Fifth Annual Every Kid Healthy™ Week: April 24-28, 2017

Every Kid Healthy™ Week is an annual observance created to celebrate school health and wellness achievements and recognized on the calendar of National Health Observances. Observed the last week of April each year, this special week shines a spotlight on the great efforts our school partners are making to improve the health and wellness of their students and the link between nutrition, physical activity and learning – because healthy kids are better prepared to learn!
Anyone can get involved and be a part of the celebration to help support sound nutrition, regular physical activity and health-promoting programs in schools.
Schools are invited to host an event during Every Kid Healthy Week or any time in April. Consider making your field day or other school-wide event health focused. Keep reading to learn how to host an event!

Host an Every Kid Healthy Event at Your School

Every Kid Healthy events should promote and reinforce healthy eating, nutrition education, physical activity and physical education. We have lots of resources to help you promote your event and get students and the whole community excited and involved.

Wondering where to start? If your school is already planning a field day or other event in April, make the focus on healthy kids and families to show your school’s commitment to wellness! Or if you are looking for new ideas, check these out:

  • Host healthy foods taste test with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products
  • Invite a local gym or fitness trainer to lead a family Zumba, yoga or other fitness class
  • Plant a school garden or refresh an existing one
  • Invite parents and students to participate in a school walk-a-thon
  • Check out Game On for ideas, resources and step-by-step guidance. Game On activities also include tips and ideas on how to engage volunteers to support your needs.
  • Get inspired by success stories.

The Top 8 Worst Candies to Place in Your Child’s Easter Basket

College of DuPage Nursing Student McKenna Musich, shared that it’s almost that time of year again! Hopping bunnies, pastel eggs, fake grass, and sweet candies. Easter is just around the corner and most parents are planning just what to stash in those colorful baskets. According to Statistic Brain Research Group, in 2016 the United States spent 2.1 billion dollars on Easter candy. But which candy is the worst candy to place in the basket? Let’s take a look at the top 8 worst candies for Easter.

  1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs – One serving is one piece. Each piece is 170 calories. There is 90 calories from fat and 16 grams of sugar.
  1. Cadbury Crème Eggs – Serving size is one egg. Calories per serving is 170, with 54 of those calories from fat. These eggs contain 25 grams of sugar.
  1. Almond Joy Egg – Serving size 1 egg. 277 calories, 12 g of fat. 1 gram of sugar. While 1 gram of sugar may not seem like much, note that there is 735 mg of sodium in one egg (about 30% of the daily value).
  1. M&Ms (Easter eggs) – Serving size is ¼ of a cup. Calories total to 203 (about 10% of the daily value), with 4 g of fat. Sugar rests at 1 gram.
  1. Peeps  – One serving (5 Peeps) contains 140 calories. None of these calories come from fat, but Peeps contain 34 grams of sugar.
  1. Jelly Beans – Serving size is 31 pieces. Calories per serving is 140, 0 from fat. There is 29 grams of sugar per serving.

  7.  Swedish Fish – These little fish come in limited edition “egg” form for Easter. The serving size is 9 pieces. There is 140 calories , 0 of those from fat. These have 29 grams of sugar per serving.

  1. Hersey’s Easter Eggs – Serving size is 8 pieces. 550 calories (nearly 30% of the daily value). 0 grams of fat or sugar.

So this Easter, take a second look at those nutrition facts and make the right call. A healthy Easter is a happy Easter!

References

All nutritional facts were found using MyFitnessPal.

“Easter Statistics-Statistic Brain.”2017 Statistic Brain Research Institute, publishing as Statistic Brain. 23rd March, 2017. Http://www.statisticbrain.com/Easter-statistics

Fewer heavy Americans are trying to lose weight

Overweight Brother and Sister Sitting on a Sofa Eating Takeaway Food and Watching the TV

The Daily Herald Newspaper shared recently that fewer overweight Americans have been trying to lose weight in recent years, and researchers wonder if fat acceptance could be among the reasons, The Associated Press report.

The trend found in a new study occurred at the same time obesity rates climbed.

“Socially accepted normal body weight is shifting toward heavier weight. As more people around us are getting heavier, we simply believe we are fine, and no need to do anything with it,” said lead author Dr. Jian Zhang, a public health researcher at Georgia Southern University.

Another reason could be people abandoning efforts to drop pounds after repeated failed attempts, Zhang said.

The researchers analyzed U.S. government health surveys over nearly two decades from 1988 through 2014. In the early surveys, about half the adults were overweight or obese. Those numbers climbed to 65 percent by 2014. But the portion of overweight or obese adults who said they were trying to slim down fell from 55 percent to 49 percent in the study.

Dr. Scott Kahan, director of a weight-loss clinic in Washington, said the study is important and echoes previous research. He acknowledged that it has become more acceptable in some circles to be overweight, but that many patients still feel stigmatized. He said many come to his center after repeated attempts to lose weight and some give up for a while out of frustration.

