New Research Study Goes Against Popular Belief On “39-week” Pregnancy Rule

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pregnantThis article is courtesy of the Baylor College of Medicine, please share your comments below. Questions or concerns about the article should be addressed directly to the Baylor College of Medicine.

Women who are managing low-risk pregnancies are advised to follow the “39-week rule” – waiting until they are 39 weeks to deliver. This rule is intended to eliminate elective inductions and cesarean deliveries at 37 and 38 weeks, when outcomes for the newborns are believed to be worse than those born at full term.

But new research by a Baylor College of Medicine epidemiologist suggests that babies delivered after elective induction at 37 to 38 weeks may not have an increased risk of adverse neonatal outcomes, compared to those infants who are expectantly managed (i.e., medical observation or “watchful waiting”) and delivered at 39 to 40 weeks. The findings appear in the current issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

“Our findings caution against a general avoidance of all elective early-term inductions and call for continued research, based on better data, in what is still a relatively new arena,” said Dr. Jason Salemi, assistant professor of family and community medicine at Baylor and lead author of the study.

The national initiative to eliminate all elective deliveries before 39 weeks began to gain momentum around 2008, Salemi said, and was supported by professional organizations and adopted by healthcare institutions.

“Until then, I had never observed a campaign so enthusiastically embraced and that resulted in such widespread implementation of practice improvement efforts,” Salemi said.

But he saw limitations in many studies used to justify the 39-week rule. Most notably, he recognized what he believed to be an inappropriate choice of comparison group for elective early-term deliveries.

“A number of studies reporting worse outcomes for elective early-term deliveries compared them with later term spontaneous deliveries, a low-risk group. However, the clinical decision that must be made is not between elective early-term delivery and later spontaneous delivery, but between elective early-term delivery and expectant management, in which the outcome remains unknown,” Salemi said.

Salemi and his colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study that used data on more than 675,000 infants from a statewide database. All live births were classified on the basis of the timing and reason for delivery. The research study compared elective inductions and cesarean deliveries at 37 to 38 weeks to expectantly managed pregnancies delivered at 39 to 40 weeks.

“We focused on serious conditions in early life. Our outcomes included neonatal respiratory morbidity, sepsis, feeding difficulties, admission to the neonatal intensive care unit and infant mortality,” Salemi said.

Salemi cautions that the research findings do not lend support for elective deliveries before 39 weeks and, in fact, provide evidence that supports the avoidance of elective early-term cesarean deliveries. The study found that infants delivered after cesarean delivery at 37 to 38 weeks had a 13 to 66 percent increase in the odds of damaging outcomes.

However, infants delivered after elective early-term induction experienced odds of adverse neonatal outcomes that were largely the same as infants who were expectantly managed and delivered at 39 to 40 weeks. Through the research findings, Salemi hopes to increase awareness on the many issues that surround the timing and reasons for delivery.

“Each pregnancy is unique,” He said. “I cannot overstate the importance of open and ongoing communication between pregnant women and their healthcare providers so that the potential risks and benefits of any pregnancy-related decision are understood fully.”

Other authors that contributed to this research study and article are Dr. Elizabeth Pathak, during her time as an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, and Dr. Hamisu Salihu, professor and vice chair for research in family and community medicine at Baylor.

This research was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (grant number R01HS019997).

Expert Advises Against Detox Diets

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This article is courtesy of the Baylor College of Medicine, please share your comments below…..

doctorIf you’re looking for a way to get rid of the toxins in your body through detox or cleansing diets, keep in mind that your body already has an all-natural way to do this, according to an expert at Baylor College of Medicine.

“There are a lot of detox and cleansing diets that claim to cleanse your body of toxins and reset your metabolism, but toxins in your body already are filtered through your gastrointestinal system, kidneys and liver every minute of every day,” said Molly Gee, a registered dietitian with Baylor. “Our body already has a built-in system to take what it needs from food – the nutrients, the energy – and then eliminate the products that are not needed.”

Gee cautions against diets that promise quick weight loss by eliminating certain types of foods and only allowing for other types of foods, such as raw fruits or vegetables in a juice form. Many of these diets then add supplements, herbs, vitamins and minerals to make up for the missing nutrients from foods.

