Webinar focuses on community changes to combat AI/AN obesity, related health issues

A recent webinar on American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) health focused on efforts to combat obesity and obesity-related health issues facing AI/AN people using approaches to foster sustainable community changes to promote healthy eating and active living. It was hosted by the Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP). Continue reading

Study shows healthy school lunches don’t cost more

Aug. 23, 2012, San Antonio Express

By Don Finley and Lindsay Kastner

In 2006, three middle schools in the San Antonio ISD made some radical lunchtime changes.

They took french fries off the menu and cheese off the burgers, added baby carrot sticks and more whole grains.

Even the breading on chicken nuggets got the whole grain treatment. Continue reading

Antibiotics too soon may set babies up for obesity: Study

Aug. 21, 2012, ABC News

By Dr. Shari Barnett

Giving your baby antibiotics too early may increase their chances of being overweight in childhood, new research suggests.

Specifically, infants exposed to antibiotics during the first six months of their lives are 22 percent more likely to be overweight between the ages of 10 months and 3 years — though their weight tends to return to average by the time they are 7 — according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity on Aug. 21. Continue reading

Doing the math to fight childhood obesity

Dieters often use online calorie calculators to stay true to their weight-loss plan. Translating the concept to the population health arena, researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health created the Caloric Calculator (CaloricCalculator.org) to help policymakers, school district administrators, and others assess the potential impact of health policy choices on childhood obesity. Continue reading

Kids pick nutritional Happy Meal when no toy offered with less healthy option: Study

Aug. 12, 2012, Global News

By Sheryl Ubelacker

Children are far more likely to pick a healthier fast-food meal when promotional toys are offered only with those menu options and not with less nutritional fare like burgers, fries, and a pop, a study has found.

Canadian researchers set out to see which McDonald’s Happy Meals that kids age 6 to 12 would choose when toys were included with healthier menu combinations, but not with standard offerings that are typically higher in fat and salt. Continue reading

Junk food laws may help curb childhood obesity: Study

Aug. 13, 2012, Huffington Post

By Lindsey Tanner

Laws strictly curbing school sales of junk food and sweetened drinks may play a role in slowing childhood obesity, according to a study that seems to offer the first evidence such efforts could pay off.

The results come from the first large national look at the effectiveness of the state laws over time. They are not a slam-dunk, and even obesity experts who praised the study acknowledge the measures are a political hot potato, smacking of a “nanny state” and opposed by industry and cash-strapped schools relying on food processors’ money. Continue reading

Child cholesterol improves in U.S. as snacks lose fats

Aug. 07, 2012, Bloomberg Businessweek

By Jeanna Smialek

Cholesterol levels in U.S. children improved in the past two decades as makers of cookies, crackers, and French fries responded to public concern that trans fats used in their products may be harmful to health.

The prevalence of elevated total cholesterol dropped to 8.1 percent for those ages 6 to 19 from 2007 to 2010 compared with 11 percent from 1988 to 1994, according to a study today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. While no cause analysis was conducted, lower fat intake and more exercise may have contributed to the improvement, said Brian Kit, a researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the study’s lead author. Continue reading

What would Batman eat?

Aug. 4, 2012, Philly.com/Health blogs – Healthy Kids

By Beth Wallace

Every day, we hear something on the news about the obesity crisis in this country. And every day, parents, grandparents, doctors, dietitians, and the first lady try to find a new way to encourage kids to eat healthy. In my profession, we preach that being an example to kids, parent encouragement, and filling your home with healthy options are some the keys to help your child know how to make the best choices when they are on their own. But a new study published by researchers at Cornell University shows we have been missing a “super” important piece of the puzzle. Continue reading

Parents can spur kids’ activity by example

Aug. 1, 2012, Firstpost.

Parents concerned about their kids’ lazy ways can spur them into greater activity by setting an example themselves, according to research at National Jewish Health.

Kristen Holm, assistant professor of medicine at National Jewish Health – Denver, Colorado, and her colleagues report that, when parents increase their daily activity, as measured by a pedometer, their children increase theirs as well. Continue reading