I am participating in the #RepealTheSeal campaign to show my disagreement with the Academy’s recent decision to allow the Kids Eat Right logo onto food packaging. I invite my fellow colleagues and bloggers who share this opinion, or who support this campaign, to also post this open letter on their own blog, to sign the petition at change.org and/or to use #RepealTheSeal hashtag via social media.
Children and teenagers who spend lots of time in front of screens, especially TV’s, tend to gain more weight as they age, according to a new study. The findings are consistent with research suggesting all that idle sitting and exposure to advertisements may fuel poor eating habits. Many parents believe their children are getting a reasonable amount of recreational screen time, Mark Tremblay said. However, most U.S. and Canadian kids exceed the recommended two-hour maximum per day. “We don’t pay attention to the fact that it’s half an hour here, half an hour there, an hour here, an hour there,” Tremblay told Reuters Health. He is the director of Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute in Ottawa, Canada, and wasn’t involved in the new study.
Researchers used data from a long-term study of kids who took surveys every other year. The surveys included questions about their height and weight as well as how much time they spent watching TV and DVDs and playing computer and video games. Kids were between ages nine and 16 when the study started. Out of about 4,300 girls in the study, 17 percent were overweight or obese. Twenty-four percent of the 3,500 boys were also above a healthy weight.
From one survey to the next, each one-hour increase in children’s daily TV watching was tied to an increase of about 0.1 points on a body mass index (BMI) scale, which measures weight in relation to height. That’s a difference of approximately half a pound per extra hour of TV. Increases in total screen time between survey periods were linked with similar but smaller changes in BMI. “The weight of the evidence is pretty strong that television viewing is related to unhealthy changes in weight among youth,” Jennifer Falbe said. However, she told Reuters Health, “It’s important for parents to be aware of all the potentially obesogenic screens that they should really be limiting in their children’s lives.” Increases in DVD and video watching were tied to weight gain among girls, in particular.
Falbe led the study while at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. She is now at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. When kids watch TV, “There is more purposeful, deliberate exposure to eating options, commercials that come on that might cue you to go off to the pantry and grab a cookie or a soft drink,” Tremblay said. “Typically your hands are free when you’re watching TV, so should that temptation capture you, you’re able to sit there and munch on whether it’s a healthy or an unhealthy snack.” What’s more, he said, “You can get into a pretty much hibernative state on the couch.” Even if kids are sitting down while playing a computer game, for instance, they might be a bit more active, Tremblay said.
The study didn’t include many non-white or poor children, the researchers noted. So the findings may not apply to all U.S. youth. Another study of factors affecting children’s’ weight published in Pediatrics found that kids whose mothers and fathers reported consistent parenting, setting age-appropriate rules and expectations and following through on them, had a lower BMI than their peers. However, those differences were small, Pauline Jansen from Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, and colleagues wrote. In a third report in the same journal issue, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracked 1.2 million children from low-income families in the U.S. to see how their weight changed over time. They found 11 percent of kids who were not obese before age two became obese over the next two to three years. Close to two-thirds of children who were initially obese as babies and toddlers were no longer obese a couple of years later. Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native children were more likely than white kids to become obese and less likely to stop being obese. The study “underscores the importance of early life obesity prevention in multiple settings for low-income children and their families,” according to researchers led by Dr. Liping Pan.
Tip of the Day
Keep salt at bay. Read food labels to find packaged and canned foods lower in sodium. Look for “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” or “no salt added.”
“I have set before you life and death; therefore, choose life, that you and your descendants may live.”
~ Deuteronomy 30:19.
There are eternal benefits that come from making the right choice. There are also eternal consequences for making the wrong choice. Which choices have you been making in your life?
Nutrition is crucial before, during and after pregnancy to optimize health for both mother and child, according to an updated position paper and a new practice paper from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The Academy’s position paper “Nutrition and Lifestyle for a Healthy Pregnancy Outcome” has been published in the July issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. An accompanying practice paper has been published on the Academy’s website for Academy members and is available to the public for purchase. The practice paper provides registered dietitian nutritionists and dietetic technicians, registered with an overview of current recommendations related to nutrition and healthy lifestyles during pregnancy and best practices on ways to implement those recommendations. The Academy’s updated position is: It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that women of childbearing age should adopt a lifestyle optimizing health and reducing risk of birth defects, suboptimal fetal development, and chronic health problems in both mother and child. Components leading to healthy pregnancy outcome include healthy pre-pregnancy weight, appropriate weight gain and physical activity during pregnancy, consumption of a wide variety of foods, appropriate vitamin and mineral supplementation, avoidance of alcohol and other harmful substances and safe food handling.