The study found obesity was most common among black women — 55 percent were obese in the most recent survey years, and there was a big decline in black women trying to lose weight. Whether that’s because of fat acceptance, dieting frustration or other reasons is not known.

Zhang said there’s a positive side to fat acceptance, if it means people feel less ridiculed for their weight. But obesity can increase risks for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other ailments.

Help Protect Illinois’ Daily P.E. Requirement!

The Illinois Alliance to prevent Obesity shared that as the new Illinois legislative session gets underway, we have already seen legislation put forth that threatens the daily physical education requirement. As you know, high-quality physical education (P.E.) is not only a core way of helping kids meet the National Physical Activity Guidelines of 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day, but is critical for teaching students the skills, content and knowledge they need for a lifetime of fitness and health.

Contact your legislators today and tell them to protect daily P.E. in Illinois

With one in three children in Illinois overweight and obese and at risk for diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, P.E. plays a critical role in keeping kids healthy. With several advancements in the quality of P.E. programming in Illinois over the last several years, we can’t afford to roll back requirements for schools. Every student deserves a chance to learn the skills and content necessary to be active and healthy throughout their life.

Contact your legislators today and tell them to protect daily P.E. in Illinois

We know active students learn better. Help improve health, academic achievement and in-class behavior by protecting daily P.E. in Illinois.

What the ancient Greeks can teach us about herbs

 in the Washington Post shared that at a point in the 9th century, someone noticed a problem with all those ancient handwritten texts: The scribes had left their Caps Lock on.
Every character had been rendered in uppercase, or, in the terminology of philologists, majuscule. Suddenly, people who could read found this EXTREMELY ANNOYING and clamored for minuscule script.This shift created a new industry among the quill pushers of the day who would take moldy papyrus works — say, the landmark 1st-century herbal by Dioscorides describing 600 medicinal plants — and render them into manuscripts in the new style.Alain Touwaide, an expert in this field, says this development was an advancement in information technology as momentous as the appearance of digital books in our own time.

Touwaide, with his wife and fellow researcher Emanuela Appetiti, created an organization named the Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions 10 years ago whose mission, in part, has been to study the proliferation of manuscripts after this development.

This subject speaks to a deeply important and interesting aspect of garden history: how our forebears relied on a knowledge of herbs (and to a lesser degree, animal products and minerals) to manage maladies and keep themselves healthy.

Years before the institute was formed, Touwaide came to see a problem: Manuscripts were lost or misfiled, and the actual number of copies of a given text was often significantly understated. Now 63, he has haunted dozens of national, university and private libraries over his career in search of missing or hidden manuscripts.

The result is a new book, essentially an inventory of Greek medical manuscripts spanning the Byzantine Empire between the 5th and 15th centuries.

A Census of Greek Medical Manuscripts: From Byzantium to the Renaissance” will not make any bestseller list: It is a list of specific manuscripts that Touwaide and Appetiti, a cultural anthropologist, have tracked down, often by going to the libraries that hold them. One entry alone may have taken them days to pin down, especially if they had to find their way by bus and taxi to visit a monastery on a Greek hilltop somewhere (population: one monk).

The census is an inventory of all known surviving Byzantine medical manuscripts — it lists their titles and locations — and is primarily a tool for other researchers to spread knowledge of horticulture, botany, medicine and literature in the Middle Ages. It took 30 years of concerted effort, Touwaide said, and increases the number of known manuscripts from approximately 1,500 to 2,300, tracked to some 150 locations. Although they were written during the Byzantine Empire, they record texts dating to 5th century B.C.

Among Touwaide and Appetiti’s richest haunts have been the National Library in Paris and the Vatican Library, though Washington has its own riches in such places as the Library of Congress and the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda. The Austrian National Library is extremely proud of having Codex Vindobonensis, the most impressive of the more than 100 manuscript copies of Dioscorides’s seminal work. An early physician, Dioscorides was so good at identifying the therapeutic value of certain plants that his knowledge is still valued today.

This is more than just an exercise in logging historical documents. No two manuscripts of the same text turned out quite the same, and the fascination is in how they differ. Some of the manuscripts were copied by healers who would add their own pharmaceutical notes based on local practice and knowledge.

Comparing the manuscripts, Touwaide could see that the same plant might have different utility based on its location. This is because herbs take on varying chemical properties based on their terroir and because different human populations developed different genetic tolerance or susceptibilities to disease.

The more a given herbal preparation appears between texts, the higher the probability it’s the correct remedy, Touwaide said. The couple have been based in Washington for 17 years but are moving the institute, formerly affiliated with the Smithsonian, to Southern California, where Touwaide now teaches.

Far from quackery, these herbals were lifesavers, and the people who copied the words and illustrations shine through the murkiness of the Dark Ages as heroic figures to Touwaide and Appetiti. “I have admiration for these people but more than that, respect,” Touwaide said. “I’m amazed by what they have done, the exactness of the observations, the accuracy in keeping the information, and all the pain” of copying for long hours by candlelight.

