Labeling “Calories In” And “Calories Out” Plays A Positive Role In Food Choices

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts in the comments section below…..

kidseatinghealthyA recent study in Pediatrics (January 2015) and another in Appetite (July 2013), support the positive benefits of calorie labeling on smarter food choices in the fast food world. Calorie experts and authors of The Calories In, Calories Out Cookbook are pioneers in bringing calorie information and physical activity labeling to the cookbook world.

Calorie labeling is the new trend, and it looks like it’s here to stay. As calorie awareness increases among the general population — with the use of weight-tracking apps and other devices and menu postings — the public is beginning to expect this information on all foods. The authors of The Calories In, Calories Out Cookbook think it should be in cookbooks too. They are the first to offer both calories in and calories out values in the cookbook arena.

The power of labeling has positive effects on food choices. “There is no question that knowing how many calories are in a dish and how much exercise is needed to burn them off affects the decision to eat that food,” said Catherine Jones, chef and award-winning author and blogger turned health-focused home cook and project director of the Share Your Calories Nonprofit.

New research has found that parents shown menus with calorie labels may order fast food meals totaling fewer calories for their children. Adding labels that reveal the minutes to walk to burn the calories in the food item, or calories plus miles to walk to burn the calories in the food item, may be more likely to influence parents to encourage their children to exercise.

The study that came out on January 26, 2015 in the journal of Pediatrics, surveyed parents and asked them to choose items for their children from a fast food menu. The parents were given menus with either no labels, calories only, calories plus minutes, or calories plus miles needed to walk to burn the calories. Parents were asked to choose what they would order for their child.

Interestingly, parents whose menus displayed calorie and or physical activity information ordered approximately 200 fewer average calories for their children than those parents whose menus displayed no labels. The calorie differences were mostly due to differences in burger and dessert calories.

The results are not surprising to co-authors of the critically acclaimed new cookbook, The Calories In, Calories Out Cookbook, Catherine Jones, and Elaine Trujillo, MS RDN. “Providing calorie and physical activity information can be a helpful tool in making healthy choices. It’s very encouraging to learn that parents exposed to labels made better choices,” said Jones and Trujillo.

In a similar study in adults in July 2013, those shown fast food labels depicting calories and miles to walk to burn those calories ordered on average about 100 fewer calories than when shown calorie information alone (Appetite 2013;62:173).

In light of the fact that about one-third of the average American’s diet is consumed at restaurants, the findings from these studies become even more relevant. The FDA recently ruled that chain restaurants list calorie information on menus and menu boards. List physical activity values to burn calories may be an additional way for consumers to understand calorie information.

foodlabelAlthough in the Pediatrics study, physical activity labeling did not seem to have a greater influence on parent’s decision-making of food choices, calorie labeling of any type led parents to choose lower-calorie items.

The study also found that providing labels with physical activity equivalents, regardless of whether shown in minutes or miles were significantly more influential at prompting parents to encourage their children to exercise.

“This is good news, especially since the majority of our children are not getting enough exercise,” says Trujillo. The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. Unfortunately, only 42% of 6- to 11-year olds and only 8% of 12- to 15-year-olds approach this level of physical activity, these findings are relevant.

CATHERINE JONES a chef is the award-winning author or coauthor of numerous cookbooks including The Calories In, Calories Out Cookbook, Eating for Pregnancy, and Eating for Lower Cholesterol. She is the co-founder of the nonprofit Share Your Calories, an app developer, blogger, and a freelance journalist. ELAINE TRUJILLO, MS, RDN, is a nutritionist who has years of experience promoting nutrition and health and has written numerous scientific journal articles, chapters and textbooks.

YMCA’s National Role In Combatting Childhood Obesity

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– Submitted by the YMCA of the USA

twokidsunAs highlighted by the Afterschool Alliance’s recent report, the number of children participating in afterschool programs continues to grow. So, too, does the need to ensure that afterschool programs are fostering opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity.

With the ever-growing childhood obesity epidemic — there’s a national movement underway to encourage a healthier lifestyle in children outside of school hours – and the YMCA has taken on a pivotal role in this space – even influencing some of the first legislation enacted around issue.

It is through the Y’s Healthier Communities Initiatives program where the Y is able to create such change working in collaboration with other community leaders to ensure that healthy living is within reach to the kids in those communities.

The Y has been instrumental in influencing:

· The first legislation of its kind: The California State Senate passed legislation creating a voluntary recognition program for afterschool programs implementing healthy eating and physical activity standards that were initially created and implemented by the HOST coalition, of which YMCA of the USA was a founding partner.