According to the position paper’s authors, factors that contribute to a healthy pregnancy go beyond a well-balanced diet, and registered dietitian nutritionists and dietetics technicians, registered can help pregnant women select an appropriate food plan and tailor advice to the woman’s needs. In addition, RDNs and DTRs can work with pregnant women to help manage side effects that could negatively affect diet and pregnancy outcomes. The Academy offers practical and achievable advice for women of childbearing age, including:
- Nourish your future: Follow a healthy diet and be physically active before, during and after pregnancy.
- A well-balanced diet can meet most of your nutrient needs during pregnancy. Talk with your health provider about iron and other nutrient supplements.
- Ask your health provider how much weight gain is right for you. A healthy weight gain is important for both baby and mother.
- A healthy lifestyle helps prevent excessive weight gain during pregnancy.
- Registered dietitian nutritionists and dietetics technicians, registered can help you select an appropriate food plan and tailor advice to your needs.
Tip of the Day
Top baked potatoes with Greek-style yogurt instead of butter and sour cream. Less fat, great taste! Greek-style yogurt has made a splash on the food scene lately but it has been around for a long time. Low fat plain Greek-style can be used in recipes instead of higher fat options such as full-fat sour cream or yogurt. Its smooth and tangy taste makes it an ideal addition to soups, veggie dips or pasta sauces. Scoop some onto fresh fruit for a luscious, low-fat dessert. Add some pizzazz to your baked potato with Greek-style yogurt instead of butter and sour cream.
Daily Inspiration X 2
“He conquers who endures.”
“Be still and know that I am God.”
In wake of new data showing more than 29 million Americans have diabetes and 86 million adults have prediabetes, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is reinforcing the importance of a lifelong healthful eating plan, developed with a registered dietitian nutritionist, in the prevention and treatment of diabetes. “The figures released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are a good reminder of the importance of eating healthfully and getting plenty of physical activity to help prevent and manage serious diseases like diabetes,” said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy President Sonja Connor. Also highlighted in the report is the economic impact of the diabetes epidemic. In 2012, diabetes and its related complications cost $245 billion in total medical costs and lost work and wages. “The CDC’s data underscore the importance of registered dietitian nutritionists and dietetic technicians, registered in preventing disease and improving the health of people with diabetes. It also reinforces the Academy’s advocacy work to improve care for people with diabetes and prediabetes by supporting initiatives and legislation like the proposed National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act,” Connor said.
This legislation, now before Congress, creates a commission comprised of diabetes experts, including registered dietitian nutritionists and other specialists who treat the complications of diabetes. The goal of the commission is to streamline federal investments to improve the coordination and clinical care outcomes for people with diabetes and pre diabetes. The Academy is determined to move the National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission Act forward to improve care for people with diabetes and prediabetes. Today, the Academy is asking its 75,000 members to send letters to their members of Congress urging them to cosponsor this bill. “Academy members understand the importance of prevention, which is why we also support the Preventing Diabetes in Medicare Act to help stop cases of diabetes in the Medicare population,” Connor said. “By increasing patients’ access to medical nutrition therapy provided by a registered dietitian nutritionist, individuals with prediabetes or those at risk for diabetes can finally receive the treatment they need.” “We look forward to working with our nation’s political leaders to ensure patients have access to effective, coordinated care for better health,” Connor said.
Tip of the day
One day at a time! Increase physical activity by picking activities you like and start by doing what you can, at least 10 minutes at a time. Every bit adds up, and the health benefits increase as you spend more time being active. The point is to get out there and move!
At night my soul longs for You, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; For when the earth experiences Your judgments The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.
