Posts Tagged ‘
childhood obesity ’
Thursday, October 18th, 2012
Children under the age of six should have at least three hours of exercise each day, according to a report written by a consortium of pediatric groups from the U.K., the U.S., and Australia. Boston.com reports on the paper, which was published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine:
The new guidelines are partly in response to the soaring obesity rates among young children. For example, 26.7 percent of US children between the ages of two and five are obese or overweight, researchers Russell Pate and Jennifer O’Neill, of the University of South Carolina, wrote. Plus, studies have shown that young children rarely get the activity they need. According to studies using accelerometers (wristwatch-like devices that measure physical activity), preschool-age kids get only sporadic exercise, with very little of it vigorous. For children under six, experts generally advise a combination of light activity and energetic activity throughout the day.
The experts listed a number of activities that qualify for both the “light” and “energetic” categories, including walking, dancing, skipping rope, and hide-and-seek type games.
Image: Kids playing, via Shutterstock
Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
Nestle and General Mills, which are part of a parent company called Cereal Partners Worldwide and the second-largest cereal producers in the world, have announced a massive new plan to cut the amount of salt and sugar in their cereals…outside of the United States and Canada.
Twenty cereal brands popular with children and teenagers will be part of the initiative, as the companies pledge to cut 24 percent of the sugar and 12 percent of the salt in the products, Reuters reports. The move follows a 2003 program in which the companies increased the nutritional profile of their cereals, including making large cuts in salt and sugar. From Reuters:
CPW Chief Executive Jeffrey Harmening said the plan builds on efforts started in 2003 to improve the nutritional profile of cereals. The group has cut almost 900 tonnes of salt and more than 9,000 tonnes of sugar from its recipes since then.
“A certain number of moms don’t want their kids to have as much sugar as they do right now, so that is a barrier for some to purchasing breakfast cereal,” Harmening told Reuters at CPW’s new global innovation centre in the Swiss town of Orbe.
The move comes as food and beverage companies seek to preempt tougher regulation due to the global obesity epidemic by offering healthier products or smaller portions.
The World Health Organisation estimated there were over 42 million overweight children under the age of five in 2010. It says obesity in Europe is already responsible for up to 8 percent of health costs and up to 13 percent of deaths.
Image: Cereal, via Shutterstock
Wednesday, September 19th, 2012
A new study is reporting that bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical found in some plastics and food cans, may, in addition to causing a host of health risks, raise the risks that children will become obese. Though BPA has been removed from many plastic children’s toys, bottles, sippy cups, and food packages, it has not been banned from use.
In a nationally representative study of nearly 3,000 children and teens, researchers found that kids with the highest levels of BPA in their urine were 2.6 times more likely to be obese compared to those with low levels of the chemical. The report was published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
It’s the latest evidence that obesity might be affected by more than just diet and exercise, said Dr. Leonardo Trasande, a professor of pediatrics and environmental medicine at the New York University School of Medicine.
“Clearly poor diet and lack of physical activity contribute to increased fat mass, but the story doesn’t end there,” he said.
Image: Childhood obesity sign, via Shutterstock
Friday, September 7th, 2012
NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” will include teenagers when the weight loss show resumes in January, CNN reports.
Trainer Jillian Michaels, who returns to the show next season, says she’s especially motivated to help kids since becoming a mother this year. From CNN:
At least three teens between the ages of 13 and 17 will be included in the competition. They will work with trainers, nutritionists and child obesity experts to drop pounds just like the adult contestants on the ranch. Unlike the adults, however, they will not be up for elimination each week.
“As a former overweight teen, I know firsthand how dramatically weight issues can affect every aspect of a child’s life,” Michaels said in a statement from NBC. “Having recently become a mother of two, I am more passionate than ever about helping empower children and families with the information and resources they need to live a healthier life.”
More than one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Image: Jillian Michaels via DFree / Shutterstock.com.
Thursday, August 23rd, 2012
Hospitalizations for eating disorders for children under age 12 increased nearly 120 percent between 1999 and 2006, a new report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has found. Ongoing emphasis on the childhood obesity epidemic may be an unintended cause of the problem, as CNN.com reports:
Children will come in to her office already showing signs of malnutrition, dietician Page Love says. They often have low energy levels and low iron counts and are reporting hair loss because of their extreme weight loss….
Dina Zeckhausen is a psychologist and founder of the Eating Disorder Information Network. She sees kids in third and fourth grade who are already worried about being fat.
“There is so much emphasis on obesity,” Zeckhausen said, “that there’s a danger that we are going to produce a lot of anxieties in kids around weight.”
Zeckhausen says that starting overweight kids on diets can trigger an obsession with food that could lead to an eating disorder. She recommends putting overweight children in a sport or becoming more active as a family and providing healthier food options.
Children at risk of an eating disorder share similar personality traits: high anxiety, perfectionism and obsessive-compulsive tendencies, according to Zeckhausen. They are also often subject to external pressures such as school bullying, abuse or a divorce. Restricting food intake is a way for a child to feel in control of their life.
“The eating disorder is the voice,” said Love. “The eating disorder is a way to communicate (and say) ‘I’m struggling. I’m hurt. I need help.’ “
Image: Girl refusing fruit, via Shutterstock