"Childhood obesity is an epidemic that threatens the future health of our nation. We know that about 57 percent of all 3- to 5-year-olds in the United States attend child-care centers, so it's important to understand what factors will encourage them to be more active, and, hopefully, less likely to become obese," study co-author Dianne Ward said in a statement. Ward is director of the intervention and policy division in the nutrition department at University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill School of Public Health.Clearly, the TV is not a good babysitter.
In their study, Ward's team evaluated the physical activity levels of children at 20 child-care centers in North Carolina.
They found that children did more moderate and vigorous physical activity if the child-care center: had more portable play equipment, such as balls, jump ropes, hula hoops and riding toys; offered more opportunities for indoor and outdoor active play; and provided physical activity training and education for staff and students.
That is worrisome because obese children run the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol problems and other ailments more commonly found in adults. And overweight children are likely to grow up to be overweight adults.I have a thought of my own—well, it’s not really my own, I heard Dr. Fuhrman say it once—maybe the reason why parents can’t realize that their children are fat, is because they themselves aren’t exactly the spitting image of health. Here’s what Dr. Fuhrman had to say about all this:
"It suggests to me that parents of younger kids believe that their children will grow out of their obesity, or something will change at older ages," said Dr. Matthew M. Davis, a University of Michigan professor of pediatrics and internal medicine who led the study, released earlier this month.
"When I see a child that is obese at these younger ages, I take that as a sign of ways nutrition can be improved, a child's activity level can be improved."
If children are in an environmental of healthful foods they will have no problem developing a healthy attitude toward food. Setting an example supported by both parents is the most important and most effective approach.Personally, I started exercising a lot when I was a teenager because I saw how much mom worked out. Parents are the key—who would have thought!
Holiday toys are supposed to surprise and delight. But this year, toys are threatening to cause more worry than joy.
Millions of toys made in China have been recalled in recent months by toy companies, many because they were decorated with lead paint. The recalls involve popular brands, including Hot Wheels, Barbie, and Thomas the Tank Engine, among others…
…Prevent Blindness America offers these other suggestions:
Read all warnings and instructions on the box.
…Finally, parents should avoid buying one of the most common -- yet one of the most dangerous -- items on the toy market: latex balloons. Balloons and pieces of broken balloons can block a child's airway and should never be given to children younger than 8.
- Avoid toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes, rods or dangerous edges.
- Buy toys that will withstand impact and not break into dangerous shards.
- Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off…
Healthy Child Healthy World is dedicated to protecting the health and well being of children from harmful environmental exposures. We educate parents, support protective policies, and engage communities to make responsible decisions, simple everyday choices, and well-informed lifestyle improvements to create healthy environments where children and families can flourish.The website also offers some great features. I really liked these ones:
Healthy Child Healthy World exists because more than 125 million Americans, especially children, now face an historically unprecedented rise in chronic disease and illness such as cancer, autism, asthma, birth defects, ADD / ADHD, and learning and developmental disabilities. Credible scientific evidence increasingly points to environmental hazards and household chemicals as causing and contributing to many of these diseases.
As a national leader for nearly two decades, Healthy Child Healthy World has become the nation's leading organization of its kind. We help millions of parents, educators, health professionals, and the general public take action to create healthy environments and embrace green, non-toxic steps.
you can make a donation:
Yes, I want to make a donation to support HCHW's work to protect children's health, environmental sustainability, and healthy communities.Helping kids…never bad.
Once you donate, you will receive a confirmation e-mail that includes a link to download our free electronic handbook: The Household Detective.
The study, published tomorrow in Nature, explains that women's spines are built differently from men's spines.I don’t know about you, but I can sleep more easily now.
The study shows that the lower part of a woman's spine is built to curve more during pregnancy. That adjustment helps women hold their center of gravity while pregnancy pushes their waistline way beyond their hips.
"Pregnancy presents an enormous challenge for the female body," researcher Katherine Whitcome, PhD, says in a news release.