~ Isaiah 26:9
Nutrition is vital to a person’s oral health as well as their overall health. Collaboration between registered dietitian nutritionists, dietetic technicians, registered and oral health-care professionals is recommended for health promotion, disease prevention and intervention, according to a new practice paper published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The practice paper “Oral Health and Nutrition” has been published on the Academy’s website for Academy members and is available to the public for purchase. A practice paper is a critical analysis of current research literature that enables Academy members to translate nutrition science into the highest-quality advice and services. This practice paper supports the Academy’s position paper on oral health and nutrition, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in May 2013. It is the position of the Academy that nutrition is an integral component of oral health.
According to the practice paper, nutrition assessment is essential for identifying dietary intake and nutritional factors that may affect a person’s oral health. Health-care professionals should address the importance of food choices to help ensure optimal oral health by explaining how oral health status can affect their food intake. “The multifaceted interactions between diet, nutrition and oral health in practice, education, and research in both dietetics and dentistry merit collaborative efforts to ensure comprehensive care for patients and clients,” according to the practice paper’s authors. The practice paper encourages food and nutrition practitioners to educate their patients and clients on important aspects of nutritional health that lead to oral health:
- Consuming fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt without added sugar helps reduce an individual’s risk of cavities.
- Consuming fewer foods that are high in acid, such as fruit juices, pickled foods, sour candies, citrus fruits and wine, may decrease an individual’s risk of dental erosion and cavities. (Sorry but I can’t give up the wine !!!)
- Consuming fewer sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks and fruit drinks may also decrease a person’s risk of dental erosion and cavities.
- Seeking guidance from registered dietitian nutritionists about healthy food choices and regular oral health care can help improve nutritional and oral health status.
Tip of the Day
The more the merrier! Increase physical activity at home by getting the whole family involved; enjoy an afternoon bike ride with your family & friends.
“Good works do not make a good man, but a good man does good works.”
~ Martin Luther,
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics applauds Congress for passing the Agriculture Act of 2014, a bill commonly referred to as the Farm Bill. The Academy supports this piece of legislation that protects vital nutrition assistance and education programs which includes new initiatives that will improve the health of the nation and enhance funding for nutrition and agriculture research. “The American people deserve a Farm Bill because it has a major impact on the entire nation’s food system, and we are pleased to see one move through Congress,” said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics President Dr. Glenna McCollum. “Included in this especially important and massive piece of legislation are nutrition programs that provide access to healthy foods for millions,” she said. “The Academy has been actively involved in the reauthorization of the Farm Bill for the last two years by engaging our members to send thousands of letters to Congress, encouraging constituents to meet with their legislators and working with our partners to garner support for nutrition programs and offer new ideas for cost-effective solutions,” McCollum said.
Most recently, the Academy focused its efforts on protecting the SNAP nutrition education program. SNAP-Ed is vital to helping families utilize limited resources to purchase healthy foods and engage in a physically active lifestyle. “We are grateful that SNAP-Ed is protected so that we can continue providing low-income Americans with the tools necessary to lead healthy lives on a limited budget,” McCollum said. “As an organization committed to reducing food insecurity and hunger, we are pleased to see that the final bill does not include drastic cuts to SNAP like those that were proposed in the original House version. However, we do recognize that some families will be affected by the reduction of benefits,” McCollum said. The final bill takes measures to enhance SNAP, including increasing access to homebound seniors or disabled participants by allowing home delivery of foods purchased with SNAP benefits; increasing stocking requirements for SNAP retailers to include more variety; and providing investments to improve access to and reduce the cost of fruits and vegetables for SNAP recipients.
One of the Academy’s top priorities is food and agriculture research, which also provides policy makers with the critical information they need to make decisions about the health of our food system. Funding for ongoing nutrition and agriculture research was maintained in the Farm Bill and new resources were allocated to food and agriculture research designed to support the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s research activities. “As a science-based organization, we support the funding of these research programs and look forward to leveraging their outcomes to benefit the nation,” McCollum said. “The Academy will continue to pay close attention to this bill as it is implemented through regulations that support access to healthy foods, enhance nutrition agriculture research and ensure programs are efficient and effective.”
Tip of the Day
Escape with someone special! Plan a healthy picnic to enjoy with someone special. Pack easy, on-the-go foods such as sandwiches, fruits & raw veggies with a low-calorie dip.