· 15,698 positive transformations in early childhood and afterschool programs across the country

· 470 changes in early childhood or afterschool programs to ensure food and beverages offered are healthy

· 410 changes in schools to ensure that food and beverages sold to children before, during and after the school day are healthier

· 373 changes in schools that have helped incorporate physical activity before, during and after school hours

· 101 schools to expand participation in the USDA free or reduced breakfast or afterschool snack program

kidseatinghealthyThese changes are rooted in the Y’s incorporation of a set of Healthy Eating and Physical Activity standards into all Y childcare and afterschool programs which:

· Establish a minimum of expected physical activity for children of different ages enrolled in Y programs;

· Define food and beverages offerings, including designating water as the primary beverage during snack times and offering fruits and vegetables as snack options;

· Limit the amount of screen time (watching TV, playing video games, using computers);

· Encourage breastfeeding of infants in Y care; and

· Commit Ys to conducting parent education to encourage healthy behaviors at home.

The standards are based in part on years of research supported by collaborations with the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), University of Massachusetts at Boston, the Healthy Out of School Time Coalition (HOST) and the National Institute for Out of School Time (NIOST). Through these collaborations, the Y has learned the most effective ways to create healthy environments in out-of-school time settings – and has been influential in encouraging healthy lifestyles in children across the country.

The Parent’s Role In Child Development Programs

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kidsIt’s no secret that a child’s education plays a significant role in her development during early childhood and is a determining factor in her success as an adult. Helping young children to acquire the skills they need to progress and develop along the prescribed timeline is one of a parent’s most important jobs. Understanding the role that parents play in the development and expansion of new skill sets in early childhood allows you to work more closely with the preschool or child development center program you’ve chosen, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the curriculum and reinforcing lessons learned on a daily basis.

Communicating with Teachers and Administrators

As the parents of a little one who’s enrolled in a child development program, you are essentially the liaison between your child and her teachers or center administrators. Your preschooler may not have the vocabulary or the inclination to explain to you that there are areas in which she is struggling, or subjects in which she needs additional attention. The teachers and instructors who work with her every day, however, will be both able and eager to give you progress reports and relevant information about your child’s development. In addition to having a more accurate view of her academic, cognitive and physical development, you’ll also be able to learn more about her conduct and areas within the scope of social interaction and skill where she may be in need of extra help.

Maintaining Progress at Home

cutekidsWorking closely with the teachers and aides at your child’s preschool or early childhood development center allows you to get an accurate view of not only what’s expected of her there, but what she’s capable of at home. Your child will live up, or down, to the expectations you’ve set for her. If she’s responsible for clearing away her own place after meals, hanging up her own jacket and putting away art supplies after a lesson at her preschool, that means that she’s clearly able to perform those tasks with some degree of accuracy. Operating under the misapprehension that your child isn’t capable of doing some things for herself can have detrimental effects on her development, simply because she’s not exercising the skills she’s learning at preschool at home. Building a functional relationship with your child’s teachers and program administrators allows you to form a more accurate view of her capabilities, and helps you adjust her routine at home accordingly. Parents who wish to take an active role in their child’s progress through a developmental program should also take the time to learn what’s being covered under the lesson plan and what’s up next on the curricular agenda. Make a point of working on those skills at home, too. If your little one is learning how to write her name in preschool, she should be practicing at home to hone her motor skills and boost the muscle memory and letter recognition that will fuel her progress. Remember, education and learning don’t stop the minute your child walks out the door of her preschool or child development center.

Choosing the Right Childhood Development Program

Working with your child’s teachers and taking an interest in her progress through a child development program is essential, but it’s even more important that you make the correct initial investment by choosing the right program and center. Priscilla Williams, who holds a degree in Child Psychology and Early Childhood Development and is the President of the Especially for Children network of nationally accredited child development centers in Minnesota, states that “selecting a childcare center that has national accreditation will provide parents assurance that the center has programs that properly address all the important developmental goals for your preschooler.” By making sure that you’ve chosen an accredited center with a strong curriculum, you’ll be actively investing in the first step of your child’s long and illustrious academic career. Remember that this is just the beginning of your child’s journey along the essential path of education, and take steps to ensure that the program introducing her to the concept of school and learning is one that will make a positive impact on her. The ASCD, formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, asserts that preschool is “the most important grade,” and that their research confirms the long-term benefits of participation in such programs. By choosing one that is both accredited and of a high quality, you’re actively fulfilling the important goal of providing your child with the tools she needs to succeed throughout elementary school, high school and beyond.

– Submitted by Sarah Tucker of 4 Nannies.

Can Pilates Play A Role In Combating Childhood Obesity?

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By Katy Reeve

boytouchingtoesAny physical activity reduces the risk of childhood obesity but there is a special reason why Pilates is considered for the job. All parents will agree that a child of 2013 is not as active as a child of 90’s. It seems hugging the couch for extended periods has its price! Let’s admit it, technology plus the lack of healthy diet is turning our kids into couch potatoes. Thankfully some schools have realized the implications of childhood obesity and they are introducing healthy activities like Pilates exercises to motivate more children.

