Can personal technology stop the obesity epidemic?

Sept. 25, 2012, Scientific American

By Katherine Harmon

So much of our information from — and interaction with — the world is now mediated by computers, cell phones, and tablets that health experts have been practically running themselves ragged trying to find ways to use these conduits to help people make healthier choices. Continue reading

Nemours to lead national initiative to promote healthy lifestyles for young children in child care

Nemours received a five year cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to support healthy lifestyles for young children in child care. The funding, $4.2 million in the first year, and up to $20 million over five years, will be used to assist early care and education providers in six states adopt nutrition, breastfeeding support, physical activity, and screen time policies and practices. Continue reading

Soda, other sugary drinks more firmly tied to obesity in new studies

Sept. 21, 2012, Huffington Post

By Marilynn Marchione

New research powerfully strengthens the case against soda and other sugary drinks as culprits in the obesity epidemic.

A huge, decades-long study involving more than 33,000 Americans has yielded the first clear proof that drinking sugary beverages interacts with genes that affect weight, amplifying a person’s risk of obesity beyond what it would be from heredity alone. Continue reading

Prevalence of disordered eating behaviors among young overweight children and the effects of parental control of feeding

New research presented at The Obesity Society Annual Scientific Meeting on Sept. 21 found that it was common for young overweight children to hide, hoard, or sneak food. They also found that parental control of eating behaviors was associated with children eating even if they were not hungry. Continue reading

Are healthy foods really more expensive? It depends on how you measure the price

Most Americans do not eat enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to meet federal dietary recommendations. A commonly cited reason for this deficiency is that healthy foods cost more than less healthy options. However, a recent study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that nutritious foods – such as grains, vegetables, fruit, and dairy – typically cost less than items high in saturated fat and added sugars. Continue reading

BEAT Institute offers free online course

As the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and other official groups have recognized environmental and policy changes as promising strategies for controlling obesity and improving diet and physical activity, various measures have been identified for use by researchers and practitioners to plan and evaluate changes to the built environment. The Built Environment Assessment Training (BEAT) Institute trains participants to use these measures. Continue reading

Study: Children without siblings may have higher risk of overweight and obesity

Sept. 17, 2012, Huffington Post

Scientists have pinpointed a potential risk factor for overweight and obesity early in life —­ and it has to do with how many siblings a child has.

Researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, in addition to other researchers from other institutions across Europe, found that only children are more than 50 percent more likely to be overweight or obese, compared with children with brothers and/or sisters. Continue reading

Event to highlight findings from ‘F as in Fat’

Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) will release their ninth annual “F as in Fat” report next week. There will be a Hill briefing for congressional staff and other interested parties on Mon., Sept. 24, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. to highlight key findings of “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future.” Continue reading

Journal of Obesity calls for papers to assess obesogenic dietary habits

Sept. 5, 2012, Journal of Obesity

Dietary indexes, because of the inclusion of multiple dietary components in a single measure, let us describe the characteristics of the overall diet. Results of dietary assessment via this method are more easily understood and interpreted by consumers, practitioners, and other stakeholders such as policy makers. Continue reading

Philadelphia School District reports progress in reducing childhood obesity rates

Sept. 6, 2012, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The overall obesity rate among Philadelphia schoolchildren fell more than 4.5 percent between the 2006-07 and 2009-10 school years, according to a study published today in Preventing Chronic Disease. The decrease, from an obesity rate of 21.5 percent to 20.5 percent, was reported among male and female students ages 5 to 18 from all racial and ethnic groups. The largest declines were seen among African American boys and Hispanic girls. Continue reading