Bringing the Promise of Healthy School Meals to More Children This Fall

The Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act of 2010 enabled the U.S Department of Agriculture to make historic changes to the meals served in our nation’s schools. Breakfasts, lunches, and snacks sold during the school day are now more nutritious than ever, with less fat and sodium and more whole-grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and low-fat dairy. For many kids, the meals they get at school may be the only nutritious meals they receive that day—and when children Read More

Here’s One Way to Wreck a Child’s Education: Take Away Recess

Recess is the only “subject” my 9-year-old will talk about. I don’t even bother asking him how school is. He’s a good student. An excellent student. A veracious reader. I’m not telling you this to brag. I don’t have an “honor roll” sticker on the back of my car. I’m telling you this because my child will not answer any question about school positively. The only thing he will talk about is recess. In recess, Read More

Childhood Obesity Month: Chartwells helps students get healthy

It has been suggested that the United States has a weight problem. While many walk around sporting a spare tire, unable to fit into their fall clothes, the biggest concern must lie with children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years. September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and food service companies around the country Read More

‘Fat Letters’ and the Childhood Obesity Debate (AUDIO)

Experts, parents split over schools’ role in weight screening If their kids are frequently tardy, truant or failing to turn in homework, parents of U.S. schoolchildren expect to be notified. And in some districts, they might be contacted about yet another chronic problem:obesity. The “fat letter” is the latest weapon in the war on childhood obesity, and it is raising hackles in some regions, and winning followers in others. “Obesity is an epidemic in our Read More

Autism Risk May Be Raised for Children When Labor Induced

Boys born to mothers who needed their doctor to start or help along the birth may have a higher risk of autism, a study found. Boys whose mothers had labors that were induced, which stimulates the uterus to bring on contractions, or augmented, which increases the strength, duration and frequency of contractions, had a 35 percent greater risk of autism then children whose mothers didn’t need those procedures to help the births, according to research Read More

Yoga for kids may help with physical and mental health

Millions of people practice yoga as a way to stay fit or for relaxation. But could it be used as medication? Nine-year-old Aaron Schaefer spent years battling debilitating migraines caused by stress. But since starting a yoga class, his headaches are gone. “When I started taking [the class], it was like a cure from heaven,” Schaefer told Ivanhoe. Researchers at Duke University are studying whether a program that combines yoga and other therapies can help Read More

Mom’s Depression Tied to Childhood Obesity

In low-income urban families, a mother’s depression is linked to childhood obesity and disengaged parenting. “We know many mothers experience feelings of sadness and depression. Despite this awareness, many mothers really suffer in silence and don’t feel comfortable [talking to someone about their feelings],” said Dr. Rachel S. Gross, lead author of the study. While most research shows a link between a mother’s feelings of depression and a child’s development and social health, “This was Read More

What’s motivating child’s play?

The results of the Sydney Playground Project published online in the Preventive Medicine Journal show simple, low cost, additions to a playground can increase physical activity and decreases children’s sedentary behavior during recess times. However parental and teachers’ concerns for safety and being sued remain a concern. Lead investigator Professor Anita Bundy from the University’s Faculty of Health Sciences says the trial may have helped reverse parents and teachers’ perception of what constitutes risky play Read More

Autism And Pollution Study Links Autism With Prenatal Exposure To Traffic Pollution

Babies exposed to air pollution in the womb are more likely to have autism than those whose mothers spend pregnancy in clean air, according to a new study. In the largest study of its kind, UCLA researchers compared levels of air pollutants, mostly related to vehicle traffic, during pregnancy gestation periods of 7,603 children with autism and 75,635 children without autism, born from 1995 to 2006 in Los Angeles. The study was published March 1 Read More

DNA testing for adoptive children

The Red Thread welcomes guest writer Chris Baer.  An adoptive father curious about his son’s medical history and heritage, Baer sought out DNA testing. Here, he writes about why he did it and why he believes all adoptive parents should have their children tested. He also shares some of the major discoveries he made along the way. Growing up as the youngest of the Baer family clan, I knew what to expect in becoming a Read More