Megan Barna, MS, RD, is an outpatient dietitian at Children’s National in Washington, D.C.
Eleanor Mackey, Ph.D., is a child psychologist and works primarily with the Obesity Institute and Children’s Research Institute. Dr. Mackey is also a mother of two girls. She wrote for the Rise and Shine newsletter that binge eating disorder (BED) is defined as an eating disorder marked by the frequent consumption of unusually large amounts of food, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. BED differs from bingeing and purging in that the individual takes no actions to prevent weight gain, consequently, many suffering from BED are often overweight or obese.
BED differs from other eating disorders in that it appears to be an “equal opportunity” disorder, affecting men almost as much as women, with no discrimination against race. It is also more common than both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, affecting one in every 35 adults in the United States, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders.
While many people are guilty of stress eating or taking second helpings of dessert when full, for those with BED, this becomes a regular pattern says Children’s National Health System nutritionist Megan Barna, MS, RD. Eating is no longer simply to satisfy hunger, rather, it is used as a means of escape to distract from scary or stressful problems, feelings or situations.
“Actual eating behaviors are symptoms of more profound underlying factors, such as depression, anxiety, or having experienced trauma,” Barna explains. She said the food is used as a tool for rebelling, rewarding oneself, or easing anxiety or loneliness.
“A binge is indicated by a complete loss of control followed by feelings of shame,” Barna says, “binge eating disorder is marked by multiple recurring episodes.”
Individuals suffering from BED often feel deep embarrassment and humiliation about gorging but are unable to resist the compulsion to binge. This vicious cycle of bingeing can lead to even greater feelings of hopelessness and despair. Read more
Action for Healthy Kids shared that everyone loves a party. Who doesn’t love an excuse for cupcakes? But did you know that your child could easily consume a third of their daily calories in one classroom birthday celebration? Birthdays, holidays and other school celebrations are great opportunities to promote a healthy lifestyle, provide consistent messages about healthy eating, and offer extra physical activity.
No one has to be seen as the food police, though. We’re here to tell you that it is possible to plan events that emphasize healthy foods and align with classroom lessons—and even shift the focus and plan non-food events centered around physical activity, music, art, and games.
- Let students come up with healthy party ideas and ask parents to share ideas for activities, games, and crafts.
- Have parents bring simple trinkets or games (like pens or fidget spinners) instead of cupcakes for birthdays.
- Have a dance party. Let students select the music, and invite the principal and other school staff. Kidz Bop is a great resource for kid-friendly versions of popular, high energy tunes.
- Get students involved in planning and preparing for celebrations—let them make decorations and favors and choose the games.
Make it stick: The school health team or a group of students can work together to create a healthy classroom party guide to distribute to parents. You can also work with school leadership to implement a healthy classroom party policy that replaces food with activity. Read more
Rise and Shine shared that heavy backpacks go hand-in-hand with the return of the school year, and parents need to know how to help their children avoid the pain. While there are no studies showing that carrying a heavy backpack causes structural deformity to the back, kids with chronic back pain are predisposed to becoming adults with chronic back pain.
Warning signs that a backpack is too heavy
The National Safety Council, founded in 1913 by Congress to build awareness, training and share best practices on safety issues, has developed the following warning signs that a backpack is too heavy:
- Change in posture when wearing a backpack.
- Struggling when putting on or taking off the backpack.
- Tingling or numbness.
- Red marks.
A child’s backpack should not weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of the child’s body weight, according to a 2016 report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Younger children and girls seem more susceptible to backpack-related pain, so parents may want to lean more towards 10 percent.
Children should also use lockers if that option is available. Parents can also talk to their child’s teacher and ask how they can help lighten the workload. Read more
What’s the Teal Pumpkin Project®?
The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages people to raise awareness of food allergies and promotes the inclusion of all trick-or-treaters throughout the Halloween season. The nationwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option. The steps to participate are:
- Provide non-food treats for trick-or-treaters.
- Place a teal pumpkin – the color of food allergy awareness –in front of your home to indicate you have non-food treats available.
- Add your home to the Teal Pumpkin Project map.
- Spread the word! Share the Teal Pumpkin Project with your friends and family. Social media is one of the best and easiest ways you can spread the word about the Teal Pumpkin Project®. Be sure to use #tealpumpkinproject each time you post!
Dr. Cerone and Associates St. John’s First Graders. St. John’s Cuties!
More from St. John’s
North Elementary school/tri-town YMCA kids SJ 3rd grade students enjoying some apples at snack break
Check out more photos on our addition blog for today.
TY Village of Lombard for supporting AC Day!
Thanks soooooooo much for everyone’s support!
So many apples eaten on apple crunch day at St. John’s! WOW!
Thank you to the Lombard Westin Hotel for support Apple Ceunxh Day !!!!!!
SJ 6th and 8th grade students crunching apples on their field trip downtown. Thanks sooo much!
Megan Darmody shared with Healthy Lombard that with the holidays approaching, balance and moderation are key. Regardless of which diet or lifestyle you follow, it’s helpful to consider what you’re consuming on a daily basis. How much of what you consume is mindless or on autopilot? Whatever your goal is—tracking what you eat and drink throughout the day helps identify how balanced your diet is.
If you’re looking to make some shifts in your habits or routines, a daily food journal is one path to a more mindful way of eating. It helps you stay accountable by tracking patterns or gaps in your diet. You simply write down every detail of what you eat in a day, from your morning coffee to that midnight dessert. You can also include water intake or your workout for the day.
For an easy daily food journal, download or print the printable by Kitchen Cabinet Kings below. It breaks down every meal and has categories for calories, carbs, sugar to protein. You can hang it on your refrigerator if you work from home or save it to your phone for an easy log on-the-go. Read more