“When the diet calls for you to include supplements while eliminating other foods, that should be your first clue that you are missing something,” said Gee. “Your diet needs to provide the adequate nutrients for your body to operate, like any piece of efficient machinery.”

Gee also cautions against diets that withhold a significant amount of calories from your body.

“Can you run your car on an empty gas tank? Think about what you’re doing to your body when you’re not putting any fuel in the form of food into it,” said Gee. “You’re putting your body under great stress when you eliminate foods as fuel.”

Gee said to never start any type of extreme diet without consulting with your primary care physician, who is the gatekeeper of your overall health. This is especially true for those with a compromised immune system, older adults, children and teens.

According to Gee, the best diet is the diet that works for you, and she believes that all foods can fit into a diet – it’s a matter of portion control.

“Try to be moderate in all of the foods that you eat,” she said. “Use good common sense, but don’t take the fun out of food.”

If you’re trying to lose weight, Gee said that a reasonable goal to aim for is half a pound or a pound a week, and the best way to do this is to cut back on your portions.

Reasonable portion sizes are usually a half cup to one cup of most foods, and for an animal protein, about three ounces cooked. Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fiber with 6 to 8 cups of water are keys to a successful diet. Don’t forget regular physical activity like walking.

“Most extreme diets don’t work because you can only follow them for a couple of weeks,” said Gee. “You need to develop your own plan that will work for you.”

Experts Say Now Is The Time To Be Vaccinated Against The Flu

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Submitted by the Baylor College of Medicine…..

temperturefaceWhile it can be difficult to predict some aspects of the flu season – such as which strain will be dominant or how intense this year’s flu season will be – the thing doctors know for certain is that the flu season will be here during the fall and winter months. An expert at Baylor College of Medicine’s Influenza Research Center gives advice on how to prepare.

“In an average year, we expect to see influenza activity in late November or early December, for it to peak in January or February and for it to finally leave sometime in April or even May,” said Dr. Pedro A. Piedra, professor of molecular virology and microbiology and pediatrics at Baylor.

Each year, there is the option to take the live attenuated vaccine, which is in the form of a nasal spray, or the inactivated vaccine, which is the flu shot. This year, the live vaccine will have two A strains and two B strains, making it a quadrivalent vaccine. For the flu shot, there will be the option to get a trivalent or quadrivalent vaccine.

According to Piedra, this year’s trivalent vaccine has been redesigned, with two out of three vaccine strains from previous vaccines replaced with new strains. The one that will remain the same is the pandemic H1N1, or the A/California strain. The H3N2 component will change to a strain called A/Switzerland, which was prevalent last flu season and was one of the H3N2 strains that caused the mismatch between what was circulating and what was in the vaccine for last year. The B strain will be replaced with the B/Phuket. The quadrivalent vaccine has two B strains from different lineages, the second B component being the B/Brisbane, which is not a new strain.

“When you go to your healthcare provider this year, you may have the opportunity to have a trivalent or quadrivalent vaccination. I would say in general, if the quadrivalent formulation is available, that probably would be the better option because it’s going to ensure that you have coverage against any of influenza B lineages that may circulate,” said Piedra. “If you only have the option of the trivalent vaccine, I would still strongly recommend getting the vaccine.”

Most of the vaccines are slowly transitioning into a quadrivalent vaccine, but both will be available this year.

Who should be vaccinated

In the United States, it’s recommended that everyone over the age of 6 months should be vaccinated.

“We truly believe that universal immunization is the best way to protect everybody against flu,” said Piedra. “Although you have risk groups who are more likely to get severe disease, you have other groups like school-aged children who are more likely to get infected and spread it to others in the community. An outbreak needs individuals who are susceptible to the infection; one way to minimize those who are susceptible to the infection is to protect them with a vaccine. The more people who are protected against what’s circulating, the less likely that an influenza season will be able to take hold or cause complications.”

He notes that vaccination provides direct benefit to those who are vaccinated and starts to provide indirect benefits to those who are not vaccinated but are vulnerable.

Who should get which vaccine

“We have many approved inactivated and live influenza vaccines that target different age groups,” said Piedra.