"The body must change in dramatic ways to accommodate the baby, and these changes affect a woman's stability and posture. It turns out that enhanced curvature and reinforcement of the lower spine are key to maintaining normal activities during pregnancy," says Whitcome, who is a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University's anthropology department.
Parents concerned about possible vaccine dangers and government intrusion are trying to block New Jersey from becoming the first state to require flu shots for preschoolers.This is unreal in my opinion, un-American and outlandish. What right does the government have to intrude on this parental decision? The answer is, ZERO RIGHT! Dr. Fuhrman once said this about mandatory HPV vaccines and it certainly applies here, look:
The Public Health Council on Monday is set to consider whether New Jersey should require flu shots as well as three additional vaccines. If approved, New Jersey would become the first state to require annual flu shots for children attending licensed preschool or day care centers.
State health department officials also want to require a pneumococcal vaccine for preschoolers, a booster shot to fight whooping cough for sixth-graders, and meningitis shots for school children as young as 11.
This is not about arguing about the effectiveness or value of vaccines, just whether we should mandate medical care and take another freedom away from Americans. We no longer have the freedom to take or not take medications. Sounds like the Taliban to me.I know, I use that quote a lot, but come on, Dr. Fuhrman’s on the money! This is essentially the opposite of freedom and it’s doubly stupid when you realize that flu shots aren’t the wonder drugs that pharmaceutical companies market them to be. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Three antiviral drugs, amantadine (Symmetrel), rimantadine (Flumadine), and oseltamivir (Tamiflu) are available in the US for influenza. These medications are only partially effective and not effective at all unless they are started within the first two days of symptoms. All are prescription drugs and have serious potential risks. Besides the more common side effects of nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and insomnia, rare but serious adverse reactions have been reported including depression, suicide, and a potentially fatal reaction called Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome, which involves a high fever muscle rigidity and mental status changes. I cannot recommend the general use of these medications given their poor benefit-to-risk ratio. However these medications would be appropriate in the event of an outbreak in a nursing home or hospital where immunologically weakened, high risk people are in close contact with one another.These New Jersey officials should get a clue! Hopefully commonsense prevails, but I doubt it, after all, we are talking about government. Now, here’s a great NEW quote from Dr. Fuhrman on all this insanity. Enjoy:
Another drawback to Tamiflu and the others is that it takes time to diagnose the flu and by the time one gets to a doctor for an accurate diagnosis, you have passed the window in which the medications are effective. Hundreds of thousands of doses of Tamiflu will be prescribed and in more than 90 percent of instances, it will be used after the period when it has any potential to help. People will be increasing their risk of medication-caused side effect, without any potential benefit.
All medical interventions have a benefit-to-risk ratio. One has to weigh the potential risks with the supposed benefits. Often the long-term risks of medications are not clearly delineated and the supposed benefits are exaggerated by doctors and pharmaceutical companies (because after all, medicine is still a business to make money).
Flu vaccines have benefits and risks too. If you read about the flu vaccine in the information supplied by the manufacturer you will learn it contains formaldehyde and 25 micrograms of thimersol (mercury) per dose, used as a preservative. The injection of even this small amount of mercury repeatedly year after year from multiple vaccines can cause neurotoxicity (brain damage). The American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Public Health Service have issued a joint statement calling for the removal of mercury from vaccines. Chronic low dose mercury exposures may cause subtle neurological abnormalities that rear their head later in life.
Considering all the vaccines that children get already, adding the flu to the mix and giving it each year, is something I am not ready to recommend in healthy children, fed a nutritionally sound diet. That does not mean I would not recommend it to an elderly person or one with a reason for compromised immune function.
The flu vaccine itself has not been evaluated for carcinogenic or mutagenic potential and animal reproductive studies have not been performed. Adverse reactions to the vaccine including arthralgias (muscle aches) lymphadenopathy (swelling of lymph nodes) itching, angiopathy, vasculitis, and other events reflective of toxicity. Allergic reaction, hives, anaphylaxis, neurological disorders such as neuritis, encephalitis, optic neuritis, and demylenating disorders (such as MS) have also been temporally associated with influenza vaccine.
