TEDMED hosting special live discussion about childhood obesity

On July 22, TEDMED is hosting an online discussion about the progress and challenges of our nation’s ongoing struggle with childhood obesity. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American Heart Association, Academy Health, the University of California-San Francisco, and the City of Philadelphia will be part of the discussion.

Presenters include:

  • Richard Besser (Moderator), Chief Health and Medical Editor for ABC News
  • Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

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United States expands healthy food assistance to women, infants, and children

Feb. 28, 2014, Reuters

Some 9 million poor women and young children who receive federal food assistance under the U.S. government’s [Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)] program will have greater access to fruits, vegetables, and whole grains under an overhaul of the program, which was unveiled on Feb. 28.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hailed the revamping of WIC as the first comprehensive revisions to the program’s food voucher allowances since 1980.

The list of foods that recipients could pay for with WIC vouchers was long limited to such basics as milk, infant formula, cheese, eggs, cereals, bread, and tuna fish. Continue reading

Study highlights long-term health effects of childhood obesity later in life

Feb. 12, 2013, http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-02-highlights-long-term-effects-childhood-obesity.html

Childhood obesity rates have nearly tripled in the previous 30 years and researchers are asking the important question of how this epidemic will impact the future health of these obese children and public health in general. A University of Colorado Cancer Center article recently published in the journal Gerontology shows that even in cases in which obese children later lose weight, the health effects of childhood obesity may be long-lasting and profound. Continue reading

Dish size, meal frequency may affect kids’ weight

April 8, 2013, Reuters

By Genevra Pittman

Shrinking the size of kids’ plates and bowls and encouraging them to eat more frequently throughout the day might help them eat less and keep off extra weight, new research suggests.

In one study, researchers found first-graders served themselves smaller portions when using miniaturized dishware – and ate less food when they had less on their plate.

Another review of past research found kids and teens who ate most often during the day were 22 percent less likely to be overweight than those who ate the fewest meals and snacks. 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

Survey shows parents have difficulty acknowledging child obesity

Dec. 18, 2012, WEKU/NPR Digital Network

By Al Cross and Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues

Many Kentucky parents don’t realize that their children are obese or overweight, or at least aren’t willing to acknowledge it. That is the obvious conclusion to draw from the latest results of the Kentucky Parent Survey, released Tuesday by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. Continue reading

Day care may increase obesity in children, study says

Dec. 18, 2012, Education Week

By Julie Rasicot

Parents whose young children regularly attend day care outside the home apparently have more to worry about than increased exposure to colds or the flu. A new study suggests that attending day care could dramatically increase a child’s chances of becoming obese during childhood. Continue reading

Startups compete to fight childhood obesity

Dec. 13, 2012, CNN Money

By Erika Fry

Ray Newlands calls himself “just a little guy from South Florida.” Kids call him “Short Chef”.  And while those descriptions are physically apt — he’s 5’5” — height is not what Newlands is known (or named) for: He wears shorts while he cooks. And he gets big laughs. Continue reading

Progress is being made in the fight against obesity

A policy brief released earlier this year from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports that the obesity epidemic has slowed or halted altogether in several countries. Though the progression of the epidemic has decelerated, the overall rate of obesity remains high among both children and adults. Continue reading

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