The live vaccine, or the nasal spray, is approved for healthy individuals between 2 and 49 years of age. The inactivated vaccine, or the flu shot, is approved for individuals 6 months of age and older.

There is now a high-dose influenza vaccine for adults 65 years and older because it produces a better immune response in this age group, which generally translates into better protection. Older adults don’t respond like healthy adults to the vaccine, so this high-dose vaccine contains four times the concentration as the regular influenza vaccine.

All family members that older adults surround themselves with should be vaccinated against flu because that is the best way for them to be protected.

It is recommended that pregnant women be vaccinated during any trimester. They must receive the inactivated vaccine, or the flu shot.

“When the mother is vaccinated she will transfer the antibodies through the placenta to her infant, who thereby will be passively protected during the first six months of life. This will reduce the risk of hospitalization in those first six months, which is substantially high,” said Piedra.

Anyone in the healthcare environment should be protected against flu to reduce the risk of spreading it to others who would be very susceptible in a high-risk setting like a hospital.

Exceptions

If you have a significant allergic illness to one of the vaccine components, such as eggs, you would not want to receive an egg-based influenza vaccine, but you could still receive a cell-based influenza vaccine.

Individuals with Guillain-Barre Syndrome should speak with their physicians to weigh the risk versus the benefit of getting the influenza vaccine.

Piedra said not to wait until the flu is here to get vaccinated because it reduces the time that that the vaccine can provide protection during the flu season. The vaccine takes about one to two weeks to give full protection against the virus.

Infants and young children 8 years and younger who have never been previously vaccinated will need a second dose four weeks after the first dose.

Those experiencing flu-like symptoms should consult with their physician to get the appropriate medications to treat the infection.

“These anti-influenza drugs have to be started early in the illness for best benefit,” said Piedra.

Woodloch Pines Resort And JDRF Team Up In The Fight Against Type 1 Diabetes

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Woodloch will host its second annual “Carnival for a Cause” to raise money for JDRF

diabeteswordWoodloch Pines Resort has partnered with JDRF, the only global organization with a strategic plan to end Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), with the ultimate goal to turn Type One into Type None.

During the weekend of May 1st – 3rd, 2015, the social activities department from Woodloch Pines, an all-inclusive family resort in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, will host its famous home-grown carnival. Deemed “Carnival for a Cause,” a portion of all proceeds raised during the weekend will go directly to JDRF. This is the second year in which the resort is supporting the cause. In 2014, resort guests, staff, and local friends raised over $15,000 in donations. Since the family resort’s opening back in 1958, Woodloch’s Carnival has been a beloved activity enjoyed every summer by many guests.

Woodloch Pines shares a special personal connection with JDRF’s mission to bring awareness to Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) in hopes of one day finding a cure for the disease. The Pocono resort’s longtime Social Director, Joey Ranner, has a granddaughter who was diagnosed with T1D in November of 2011. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone people need to get energy from food. T1D strikes both children and adults and lasts a lifetime. The disease can have devastating effects such as: kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, heart attack, stroke, and pregnancy complications.

“Seeing how Type 1 Diabetes affects young children, like my granddaughter Jillian, makes me want to do something to help. One of the best resources that our family found after Jillian’s diagnosis was JDRF. We’ve participated in JDRF’s ‘Walk to Cure Diabetes’ for the past four years to help raise money to aid the admirable efforts of this great organization,” says Ranner. “Since Woodloch is and always has been about putting family first and giving back to the community, partnering with JDRF is a natural fit.”

The all-inclusive family resort’s “Carnival for a Cause” will embody a carnival’s midway atmosphere. At the event, which will take place on Saturday, May 2nd, guests can play the unique games for a chance to win prizes, including the grand prize of an all-inclusive getaway to the Pocono resort. Alongside the midway games, guests will be entertained by a balloon artist, magician, live music, food vendors, and inflatable bounce houses (weather permitting).

In addition to the carnival, other special events for the weekend include:

– A live cooking class featuring tasty yet healthy low sugar options

– A “Dance-A-Thon” where Woodloch Staff and guests will join together to dance the night away in order to raise donations

– A benefit 9-hole shotgun golf tournament at The County Club at Woodloch Springs

diabetesword– The East Central PA branch of JDRF will also be hosting their annual “Walk to Cure” event at PNC Field in Moosic on May 3rd. Registration information is available at EastCentralPA.jdrf.org.

