97% Of Kids’ Meals Still Unhealthy

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hamburgervectorFrom Your Health Journal…..”I wanted to promote an excellent article I found written by Barb Berggoetz of The Indianapolis Star entitled 97% of kids’ meals still unhealthy, groups warns. First, the image from the article catches my eye, as it shows back to back to back fast food establishments side by side. As we know, there is an obesity epidemic facing the youth of the world, as well as a rise in obesity related illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, asthma, weak joints, and heart disease. Some of the major components to a child’s life that contribute to this health issue are the increase of technology usage, reduction of physical activity, and poor diet. Today’s article review is questioning whether are fast-food restaurant kids’ meals getting healthier? A recent study on fast food found 97 percent of the nearly 3,500 meal possibilities did not meet the center’s nutrition criteria for 4- to 8-year-olds. The criteria from this study says kids’ meals cannot exceed 430 calories, more than 35 percent of calories from fat or more than 10 percent of calories from saturated plus trans fat. They cannot have more than 35 percent added sugars nor more than 770 milligrams of sodium. Also, they must provide at least a half serving of fruit or vegetable, including an item that is 51 percent or more whole grain or including specified levels of vitamins or fiber. The criteria exclude sugar drinks, in favor of water, juice or low-fat milk. Please visit the Indy Star’s web site (link provided below) to read this complete article. It was well written and very informative.”

From the article…..

Are fast-food restaurant kids’ meals getting healthier?

Sure, some have added apples or offer milk as a drink option. And with all the attention on childhood obesity and good nutrition, one might think significant changes were under way.

Not so, at least according to a recent survey by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization focusing on nutrition and food safety.

The group’s report found 97 percent of the nearly 3,500 meal possibilities did not meet the center’s nutrition criteria for 4- to 8-year-olds.

Only slight progress has been made since 2008, when the center last reviewed kids’ meals at chain restaurants. At that time, 99 percent of the meals didn’t meet its standards. In 2008, one-third of chain restaurants had at least one meal that met standards. Now, 44 percent do.

Registered dietitian Heather Fink, though, says it’s up to individuals to make healthier choices.

“It’s a parent’s decision in most cases,” said Fink, owner of Nutrition & Wellness Solutions, a nutrition consulting firm in Fishers. “The parents should be in charge of choosing a healthier option. If you want a healthier meal, just don’t go to fast food restaurants. I wouldn’t expect them to be healthy.”

The criteria say kids’ meals cannot exceed 430 calories, more than 35 percent of calories from fat or more than 10 percent of calories from saturated plus trans fat. They cannot have more than 35 percent added sugars nor more than 770 milligrams of sodium. Also, they must provide at least a half serving of fruit or vegetable, including an item that is 51 percent or more whole grain or including specified levels of vitamins or fiber. The criteria exclude sugar drinks, in favor of water, juice or low-fat milk.

To read the complete article…..Click here

Unhealthy Eating And Bad Mood

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healthdietFrom Your Health Journal…..”Penn State University in a recent study suggested taking part in unhealthy eating behaviors may cause women who are concerned about their diet and self-image to experience a worsening of their moods. As we know, food is fuel for our bodies, and it is important to fuel our bodies properly, timely, and correct portions. Unhealthy eating behaviors or lack of eating will play a significant role in our behavior. Please read this interesting press release (link provided below) from EurekAlert! to get the complete story.”

From the release…..

Taking part in unhealthy eating behaviors may cause women who are concerned about their diet and self-image to experience a worsening of their moods, according to Penn State researchers.

In a study, college-age women who were concerned about their eating behaviors reported that moods worsened after bouts of disordered eating, said Kristin Heron, research associate at the Survey Research Center.

“There was little in the way of mood changes right before the unhealthy eating behaviors,” said Heron. “However, negative mood was significantly higher after these behaviors.”

According to Heron, who worked with Joshua Smyth, professor of biobehavioral health, Stacey Scott, research associate in the Center for Healthy Aging, and Martin Sliwinski, professor of human development and family studies, people who experience disordered eating patterns may exhibit behaviors such as binge eating, loss of control over eating and food intake restriction.

To read the full release…..Click here

– Courtesy of EurekAlert

Obesity Reduces Quality Of Life In Boys

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boyrunninggreenFrom Your Health Journal…..”A great article from Psych Central written by Traci Pedersen entitled Obesity Reduces Quality of Life in Boys. New research suggests for boys, being overweight or obese significantly lowers their quality of life compared to healthy weight peers. Interestingly, these results were not found in girls. The findings suggest that an unhealthy weight status and excess body fat could negatively impact the mental and physical wellbeing of adolescents, particularly boys. We know that obesity is on the rise in children all over the world. Many children suffer from obesity related illness such as heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and weak joints. These children also suffer from low self-esteem. I love the Psych Central web site, and always try to promote their work. Please visit their site (link provided below) to read the complete article.”

From the article…..

For boys, being overweight or obese significantly lowers their quality of life compared to healthy weight peers. Interestingly, these results were not found in girls.

The study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, also showed that quality of life (QOL) scores improved for children of either sex whose weight status changed from overweight/obese to normal.

The research involved more than 2,000 Australian school children who were about 12 years old at the start of the study in 2004-2005. The researchers followed up with the children after five years.

The participants then answered a questionnaire designed to measure whether being obese (also known as adiposity) influenced their quality of life at age 17 or 18.

“Adiposity in boys was associated with poorer quality of life during adolescence. This association was not observed among girls.

“In both boys and girls, though, persistent overweight or obesity was related to poorer physical functioning after the five years. In contrast, weight loss was associated with improved quality of life during adolescence,” said Bamini Gopinath, Ph.D., senior research fellow at the University of Sydney in Australia.

The questionnaire measured the children’s physical and psychosocial health. It also calculated a combined total quality of life score. The psychosocial health summary score reflected how well the teens were functioning emotionally and socially.

The study revealed that both males and females who were obese at the start of the study and who later reduced to a normal weight had far better physical functioning scores than those who remained obese after five years. These physical functioning scores measured one aspect of the overall quality of life score.

“The findings suggest that an unhealthy weight status and excess body fat could negatively impact the mental and physical wellbeing of adolescents, particularly boys,” said Gopinath.

He noted that the study highlights the value of looking at the quality of life among obese teens in both clinical practice and in research studies.

He also added that “obesity prevention and treatment efforts [ought] to address the broad spectrum of psychosocial implications of being obese as a teenager.”

Lawrence J. Cheskin, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, noted that the differences in quality of life and physical functioning between obese and normal weight teens has not been carefully done before.

To read the complete article…..Click here