It seems that lawmakers do not understand that freedom should include freedom from forced medications for ourselves and our children. The fact that we grant religions the right to do anything, but if not under a religious umbrella, those with strong science-based, philosophical-based or strong-personal belief get no such rights, I think this is unconscionable.Oh no he didn’t!
Especially when we are talking about vaccines with their known dangerous side-effects and potential unknown negative effects down the road. Here in New Jersey, home of the drug industry, we have no rights for personal medical savings accounts, no rights to purchase catastrophic health insurance, and no rights to refuse mandatory vaccinations. The drug companies hold the politicians in their financial pockets. People are led to believe in drugs and the exaggerated benefits of medical care and they do; the new religion in America—In Drugs We Trust.
In Seminole County, Florida, McDonald's is doing their part to help ensure kids get good grades. They've agreed to give kids a free happy meal if they get good grades. It says so right there on the report card envelope. Wait, what? Yep, you heard that right. McDonald's has arranged to put their ad offering free food for good grades on the envelope the school district uses to send report cards home.Rewarding little scholars with cancer-food? The parents in this school district should grab pitchforks and torches and storm the principles office. Dr. Fuhrman makes it clear. Food shouldn’t be a reward, especially bad food. From Disease-Proof Your Child:
In exchange for putting their ad, complete with a picture of a Happy Meal, on the envelopes, McDonald's paid for the printing of the report cards. Sounds like a fair deal, eh? Actually, it sounds like a great deal for McDonald's -- reaching 27,000 kindergarten through fifth-grade students for next to nothing.
Children are responsible for deciding how much they eat. If they are in an environmental of healthful foods they will have no problem regulating variety and timing. They can choose what they eat, when they eat, and if they will eat. Don’t use food as a reward or punishment. Don’t offer a treat because the child was good or ate well. Offer healthy treats as part of the normal well-balanced diet.Buy the kid a toy, take him to the movies, or read her a story, but fast food! Shame on McDonalds for going along with this—oh, wait—its all about the Benjamins, not the little Bens and Bettys.
Scientists have discovered the mechanism by which a chemical known as perchlorate can collect in breast milk and cause cognitive and motor deficits in newborns.
Used since the 1940s to manufacture explosives and rocket fuel, the contaminant is still widely present in the water and food supply, experts say.
And high concentrations of perchlorate in breast milk can be passed to an infant and affect it's ability to manufacture essential thyroid hormone, the new study suggests. Perchlorate can also lessen the amount of iodide available to a mother to pass on to her infant, and a baby needs iodide to produce thyroid hormones.
"The deficit of thyroid hormone is particularly delicate if it's at the beginning of life because the central nervous system has not completely matured," said study author Dr. Nancy Carrasco, a professor of molecular pharmacology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City.
I had a parent ask me for some advice about a situation at her daughter's school. The girl, a kindergartener, eats lunch in the cafeteria most days, where she gets the same amount of food and milk as kids twice her age. While she likes milk and is used to drinking it at home, she doesn't always finish it.“We don’t need no thought control…Teachers leave them kids alone,” goes the classic Pink Floyd song. I don’t like the idea of a totalitarian cafeteria and the fact that it surrounds milk—double-yuck! As Dr. Fuhrman explains, milk is way overrated:
The problem is, there are staff members who wander around the cafeteria shaking milk cartons and telling kids to finish their milk. The mother is concerned because she attributes, at least in part, her own weight issues to always being told as a child to finish everything on her plate. Naturally, she doesn't want her daughter to develop the same sorts of issues.
Milk and cheese are the foods Americans encourage their children to eat, believing them to be healthy foods. Fifty years of heavy advertising by an economically powerful industry has shaped the public's perception, illustrating the power of one-sided advertising, but the reality and true health effects on our children is a different story. Besides the link between high-saturated-fat foods (dairy fat) and cancer, there is a body of scientific literature linking the consumption of cow's milk to many other diseases.How do you feel about these milk-pushers? I don't like it one bit!