During Carnival for a Cause weekend, all-inclusive rates start at just $199 per adult per night. For more information or to book a stay during, please visit http://www.woodloch.com/jdrf or call 1.800.WOODLOCH.

About JDRF:

JDRF is the only global organization with a strategic research plan to end type 1 diabetes (T1D). The plan ensures that there will be an ongoing stream of life-changing therapies moving from development through to the marketplace that lessen the impact of T1D keeping people with T1D healthy and safe today until the ultimate goal of a cure and universal prevention of T1D, turning Type One into Type None. Since its founding in 1970, JDRF’s cumulative research funding totals over $1.8 billion. In 2013 alone, JDRF’s T1D research funding totaled more than $106 million. More than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education.

About Woodloch Pines Resort:

Creating a magical experience for families since 1958, Woodloch Pines Resort’s signature warm hospitality keeps guests returning year after year and offers a truly unique all-inclusive family vacation experience fitting for everyone’s taste. An award-winning family resort, championship golf course and sister property featuring a luxury destination spa are just 95 scenic and convenient miles from New York City nestled in the Pocono Mountains Lake Region.

Contact:
Erica Filstein
Office: 570.685.8072 or Erica.Filstein@woodloch.com

How To Take Care Of Your Child Against Skin Infections?

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By Brendon Buthello

kidsChildren are more prone to the skin disorders than adults mainly because of their carefree attitude and as they lack medical knowledge. They tend to take the skin disorders very lightly and are often seen to mingle with an infected person irrespective of making them alert of the consequences. Besides, it is always required to keep an eye on their habits concerning cleanliness. For parents and caregivers preventing skin disorders to transmit to their children is a responsibility that needs constant vigil. Here below we will discuss on four crucial aspects to take care of your child against skin infections.

Getting infected through direct contact

Children have a carefree and casual approach to illness, especially if it seems to them as merely an inconvenience on body surface but not a very painful or threatening one. Medically speaking a majority of the skin disorders is contagious. Children thanks to their casual simplicity often forget the danger involved in getting close to a person with skin disorder. Maybe the person in the next door suffers from skin rashes for a long time without your knowing. He may reach to your child for caressing or for engaging in a merry pastime and though it seems perfectly innocent and harmless, chances of transmitting a skin disorder lurks there.

Getting infected indirectly

There are more to be careful when it is about getting infected indirectly. There is multitude of avenues to get skin infection and a vast majority of them are indirect in nature. You might have made full proof arrangement to assure that your child does not come into contact with anybody with a skin disorder and you might have thoroughly maintained cleanliness inside the house. But irrespective of all these suddenly you may observe fungal infection in his body. You wonder how it happened in spite of so many precautions. It is quite simple, the groceries, vegetables, fruits and all those items that come from stores might have been handled by an infected person. In schools or playground your child may come to direct contact with someone infected or items used by infected one. While such exposures are hard to avoid you can at least guard your children by maintaining utmost cleanliness. Make sure that when coming from outside the exposed body parts are cleaned thoroughly and garments are cleaned regularly.

Transmission through droplets

groupkidswbgThere are many infectious diseases that transmit through droplets and contagious or infectious skin disorders are no exception in this regard. Droplets are nothing but moisture expelled from the nasal tract. Our respiratory tract is most sensitive to infections of any kind and naturally when a person is infected it can affect others through droplets as well. The infection borne moisture in the respiratory tract can quickly transmit when the infected person sneezes, exhales breath or expectorates cough. Make sure that your children do not get close to anyone suffering from such infectious disorders. Insist on boosting their immunity to fight all these airborne infections including that can be transmitted through droplets.

Airborne infections

From the dust particles in the air or from other pollutions also your children can get infected with skin disorders. Hardly you can ensure a throughout protection from these invisible airborne infections. But obviously you can take some preventive measures and protections to stop them from getting inroads into the body. First of all, try to let them remain in cool and dry conditions as long as possible and make them avoid getting moist and get into dusty atmosphere. Secondly, insist strengthening their immune system to fight the germs and fungal infections from within. Against airborne infections boosting immune system is the best guard.