Sometimes they didn’t know the plants firsthand and would wing it. Touwaide likes to show students an image of a cinnamon “tree” that the scribe rendered as a stick of cinnamon with a tuft of leaves on top.

“Alain would show this to students and they would laugh,” Appetiti said, “but then he asked them if they could describe a pepper plant, and they were, of course, lost.”

Touwaide said that in contrast to the learning embodied in these manuscripts, “we live in an age of inflation of information and deflation of knowledge.”

Another lesson from these texts is that there was little or no separation between medicine and diet, a link that is at best tenuous in the West today.

I asked them if they were stranded on a small island, what plants they would extract from antiquity to keep themselves healthy. At the top of the list would be rosemary, oregano, garlic, lavender and onions. But they would also seek out a pomegranate tree. The fruit “has a lot of properties,” Appetiti said.

Touwaide would also want those biblical gifts of frankincense and myrrh, derived from tree gum resins. “They are the antibiotics of history,” he said. “But I would need to find a merchant.”

@adrian_higgins on Twitter

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PROACTIVE KIDS COMES TO LOMBARD!

Pro-Active Kids will be offering the PAK 8-week pediatric weight management program at the Lombard Commons starting this January. It will be joint-funded by Advocate Good Sam and Edward-Elmhurst Health. This is a FREE program for OVERWEIGHT AND OBESE KIDS ages 8-14.

ProActive Kids teaches kids and their families fun ways to improve health through Exercise,
Nutritional Lessons, and Open Discussion over 8 weeks.
This life-changing experience is  offered FREE to kids ages 8-14 who want to learn new exercises, lose weight, eat right and be more condent.
UPCOMING SESSIONS
 Winter 2017 January 23 – March 17
Spring 2017 April 10 – June 2
DAYS AND TIMES
Monday and Wednesday
Fitness and Lifestyle (Kids Only): 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Friday Family Day
Fitness, Nutrition and Lifestyle: 4:00 – 6:00 pm
For more information and to enroll, please visit their website at www.proactivekids.org or Please submit inquiries to info@proactivekids.org or call 630.681.1558

Life Expectancy Falls

three-generationsMike Stobbe, Associated Press Media Writer, shared  that a decades-long trend of rising life expectancy in the U.S. could be ending: It declined last year and it is no better than it was four years ago.

In most of the years since World War II, life expectancy in the U.S. has inched up, thanks to medical advances, public health campaigns and better nutrition and education.

But last year it slipped, an exceedingly rare event in a year that did not include a major disease outbreak. Other one-year declines occurred in 1993, when the nation was in the throes of the AIDS epidemic, and 1980, the result of an especially nasty flu season.

A decades-long trend of rising life expectancy in the U.S. could be ending: It declined last year and it is no better than it was four years ago.

In most of the years since World War II, life expectancy in the U.S. has inched up, thanks to medical advances, public health campaigns and better nutrition and education.

But last year it slipped, an exceedingly rare event in a year that did not include a major disease outbreak. Other one-year declines occurred in 1993, when the nation was in the throes of the AIDS epidemic, and 1980, the result of an especially nasty flu season.

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Social Determinants of Health

impace-dupage
Growing DuPage County’s capacity to effectively track and manage the social determinants of health (SDOH) is a key goal highlighted in the Access to Health Services action plan. In support of this goal, the Impact DuPage website has been updated with a new Social Determinants of Health Dashboard, allowing users to view all social determinant indicators on one page.
SDOH are the conditions in which people live, learn, work, and play. These conditions can include factors such as socioeconomic status, education, the physical environment, employment, social support networks, and access to health care.

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Celebrate National Farm to School Month

nfts_logo_reversed_signatureOctober is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections happening all over the country between children and local food! The 2016 National Farm to School Month theme, One Small Step, celebrates the simple ways anyone can get informed, get involved and take action to advance farm to school in their own communities and across the country. Take the One Small Step Pledgeand you’ll be entered to win support for farm to school activities at the school or early care and education site of your choice! Whether you’re an educator, food service professional, farmer or food-loving family, there are countless small steps you can take to celebrate this October! Learn more about National Farm to School Month and take the One Small Step Pledge by visiting the National Farm to School Network’s website, farmtoschool.org.

Remember: September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

FORWARD-LogoAnn Marchetti, FORWARD Director shared that FORWARD places a high priority on reducing the rates of childhood obesity in DuPage County, as highlighted in the annual FORWARD BMI report.
Over the next 3 years, FORWARD will work with community leaders and key stakeholders to improve nutrition and physical activity within schools, worksites, and for children in the early childhood years. This work needs your helps and Ann invite each one of you to become familiar with the three-year goals below, and to partner with FORWARD to help  meet or exceed the objectives.  
Check out resources and next steps here: for worksites, for early childhood centers, and for schools.