McDonald’s moves cheeseburgers off Happy Meal menu

Associated Press Retail Reporter Joseph Pisani and video journalist Carrie Antlfinger shared with the Daily Herald newspaper that McDonald’s is taking cheeseburgers and chocolate milk off its Happy Meal menu in an effort to cut down on the calories, sodium, saturated fat and sugar that kids consume at its restaurants.

Diners can still ask specifically for cheeseburgers or chocolate milk with the kid’s meal, but the fast-food company said that not listing them will reduce how often they’re ordered. Since it removed soda from the Happy Meal menu four years ago, orders for it with Happy Meals have fallen 14 percent, the company said. Hamburgers and Chicken McNuggets will remain the main entrees on the Happy Meal menu. Read more

New guidelines help track hypertension in children

Eve Glazier, M.D., MBA, an internist and assistant professor of medicine at UCLA Health and Elizabeth Ko, M.D., an internist and primary care physician at UCLA Health. Send your questions to askthedoctors@mednet.ucla.edu., shared in the Daily Herald Newspaper that blood pressure is a diagnostic tool that’s as important in children as it is in adults. However, because blood pressure readings in children are evaluated by a different set of metrics than those of adults, the subject has often been confusing.

By now, the significance of high blood pressure, or hypertension, is well-known to most of us. It’s not a condition that you can readily feel, but when left untreated it can cause significant damage to your body. By the time symptoms appear, you can be dealing with a host of problems, including damage to your heart, kidneys, eyes, bones and cognitive function.

High blood pressure in children can be a predictor of the condition later in life. It can cause certain types of damage to the structures and blood vessels of a child’s heart. And it can be a symptom of other serious underlying conditions, including heart or kidney problems.

Between 2.2 to 3.5 percent of children have high blood pressure, according to the new guidelines. The number jumps up to 24 percent among children who are obese or overweight. Children who were born prematurely and those with sleep-disordered breathing are also at risk of high blood pressure. Read more

Healthy Choices

Margo Wootan  shared that every day, children are bombarded by marketing of unhealthy food from restaurants, candy companies, and others. On average, children view more than 11 food-related ads everyday, on television alone.

Restaurants are the top food marketers to kids, and their in-store promotions, toy giveaways, television ads, websites, and school-based marketing, play a large role in shaping what children want to eat, as well as shaping what food adults view as appropriate for children. Restaurants have skillfully shaped norms that deem fried-chicken nuggets, burgers, pizza, fries, and sugary drinks as standard, acceptable kid food, when, in reality, kids need the healthiest food.

Not only do children need healthy food during this time of growth and development, but it’s also a time when they form habits for the future. Studies show that repeated exposure to fast food and soda, through marketing, and consumption, cultivates a pattern for future consumption and a preference for those foods.  And what kids eat at restaurants matters more than in the past because children get a quarter of their calories from eating out, with families now spending more of their food dollars at restaurants than grocery stores. Read more

State fitness assessments results now available

Pump Up P.E. shared that the Illinois health-related physical fitness assessment data is now available by school, district, and county under Quick Links at the Illinois State Board of Education’s (ISBE) Enhanced P.E. web page.

ISBE is in the process of sharing these results with schools, along with a letter

providing context and guidance on how they can use fitness testing data to help their students, physical education (P.E.) teachers, school and community maximize the benefits of physical fitness.
What are the SY16-17 statewide physical fitness assessment results?
With results from 69% (2,475) of the 3,572 Illinois schools required to report:
  • 63% of 5th, 7th, and 10th graders across the state met the Healthy Fitness Zone for aerobic capacity, using either the PACER or Mile Run tests
  • 65% of 5th, 7th, and 10th graders across the state met the Healthy Fitness Zone for muscular strength, using the Push-up test
  • 79% of the 5th, 7th, and 10th graders across the state met the Healthy Fitness Zone for muscular endurance, using the Curl-up test
  • 72% of the 5th, 7th, and 10th graders across the state met the Healthy Fitness Zone for flexibility, using either the Back-saver Sit and Reach or Trunk Lift test

Read more

Sugar In A Child’s Diet

Katie MIlls ,  the editor of Daily Health Click https://www.dailyhealthclick.com shared that if you’ve opened a newspaper (on or offline) at any point over the last few years, the chances are you’ll have seen at least one article expressing concern about high levels of sugar consumption, particularly by children. You’ll probably also have heard about the sugar tax on sweetened fizzy drinks.Depending on your outlook on life, your feelings may range from those of alarm to a general feeling that this is all a storm in a teacup (or a fizzy drinks can). The truth, as is so often the case, is somewhere in between, but it’s probably fair to say that a lot of people would benefit from understanding more about sugar and its role in your child’s diet.

There are different kinds of sugars
Sugar means more than the stuff we pick up in supermarkets in powder or cube form. In principle, it means any form of naturally-occuring sweetening agent. In practice, when we talk about sugar and health, we mean refined sugars, also known as free sugars, which are basically highly concentrated sugars, which are easily processed by the body and can give that infamous “sugar rush”, hence the title of the documentary by Jamie Oliver.

Basically this is all the usual suspects in term of natural sweeteners, from cane sugar to the likes of maple syrup and honey plus the juices and purées of fruit and vegetables. Whole fruits and vegetables and dairy products also contain naturally-occuring sugars, but these are nowhere near as concentrated and come along with lots of goodness (like fibre for fruit and vegetables and protein for dairy) so they’re essentially classed as “good” sugars.

Read more

Good Eating Habits for Growing Children

Carl McLean, blogger, parent, campaigner and contributor at Mom Bible shared that over the past few decades childhood obesity in America has tripled: affecting about 12.7 million children and adolescents. It’s a particularly heated issue in recent news and everyone is looking for ways to help their children avoid obesity and its associated health conditions.