Brendon Buthello is a healthcare blogger at ranzynn.com. He spends time to get detail knowledge of different types of skin infections and how to protect yourself from these skin disorders.

Woodloch Pines Resort And JDRF Team Up In The Fight Against Type 1 Diabetes

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Woodloch will host its first-ever “Carnival for a Cause” in order to raise money for JDRF

diabeteswordWoodloch Pines Resort has partnered up with JDRF, the only global organization with a strategic plan to end type 1 diabetes (T1D), with the ultimate goal to turn Type One into Type None. From April 4-6, 2014, the social activities department from Woodloch Pines, an all-inclusive family resort in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, will host its famous home-grown carnival. Deemed “Carnival for a Cause,” a portion of all proceeds raised during the weekend will go directly to JDRF. Since the family resort’s opening back in 1958, Woodloch’s Carnival has been a beloved activity enjoyed every summer by many guests.

Woodloch Pines shares a special personal connection with JDRF’s mission to bring awareness to Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) in hopes of one day finding a cure for the disease. Woodloch’s longtime Social Director, Joey Ranner, has a granddaughter who was diagnosed with T1D in November of 2011. Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone people need to get energy from food. T1D strikes both children and adults and lasts a lifetime. T1D has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle, and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. Just to survive, people with T1D must frequently test their blood sugar and inject insulin (or continually infuse it through a pump) every day. They must carefully balance insulin doses with eating and other daily activities, yet they still run the risk of dangerous high or low blood sugar levels. Taking insulin does not cure T1D, nor does it prevent the possibility of the disease’s devastating effects: kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, heart attack, stroke, and pregnancy complications.

“Seeing how Type 1 Diabetes affects young children, like my granddaughter Jillian, makes me want to do something to help. One of the best resources that our family found after Jillian’s diagnosis was JDRF. We’ve participated in JDRF’s ‘Walk to Cure Diabetes’ for the past three years to help raise money to aid the admirable efforts of this great organization,” says Ranner. “Since Woodloch is and always has been about putting family first and giving back to the community, partnering with JDRF is a natural fit.”

The all-inclusive family resort’s “Carnival for a Cause” will embody a carnival’s midway atmosphere. At the event, which will take place on Saturday, April 5, 2014, guests can play the unique games for a chance to win prizes, including the grand prize of an all-inclusive getaway to the Pocono resort. Alongside the midway games, guests will be entertained by a balloon artist, magician, live music, food vendors, and inflatable bounce houses (weather permitting). In addition to the carnival, the all-inclusive resort will offer some of its other guest favorites such as: cooking classes, scavenger hunt, family Olympics, and horseracing.

During Carnival for a Cause weekend, all-inclusive rates start at just $179 per adult per night. For more information or to book a stay during, please visit www.woodloch.com/jdrf or call 1.800.WOODLOCH.

About Woodloch Pines Resort:
Creating a magical experience for families since 1958, Woodloch Pines Resort’s signature warm hospitality keeps guests returning year after year and offers a truly unique all-inclusive family vacation experience fitting for everyone’s taste. An award-winning family resort, championship golf course and sister property featuring a luxury destination spa is just 95 scenic and convenient miles from New York City nestled in the Pocono Mountains Lake Region.

About JDRF:
JDRF is the only global organization with a strategic research plan to end type 1 diabetes (T1D). The plan ensures that there will be an ongoing stream of life-changing therapies moving from development through to the marketplace that lessen the impact of T1D keeping people with T1D healthy and safe today until the ultimate goal of a cure and universal prevention of T1D, turning Type One into Type None. Since its founding in 1970, JDRF’s cumulative research funding totals over $1.8 billion. In 2013 alone, JDRF’s T1D research funding totaled more than $106 million. More than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education.

– Submitted by Erica Filstein

RadioMD Warns Against Bringing Cancer Into Your Home

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foodlabelWhen you shop, whether it be for food, beauty products or gifts, do you stop and read the product label? Now there is evidence that by not reading and understanding labels, people might inadvertently be introducing cancer-causing agents into the home.

