More salt in kids’ diets may mean more obesity

Dec. 10, 2012, WebMD

By Rita Rubin

Limiting children’s salt intake could be one way to reduce childhood obesity, new research suggests.

The study of more than 4,200 Australian children aged 2 to 16 years old found that those who ate more salt also drank more fluids, particularly sugar-sweetened beverages — namely soda, fruit drinks, flavored mineral waters, and sports and energy drinks. Continue reading

Obesity in young is seen as falling in several cities

Dec. 10, 2012, The New York Times

After decades of rising childhood obesity rates, several American cities are reporting their first declines.

The trend has emerged in big cities like New York and Los Angeles, as well as smaller places like Anchorage, Alaska, and Kearney, Neb. The state of Mississippi has also registered a drop, but only among white students. Continue reading

USDA to allow more meat, grains in school lunches

Dec 8, 2012, Yahoo News

By Mary Clare Jalonick

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is responding to criticism over new school lunch rules by allowing more grains and meat in kids’ meals.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told members of Congress in a letter on Dec. 7 that the department will do away with daily and weekly limits of meats and grains. Several lawmakers wrote the department after the new rules went into effect in September saying kids aren’t getting enough to eat. Continue reading

Surgeon General announces call to action on walking

Dec. 5, 2012, Streetsblog

By Tanya Snyder

Walking can seem like a rather mundane thing to get organized about, until you realize that it’s a direct challenge to car-oriented transportation and it’s the best thing people can do for their health. Then walking is downright revolutionary. Continue reading

Scientific statement examines role of social media in fighting childhood obesity

Dec. 3, 2012, Forbes

Social media may become an important weapon in the battle against childhood obesity, according to a new American Heart Association (AHA) scientific statement published in Circulation. However, the statement acknowledges that the evidence so far from published social media intervention studies has been “mixed” and that social media is also associated with troublesome drawbacks. Continue reading

Simple formula may predict obesity risk at birth

Nov. 29, 2012, HealthDay

Can a child’s risk of becoming obese be predicted at birth?

British researchers report that a simple formula that uses the child’s birth weight, the body mass index of the parents, the number of people in the household, the mother’s professional status, and whether she smoked during pregnancy showed which babies were at most risk. Continue reading

Obese kids more susceptible to food advertisements, brain scan study suggests

Nov. 30, 2012, CBS News

By Ryan Jaslow

A new study adds to the debate about the role food advertising has in the childhood obesity epidemic.

The study, published online Nov. 30 in the Journal of Pediatrics, finds obese children are more vulnerable to the food advertisements they may see on television, which in turn can make them more likely to eat as a result. Continue reading

Registration is now open for the 10th Annual Active Living Research conference

Interested investigators, advocates, practitioners, policy makers, and other stakeholders can now register for the 2013 Active Living Research (ALR) conference. The ALR conference provides participants with the opportunity to hear the latest evidence on policy and environmental strategies to increase physical activity. The conference will be held Feb. 26-28, 2013, at the Paradise Point Hotel in San Diego. Interested parties should register before Jan. 15 to receive a discounted rate. Continue reading