The researchers found that breast-fed babies had fewer ear, gastrointestinal tract, and severe lower respiratory tract infections than formula-fed ones and were less prone to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), obesity, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, childhood leukemia, early-childhood asthma and atopic dermatitis (a skin disorder that causes eczema).I think its best to reiterate Dr. Fuhrman’s point from yesterday’s post on peanut allergies. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Though the reductions were as large as 72% (for severe lower respiratory tract infections), the report states that none of its findings imply causality.
This inability to prove cause and effect is a problem that plagues virtually all breast-feeding research. The problem is that women who breast-feed, as a whole, are very different from their bottle-feeding counterparts: wealthier, older and more educated, for starters. Although researchers are able to adjust their results for such factors, there's no way to adjust for every difference. Women who breast-feed are probably more health-conscious in numerous ways, which could explain why breast-fed children tend to be healthier.
The evidence is more suggestive in some areas than in others. "It's well proven that breast-feeding is effective at reducing infections in the newborn period, as long as children continue to be breast-fed," said Dr. Lawrence Gartner, past chairman of the AAP's breast-feeding group. The reason is that breast milk contains antibodies and other agents that prevent bacteria, toxins and viruses the baby has swallowed from attaching to the lining of the throat and gut.
He said that the research was "not nearly as good" for the other claims. One reason is that fewer studies have been done; another is that how breast milk might offer protection is less clear.
Allergies are increasing because women do not breast feed long enough...The antibodies derived from mother’s milk are necessary for maximizing immune system function, maximizing intelligence, and protecting against immune system disorders, allergies, and even cancer.In the end, it’s the mother’s choice.
“Allergies are increasing because women do not breast feed long enough,” Dr. Fuhrman responded when I asked him to comment on this report claiming peanut allergies in children are on the rise. Andrew Stern of Reuters has more:
Allergies to peanuts and other foods are showing up in children at younger ages for reasons that are not clear, researchers said on Monday, and some urged parents to postpone exposing susceptible children to peanuts.
In a study of 140 children with peanut allergies, the median age of the first allergic reaction was 14 months among those born between 2000 and 2005, compared to 22 to 24 months among allergic children born between 1988 and 1999.
"There's a valid reason to delay introduction to products containing peanuts," said Dr. Todd Green of the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Fuhrman couldn’t agree less. “It is not delaying peanut introduction that will solve this problem, it is delaying the unhealthful cessation of breast feeding at too young an age,” Dr. Fuhrman points out. He talks more about it in Disease-Proof Your Child:
The antibodies derived from mother’s milk are necessary for maximizing immune system function, maximizing intelligence, and protecting against immune system disorders, allergies, and even cancer. The child’s immune system is still underdeveloped until age of two, the same age when the digestive tract seals the leaks (spaces between cells) designed to allow the mother’s antibodies access to the bloodstream. So picking the age of two as the length of recommended breast-feeding is not just a haphazard guess, it matches the age at which the child is no longer absorbing the mother’s immunoglobulins to supplement their own immune system. Nature designed it that way.
What really surprised me is according to Dr. Fuhrman roasting peanuts actually increase their allergen potency. Maybe it’ll make parents think twice before they slather peanut butter and jelly on two slices of white bread and shoo their kids off to school.
Too lazy to roll up that purple yoga mat, my kids were greeted with a bright, squishy rectangle this morning. They also spotted the battered yoga tape lying next to the TV. The clutter elicited a positive response -- my three-year-old daughter put in the tape and immediately began gentle spinal twists, sun salutations and a Namaste gesture. She used to be my yoga buddy. She'd missed it, too.Kudos to That’s Fit, but who would have thought…kids imitate their parents? No! You don’t say. Now, obviously I’m geeked about Yoga mention and I’m doubly-geeked about this link. Check out ABC-of-Yoga for animated step-by-step Yoga instruction. It’s really cool. Look:
I saw the proof this morning. Modeling fitness to your kids is a promotional strategy. So leave the 3 pound barbells and yoga mat lying around. Invite your kids to occasionally workout with you. Until puberty, they pretty much want to be with you most of the time.
Yoga rules! As you’ll soon see—hint-hint, wink-wink—Yoga really helped me…to be continued.