“There are cancer-causing agents in many of the beauty products we buy, particularly in body washes, lotions, shampoos, fragrances, and even in tooth paste. And buying them at natural product stores doesn’t mean you will be protected,” warns beauty expert, David Pollock, who appeared on radiomd.com’s “Naturally Savvy” radio show, hosted by Andrea Donsky, RHN and Lisa Davis, MPH.

Dr. Pollock, named one of the “20 to Know” by Global Cosmetics Industry, urged listeners to avoid any product ingredient ending in “eth” as well as products containing carcinogens and dangerous toxins such as Parabens, Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) and Glycols (Propylene, Butylene, Etc.), and Lauryl/Laureth Sulfates (Sodium and Ammonium).

“Most people don’t know that 60 percent of the fragrances and lotions we apply on our body are absorbed by the bloodstream. Be wary of any product that lists “synthetic dyes or fragrances.” These can often be carcinogenic,” conclude Dr. Pollock, who also hosts “Beauty Inside Out” on radiomd.com.

“Naturally Savvy” can be heard on http://radiomd.com, and this particular show is in the archive found here.

ABOUT RadioMD

RadioMD.com is a “talking” health information source featuring top guests and experts in the world of health and medicine that provide vital health and wellness content in spoken word form. Produced in a talk radio, easy to listen to conversational style, RadioMD shows help listeners understand everyday health issues as well as complex medical conditions. In addition to its variety of live, interactive talk audio features and programming, RadioMD offers an Audio Library of top talk shows on just about every health and wellness, diet & fitness subject.

– Submitted by David Brimm

Chicago’s Fight Against Childhood Obesity

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obesegirlvectorexerciseFrom Your Health Journal…..”A great article in the Med Ill Reports by Srushti Shahand Kaitlyn Zufall entitled Chicago schools rev up fight against obesity. As we know, childhood obesity is on the rise in many areas of the world. Obesity related illnesses are also up, including heart disease, asthma, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and weak joints. Recently, Michelle Obama spoke about how childhood obesity has improved in such cities as NYC and LA, but the condition is still prevalent in Chicago, according to statistics released at the end of February by the Chicago Department of Public Health. One in every four students in kindergarten, sixth and ninth grades in the city’s public school system is obese, reports a newly released study by the health department and Chicago Public Schools. The obesity rate for all of Illinois in 2011 was only 12 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Please visit the Med Ill Reports web site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

Childhood obesity is declining in certain cities in the U. S., but the condition is still prevalent in Chicago, according to statistics released at the end of February by the Chicago Department of Public Health.

And it’s double the statewide rate of obesity in kids and adolescents.

One in every four students in kindergarten, sixth and ninth grades in the city’s public school system is obese, reports a newly released study by the health department and Chicago Public Schools. The obesity rate for all of Illinois in 2011 was only 12 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For Chicago, the kids who are either overweight or obese add up to a startling 36.5 percent of kindergartners, 48.6 percent of sixth graders and 44.7 percent of ninth graders.

The study accompanies an action plan, the Healthy Chicago Public Schools Agenda for Student Health and Wellness, also released jointly by CPS and the health department.

The action plan addresses multiple student health issues such as obesity, tobacco use and HIV prevention. The plan calls for obesity prevention through actions such as eliminating the use of food or fitness opportunities as rewards or punishments and implementing a standardized curriculum for physical education.

To read the complete article…..Click here

Parents Are The Key In The Battle Against Childhood Obesity

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obeseboyvectorbellyFrom Your Health Journal…..”I had to promote an article I recently found on the Toronto Star web site written by Patrick Luciani entitled Parents Are The Key In The Battle Against Childhood Obesity. It is a very important article for you (as a parent) to read, so please visit the Toronto Star web site (link provided below) to read the complete article. We have read here on many accounts how the government may be trying to regulate soft drinks and implement what they call a ‘fat tax’ on various items. A recent report suggests that that obesity costs society billions of dollars in rising health costs, and will only get worse if we do nothing. There is something truly upsetting seeing children who are obviously overweight and struggling with a range of health problems. So, if the government intervenes, they feel they may be able to reduce obesity, thus reduce health care costs in the future. But, the article in the Toronto Star suggest that parents be held accountable for their children’s weight, and this can make the difference needed to reduce health care, and most importantly, produce healthier children. I encourage you all to visit the Star’s web site to read this well written and informative article.”

