of one and three.
A product was defined as high in sodium if it had more than 210 mg of sodium per serving. Toddler meals had significantly higher amounts of sodium than baby meals, and the amount of sodium in some of the toddler meals was as high as 630 mg per serving – about 40 percent of the 1,500 mg daily limit recommended by the American Heart Association. The foods with the most sodium were savory snacks and meals for toddlers.
“Our concern is the possible long-term health risks of introducing high levels of sodium in a child’s diet, because high blood pressure, as well as a preference for salty foods may develop early in life. The less sodium in an infant’s or toddler’s diet, the less he or she may want it when older,” said Joyce Maalouf, M.S., M.P.H., ORISE, lead author and Fellow at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium consumption to less than 1500 mg a day. Sodium is in regular table salt and many foods, including most prepared meals and snacks for toddlers.
The CDC listed the following 10 foods as the biggest sodium culprits affecting Americans from ages 2-19:
- Bread and rolls
- Cold cuts and processed meats
- Savory snacks
- Mixed pasta dishes
- Frankfurters and sausages
Image: Salt, via Shutterstock
Thursday, March 21st, 2013
In a new policy statement, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has come out in favor of same sex marriage, saying that partners who are raising children together can offer better benefits and security for their children if they are married.
“Children thrive in families that are stable and that provide permanent security, and the way we do that is through marriage,” said Benjamin Siegel, MD, FAAP, chair of the AAP Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, and a co-author of the policy statement. “The AAP believes there should be equal opportunity for every couple to access the economic stability and federal supports provided to married couples to raise children.”
The AAP’s previous policy statement, which was last affirmed in 2010, supported second-parent adoption in cases where one member of a couple had a child, but stopped short of calling for the legalization of gay marriage.
“The AAP has long been an advocate for all children, and this updated policy reflects a natural progression in the Academy’s support for families,” said Ellen Perrin, MD, FAAP, co-author of the policy statement. “If a child has two loving and capable parents who choose to create a permanent bond, it’s in the best interest of their children that legal institutions allow them to do so.”
The AAP cited scientific research that indicates no relationship between parents’ sexual orientation and the well-being of children in the policy statement.
Image: Same sex couple with child, via Shutterstock
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
The latest statistics on the number of U.S. children affected by autism spectrum disorders (ASD) shows a rise even from last year, with 1 in 50 school-aged children affected. The numbers come from the National Center for Health Statistics, and they are even more alarming than the data released last year by the Centers for Disease Control, which estimated 1 in 88 U.S. kids to have autism. USA Today has more on the new information, as researchers ponder whether the data reflects rising autism occurrence, or better diagnostic tools:
The present study asked 100,000 parents across the country a range of health questions, including whether their child had been diagnosed on the autism spectrum and whether he or she currently had the diagnosis. The autism spectrum includes autism, the most severe form, as well as Asperger’s syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS).
The study looked at children ages 6-17 and was based on parent reports, while last year’s study looked at 8-year-olds whose diagnosis was noted in school district or other official records.
The fact that the new study found such high rates implies that “there will likely be more demand for (autism-related) services than we had previously thought,” said study author Stephen J. Blumberg, a senior scientist at the National Center for Health Statistics.
The new study, like most others, found that boys are four times more likely to have autism than girls.
The parents’ answers to the two survey questions also suggests that 15% to 20% of children who were once diagnosed with autism no longer have the condition. Blumberg said the study cannot say whether they lost the diagnosis because they outgrew the condition, or because they were misdiagnosed in the first place.
The higher numbers recorded in the new study suggest that officials are getting better at counting kids with autism – not that more have the condition, several experts said.
“I don’t see any evidence that there’s a true increase in the prevalence of autism,” said Roy Richard Grinker, a professor of anthropology at George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
Image: Boy, via Shutterstock
Monday, March 18th, 2013
Walt Disney World and Disneyland theme parks and resorts will, beginning March 23, no longer allow children under age 14 to enter the park unless they are accompanied by someone who is over age 14. The new rule isn’t a response to any particular incident, but it was put in place after visitor surveys and child welfare organizations both expressed concern about the safety of children who are unaccompanied in the parks. More from The Associated Press:
“If a cast member who is working at the front gates sees a guest who appears to be younger than 14 without someone who appears to be older than that, they will engage in a conversation with the guest,” Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown told NBC4.
The employee will verbally determine whether the guest is too young to enter on his or her own, since children that age typically do not carry identification with them, she said. The child’s parent or guardian would then be contacted if the visitor is underage, and that adult would need to physically come accompany the child into the park.
Disney chose the age of 14 after the company surveyed its guests and reached out to organizations that deal with child welfare, Brown said. She said both the organizations and visitors agreed on the new age limit.
“That was the age they felt was appropriate,” she said. “That’s also the age the Red Cross recommends for babysitting.”
Image: Girl in amusement park, via Shutterstock