JHGCCO symposium to focus on preventing childhood obesity though systems science

On April 9, the Johns Hopkins Global Center on Childhood Obesity (JHGCCO) will host its first annual, one-day, Scientific Symposium, “Innovations in Childhood Obesity Prevention: Systems Thinking and Systems Change.” The Symposium will focus on the way that innovative system science approaches can advance the prevention of childhood obesity worldwide.

Keynote speeches and scientific sessions will highlight researchers who are internationally recognized leaders in the field, as well as exciting progress made by the JHGCCO researchers. Continue reading

Study calls for daily P.E. classes

Jan. 28, 2013, EdNewsColorado.com

By Ann Schimke

A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that instituting daily physical education classes for children would boost moderate to vigorous physical activity by 23 minutes a day, more than one-third of the 60 minutes recommended by federal guidelines.

The study, which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, assessed a variety of policy changes, quantifying each based on the amount of physical activity it would add to a child’s day. Continue reading

Promoting a unified message on diet and physical activity

A recent commentary published in the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention examines the advantages of using an energy-balance framework to unify diet and physical activity messages so that adults and their children are better able to understand and follow these guidelines.

Energy balance is an essential principle of weight regulation. Maintaining a healthy body weight is fundamentally a balance between the amount of food eaten and the amount of energy expended throughout the day. So, if a person eats fewer calories than he or she expends weight loss will occur. The opposite is also true; if a person’s energy intake is consistently higher than his or hers energy expenditure then the result is weight gain. Continue reading

Study: Clearer food labels might help with healthy food choice

Jan. 24, 2012 , NBC News

Different labels on food that clearly display the total number of calories and nutrients in the entire package, rather than just part of it, might help people make healthier food choices, according to a study from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA researchers, whose results appeared in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, found that people were best at assessing things like chips and frozen meals – and comparing the healthfulness of multiple products – when the nutrition facts were presented for the entire container’s worth of food, or for both one serving and the entire container. Continue reading

CDC infographic explores impact of eating away from home, obesity

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new infographic on Jan. 22 to coincide with the time when many Americans have returned to their busy schedules and are challenged to stick to New Year’s resolutions.

Go Light When You Have A Bite, shown below, outlines how Americans have shifted their Continue reading

Adding minutes to family mealtime can help keep childhood obesity at bay

Jan. 18, 2013, RedOrbit

By Lawrence LeBlond

With the ever-present epidemic that is childhood obesity, it makes sense for parents to find ways to help teach their kids about healthy eating. A new study from the University of Illinois wants to help get that message across, especially to low-income families.

The researchers, led by Barbara H. Fiese, director of University of Illinois’ Family Resiliency Program, said when lower income families devote an extra three or four minutes to regular family mealtimes, it helps their children better learn to achieve and maintain normal waistlines. Continue reading

Fast-food menu offerings vary in dietary quality, but are consistently poor

By analyzing the food menus from the top fast-food restaurant chains in America, new research published in the journal Public Health Nutrition shows that these restaurants do not offer many menu items that meet dietary guidelines for healthy eating. Even those menu items that were part of the kid’s menu or marketed specifically as healthy, still fell far short of meeting dietary recommendations for fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. Continue reading

Study: Childhood obesity linked to more health problems than previously thought

Jan. 15, 2013, SciTech Daily

By analyzing data on over 43,000 children between the ages 10 and 17, new research from UCLA shows that obese children are at nearly twice the risk of having three or more reported medical, mental, or developmental conditions as compared to kids who are not overweight.

While a great deal of research on childhood obesity has spotlighted the long-term health problems that emerge in adulthood, a new University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) study focuses on the condition’s immediate consequences and shows that obese youngsters are at far greater risk than had been supposed.

Compared to kids who are not overweight, obese children are at nearly twice the risk of having three or more reported medical, mental or developmental conditions, the UCLA researchers found. Overweight children had a 1.3 times higher risk. Continue reading

RWJF awards grants to help reverse childhood obesity epidemic

Jan. 16, 2013, The Wall Street Journal

Six national associations have received a total of $1.8 million in grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to help communities increase children’s access to affordable healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity.

The grants were awarded through Leadership for Healthy Communities, an RWJF national program that assists state and local leaders in their efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. The associations were selected because their members are uniquely positioned to work across multiple levels of government and across intra-governmental agencies and departments to eliminate barriers to healthy eating and active living in schools and communities. Continue reading

Screen time not linked to kids’ physical activity

Jan. 10, 2013, Reuters

By Genevra Pittman

Just four in 10 U.S. kids met dual national guidelines for getting enough physical activity and for limiting “screen time,” researchers found – but the likelihood of kids exercising regularly didn’t depend on whether they kept away from screens.

“I don’t think it’s as simple as, if a child is not watching television, then by default that child will be physically active,” said the study’s lead author, Tala Fakhouri, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Continue reading