From the article…..

Government regulations are no substitute for effective parenting.

What are we to make of a recent report entitled No Time To Wait prepared by the Ontario’s Healthy Kids Panel released last week? It has nice pictures of happy healthy kids along with the appropriate number of visible minority adults smiling and cooking with their kids. As with all these reports about health, it makes endless recommendations for government to solve rising childhood obesity numbers.

The report argues that obesity costs society billions of dollars in rising health costs, and will only get worse if we do nothing. There is something truly upsetting seeing children who are obviously overweight and struggling with a range of health problems. And because of this need the report lists about 35 recommendations for government action, from more prenatal care and breastfeeding, to banning low-nutrient foods and sugary drinks to children under 12.

It also wants the Ontario government to provide incentives (read more money) to food growers to “support community-based food distribution programs” and all restaurants to list calories on all menu items — a program that didn’t work in New York City, and won’t work here in reducing obesity levels. And of course it calls for more spending, about $80 million annually to reduce childhood obesity levels.

To its credit, the report doesn’t recommend new taxes on selected food products and sugary drinks probably because the committee couldn’t agree on which foods to tax and whether those taxes would do much good.

On this point, most economists are in agreement. A wise decision, especially in light of Denmark’s disastrous experiment with a similar fat tax as consumers found endless ways to avoid it. After only 18 months, the Danes chucked the whole mess. But there are other problems with the report.

The charts in the report make it clear that childhood obesity rates have been rising for the past few decades, but the study doesn’t break down the data by income levels, ethnicity, education or whether there is a higher level of obesity among children from single parent families.

To read the full article…..Click here

More On The Fight Against Childhood Obesity

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kideatingsandwichFrom Your Health Journal…..”I do enjoy promoting The Economist web site often, as they have wonderful health related stories quite often. Today’s article is entitled The gentle fight against childhood obesity. I do suggest you visit The Economist web site (link provided below), as it captures much of the problem in halting childhood obesity. As we know, childhood obesity has had some success in specific regions of the United States, but in most areas, it is still a problem. Mayor Bloomberg has suggested some changes in NYC, and First Lady Michelle Obama has done a good job with her Let’s Move initiative. But, there is still work to be done. I really did enjoy this article, so please visit their site to read more. I placed a small tease below as well.”

From the article…..

“Nanny”, “tyrant”—these were among the charges hurled at Michael Bloomberg, New York’s mayor, when he proposed a ban on big fizzy-drink bottles last May. The billionaire shrugged and pushed forward. However even Mr. Bloomberg must heed a court order. The American Beverage Association, which represents Coca-Cola and other soda companies, has sued. Mr Bloomberg’s ban is due to start on March 12th, but a judge may intervene.

Three years after Michelle Obama launched her Let’s Move! campaign, the fight against childhood obesity faces a tactical problem. Recent years have seen dipping obesity rates in a few places, including New York, Mississippi and Philadelphia. But 17% of American children are still obese. The question is how to speed up progress. Further bans look increasingly unlikely.

Voluntary programmes remain politically much easier. Mrs Obama has exhorted firms to take action. Many companies have. On March 6th the Partnership for a Healthier America, a business group, published a report praising its members for putting more grocers in poor areas and healthier foods at restaurants. Sixteen food and beverage companies have promised to slash a combined 1.5 trillion calories from their products by 2015. Their first progress report is due in June. The long-term effect of these efforts may be slim. For example, even if the food and drink firms keep their promise, they would cut just 14 calories from the average American’s daily diet.

Regulations might bring bigger change, but recent years suggest that such rules will come slowly, if at all. Congress did pass a law requiring healthier school lunches, though its effects are limited. Other attempts at national regulation have stalled. Four federal agencies studied voluntary guidelines to limit junk-food advertisements to children. Under pressure from Congress, the agencies dropped the effort. Obamacare requires that all restaurants and cinemas post the number of calories in their foods. The Food and Drug Administration proposed a rule for menus in 2011, but has yet to finalize the regulation.

To read the full article…..Click here