The idea is to reverse the effects of childhood disorders that are on the rise. To be honest, obesity is not the only concern. It’s even more frightening to know about the secondary disorders that arise due to obesity. Pilates can be a healthy diversion when a child suffers from anxiety symptoms, attention deficit and hyperactivity. Since a modern child is getting lonelier and self-absorbed, a group Pilates session will be a nice opportunity to socialize and make friends.

Why Pilates

For one, Pilates do not emphasize on the spirit of competition. While most kids will love to compete, the comparatively inactive ones would feel left-out. Moreover, Pilates focuses on balance, flexibility and core strength – things that are missing in today’s over-burdened and stressed out kids. In other words, Pilates will serve as an antidote for over-weight kids as well as those who are prone to obesity.

Pilates sets the beginning for other physical activities. A child who is well-versed in basic Pilates will be motivated towards other sports later on. However they should not be compelled to pursue sports as a career. Pilates or any other sport can set the trend of a fitter lifestyle in later years during, and after child growth. An active child is less prone to getting over-weight This way Pilates will play a major role in combating obesity.

Kids Friendly Pilates

happychildrenPilates is associated with mind and body health and if kids practice Pilates exercises regularly, they can develop into healthy and strong adults. Kids Friendly Pilates exercises are low intensity exercises that focus on eliminating obesity-related issues like shallow breathing, bad posture and muscle tightness. If your child remains slouched at his computer for hours, he is likely to develop a hunched back which may persist forever. Simple Pilates poses and exercises inspire children to be more agile and straighter rather than slumpy or inactive.

Nicole Kantas, a Pilates instructor, pointed out, “The metabolic rate of an active child is higher and this reduces unhealthy fat deposition”. She further states that Pilates burns more calories from the mid-section or the core. As a result, the child gets toned muscles. Since Pilates is not similar to gut-crunching Cardio, it’s a safer way to reduce or eliminate childhood obesity.

– Katy is a blogger and a strong fitness advocate. She believes fitness and beauty goes beyond losing a few pounds of weight or applying creams to look picture-perfect. It’s more about internal care, core strength, body sculpting and feeling good inside out.

Expanding Young Students’ Role In Nutrition

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From Your Health Journal…..”What a great story about LA schools making a change to eat healthy. Students are growing healthy fruits and vegetables in their school garden, then serving it with their lunch. Soda, flavored milk, and sweetened juices are being cut back, and many kids seem to enjoy the healthy change. The school district even went as far as serving healthy breakfast to students so no kid starts the day hungry. As mentioned in this blog many times, health habits start at a young age, so these students are not only being educated in math or science, but also nutrition – which will hopefully last a lifetime. As childhood obesity numbers soar, it is refreshing to read about a success story like this! I strongly recommend reading this awesome story.”

From the article…..

At Mark Twain Middle School in Los Angeles, a blooming garden serves as a classroom. Students learn math by measuring the growth of wheat, ancient history by building a Mesopotamian-style irrigation system and the science of evaporation, evolution and genetics by watching their garden grow.

At lunchtime, they may be found snacking on pasta tossed in a sauce featuring just-picked tomatoes and basil.

Aiming to expand such links between classroom and cafeteria, the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education voted this week to further strengthen what is regarded as one of the leading school nutrition programs in the nation. In a resolution passed without opposition, board members directed the district to create a plan to incorporate nutrition education into the curriculum, give students more say in school meal planning and allow them at least 20 minutes to actually eat. Some students say they end up with as little as five minutes for meals because of long cafeteria lines.

The resolution also directs Supt. John Deasy to report on the financial impact of unauthorized food sales on campus, which include chips, cookies and other junk food that compete with the district’s meals. Despite districtwide policies promoting healthful food, many individual campuses sell such perennial favorites as baked Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in school stores and vending machines to raise money.

Board member Steve Zimmer, who co-sponsored the resolution with President Monica Garcia, said the district needed to continue pushing forward on the issue, noting that healthful eating is linked to academic achievement and that some students rely on school meals for most of their daily nutrition.

“We have a sacred obligation to make sure we do everything in our power to raise the quality of our nutritional content,” Zimmer said.

The resolution is the latest effort to put L.A. Unified in the forefront of a national movement to make school meals more nutritious and reduce childhood obesity and other health problems.

Over the past several years, L.A. Unified has banned sodas and flavored milk on campus, introduced classroom breakfasts to ensure no child starts the day hungry and transformed its menus. Many items high in fat, salt and sugar have been removed — including such popular fare as corn dogs and coffee cake — in favor of more whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

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