“Portion Distortion” is a term which reflects a growing realization that when it comes to children having healthy eating habits, it’s not always the type of foods that are the problem. But how do we know if we are overfeeding our kids and what exactly is a correct portion size?

Health Implications

It’s important to us all that our children grow up to be healthy and happy; unfortunately, children who have too high a calorie intake will be taking steps towards having a problem with their weight. This can put a strain on the child’s development and obesity can continue as the child increases in age, leading to unwelcome health problems such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease to name a few.

Additionally, it’s also not going to be emotionally easy for a child to grow up with an unhealthy weight; their self-confidence will suffer, potentially they will get bullied and this can lead to a dependence on food in the form of an eating disorder.

Read more

Healthy Lombard Members Share Research at CLOCC

Healthy Lombard Members Nicole Lynne Klinkhamer from ProActive Kids and Dr. Elizabeth Moxley from DePaul University teamed up  to present findings from her ProActive Kids early intervention program at the CLOCC (Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children) Winter Quarterly Meeting poster session, held in Chicago on Thursday December 7th.

Nicole is the Executive Director and co-founder of ProActive Kids, a program that was developed to combat childhood obesity during the critical ages of development, by providing cost-free comprehensive health to children in the greater Chicagoland area. Recently graduates from the Nursing Program at DePaul University, Sarah Donnelly and Jennifer Marie Dykhuizen, recognized obesity as one of the most prevalent diseases affecting the pediatric population and became interested in the work of ProActive Kids.

Working closely with Nicole along with Dr. Moxley at DePaul they were able to review and analyze data, receiving consultation from DePaul statistician Dr. Habtzghi. Original data obtained between 2010-2017 at 21 ProActive Kid’s program sites involving 884 youth between the ages of 8 to 14 years in Chicago was analyzed.

The findings demonstrated improvements in BMI, weight, body fat and fat mass in several counties, although tabulated data according to age and county of residence revealed the most significant decreases were in fat mass and overall body weight in DuPage and Cook Counties. Weight gain in children may be due to dietary and exercise habits, socioeconomic status, or ethnic background. The initiatives of ProActive Kids’ provide insight into successful strategies to address this current ongoing health issue.

Future interventions aimed at managing childhood weight to prevent obesity are also warranted.

 

 

What It Means to Be ‘Overfat’—and Why We Should Never Say That

Sarah Jacoby wrote for SELF that by now you probably know that your BMI isn’t a great way to measure your overall health. But, as we move away from that standard, the pressure is on to find a replacement. And, according to a group of researchers, the key may be in using the term “overfat” rather than “overweight” because it more accurately captures the relationship between the makeup of our bodies and our health. However, other experts aren’t convinced this is the way to go.

In a follow-up to work published earlier this year, the group argues that the link between weight and health issues (such as heart conditions and diabetes) is actually better understood as a connection between body fat and those conditions—especially fat that sits around your stomach. This type of fat has been more conclusively linked to health problems than fat that sits around your hips, and is usually measured by calculating the ratio of the circumference of your hips to that of your waist. So, being overfat simply means having an excess of fat—particularly around your tummy—even if you would be considered a “normal” weight by BMI standards.

The group’s new analysis, published recently in the journal Frontiers in Public Health, used these criteria to find out how many people around the world would qualify as overfat. They found that a huge chunk of humanity could be deemed overfat—including those who are already in overweight and obese categories (per BMI measures). In fact, the vast majority of adults (80 to 90 percent) in the U.S. would be included.

Read more

Early-life intervention can prevent childhood overweight, obesity

An intervention delivered through primary care offices providing nutrition education and parenting support beginning in a woman’s third trimester of pregnancy and continuing through her child’s fourth year can mitigate against early childhood obesity, according to study results presented at ObesityWeek.

“Pregnancy and early infancy are promising times in the lifestyle for child obesity prevention,” presenter Mary Jo Messito, MD, clinical associate professor of pediatrics and associate director of the General Academic Pediatric Fellowship at NYU School of Medicine and director of the Pediatric Obesity Treatment Program at Bellevue Hospital Center, told Endocrine Today. “Excess weight gain begins in early infancy and increases life-long risk for obesity.”

Read more

Don’t forget to Display Your Teal Pumpkin Today!

Born out of one mom’s desire to help ensure that children with food allergies would not feel left out on Halloween, the Teal Pumpkin Project®, now in its fourth year as a national awareness campaign led by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), has spread far and wide – reaching millions across the U.S. and beyond — in an effort to help create a happier, safer Halloween for all.

For millions of children with food allergies and their parents, the Halloween trick-or-treating tradition can sometimes be fraught with anxiety because many candies that are handed out contain major food allergens such as milk, peanuts, tree nuts and wheat. FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safety and inclusion for all trick-or-treaters by encouraging people to provide non-food treats on Halloween. A pumpkin painted teal, the color for food allergy awareness, signals that children will find a fun, non-food treat that anyone can enjoy.

“One in 13 children in the U.S. has at least one food allergy, and reports show that anaphylactic food reactions have climbed dramatically in recent years,” said Lois A. Witkop, Chief Advancement Officer at FARE. “It’s clear that food allergies are a serious public health issue that we all must take seriously. The Teal Pumpkin Project provides an opportunity for all of us to show empathy for kids who often feel excluded. We would love to see at least one teal pumpkin on every block – and it’s a terrific way for communities to come together to celebration inclusion.”

For Westlake, OH mom Vikki Meldrum, the Teal Pumpkin Project has already provided an unforgettable experience for her and her 4-year-old daughter Lyla. Meldrum spread the word about the initiative among her neighbors, who have now shown their support for the last two years, with at least 30 teal pumpkins in her own neighborhood. Read more