Tag Archives: parents

Parents Losing Custody of Obese Children

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At Foodfacts.com we like to present you with the latest news and research revolving around foods, ingredients, and healthy eating. Because many of our followers are parents, we like to present you with information regarding parenting and child nutrition.

We must share that there was a recent opinion piece from the July issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association arguing that parents should lose custody of their obese children. Author, Dr. David Ludwig an obesity specialist at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, believes that although parents should not be blamed for their children’s weight status, the children should be placed in a situation where they are able to receive appropriate attention and assistance to maintain a healthy weight.

This article has received a huge amount of feedback in the past few days in regards to such a drastic step in removing children from their home. Although many parents do believe that parents should carry some responsibility for a child’s weight status, they also argue that Dr. Ludwig’s suggestion of taking away the child is wildly unnecessary and unethical.
We know that there are millions of children currently considered overweight or obese. We also know that parents may lack the knowledge or resources to help their children. Here are some tips that may help get your child back on the right track.

Keeping your children in shape:

1. Consult with a doctor and/or registered dietitian. If your child is overweight it’s important to regularly see a physician to make sure they are not at risk for any associated conditions, such as diabetes. Diabetes in the US is steadily increasing, which can cause other related complications such as heart disease, sleep apnea, and hypertension.

Also, see a registered dietitian to have a menu plan created for your child. An RD will be able to provide nutrition counseling and develop a plan over time that will help your child lose and maintain a healthy weight.
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2. Play outside. With video games and TV programs plaguing modern society, people are more confined to sitting on their couches rather than getting outside. Set aside an hour or two every day to arrange outdoor activities for the family. Bike riding, going to the park, water activities, and gentle hiking are just of few of many activities you can plan for your family. If not every day, try to designate 3 days out of the week where you can play outside, and ignore the technology indoors.
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3. Fruits and vegetables. Consuming more fruits and vegetables are a great start to eating healthy. For children, try consuming 2 servings of fruit, and 3 servings of vegetables a day. It can be easy to incorporate these servings into your diet. Try adding banana to cereals, blueberries in smoothies, peppers and onions in an omelet, etc. The options are endless, and definitely rewarding.
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4. Calcium-rich foods. Fat-free and low-fat milks are a great source of added calcium to the diet, but they aren’t the only choices. You can also do low-fat yogurts with no added sugars to help your children get the calcium they need, and to also fix a sweet tooth.
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5. Healthy snacks. You may want to consider stepping away from cheesy nacho chips, sugary fruit snacks, and salty processed foods. These snacks fix cravings, but further damage your health and weight-loss goals. Instead, try snacking on plain popcorn, celery with peanut butter, or even vegetable hummus with crackers.

7 heart attack symptoms that Women often overlook

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Foodfacts.com looks into what signs Women may not want to avoid when it comes to their health and their heart’s. Conventional wisdom has it that heart attacks come out of the blue. We’re also trained to expect a heart attack to happen a certain way: The victim clutches his chest, writhes in pain, and collapses. But for women, it often doesn’t happen that way. Study after study shows heart attacks and heart disease are under-diagnosed in women, with the explanation being that they didn’t have symptoms.

But research shows that’s not the case. Women who’ve had heart attacks realize, looking back, that they experienced significant symptoms — they just didn’t recognize them as such.

In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, 95 percent of women (that’s almost all!) who’d had heart attacks reported experiencing symptoms that were decidedly new or different from their previous experience a month or more before their attacks.

Even when a heart attack is occurring, women are often slow to realize what’s happening and call a doctor. The reason? Women’s heart attack symptoms are different than men’s. This failure to recognize heart attack signs in women has led to a grim statistic: Women are more likely to die from sudden cardiac death than men are, and two thirds of women who have a heart attack don’t recover completely.

To prevent a heart attack from sneaking up on you, watch for these 7 little-known signs of heart attack

The Top Little-Known Signs of Heart Attack

Fatigue. More than 70 percent of women in the NIH study reported extreme fatigue in the month or months prior to their heart attacks. This was not just your run-of-the-mill tiredness — the kind you can power through — this was an overwhelming fatigue that sidelined them from their usual schedules for a few days at a time.

Sleeplessness or Insomnia. Despite their fatigue, women who’ve had heart attacks remember experiencing unexplained inability to fall asleep or stay asleep during the month before their heart attacks.

Anxiety and Stress. Stress has long been known to up the risk of heart attack. But what women report is the emotional experience; before their heart attacks they felt anxious, stressed, and keyed up, noticeably more than usual. Moments before or during a heart attack, many women report a feeling they describe as “impending doom;” they’re aware that something’s drastically wrong and they can’t cope, but they’re not sure what’s going on.

Indigestion or Nausea. Stomach pain, intestinal cramps, nausea, and digestive disruptions are another sign reported by women heart attack patients. Become familiar with your own digestive habits, and pay attention when anything seems out of whack. Note especially if your system seems upset and you haven’t eaten anything out of the ordinary.

Shortness of Breath. Of the women in the NIH study, more than 40 percent remembered experiencing this symptom. One of the comments the women made is that they noticed they couldn’t catch their breath while walking up the stairs or doing other daily tasks.

Flu-Like Symptoms. Clammy, sweaty skin, along with feeling lightheaded and weak, can lead women to wonder if they have the flu when, in fact, they’re having a heart attack.

Jaw, Ear, Neck, or Shoulder Pain. While pain and numbness in the chest, shoulder, and arm is a common sign of heart attack (at least, among men), women often don’t experience the pain this way. Instead, many women say they felt pain and a sensation of tightness running along their jaw and down the neck, and sometimes up to the ear, as well. The pain may extend down to the shoulder and arm–particularly on the left side–or it may feel like a backache or pulled muscle in the neck and back.

In addition to the symptoms they do have, women differ from men in another significant way — they may not experience many of the symptoms we traditionally associate with heart attacks. This, experts say, is a major reason why women’s heart attacks go unrecognized and untreated. Almost half of all women in the NIH study felt no chest pain, even during the heart attack itself. Numbness is another symptom women may not experience, experts say.

If your body is doing unusual things and you just don’t feel “right,” don’t wait. Go see your doctor and ask for a thorough work-up. And if you have any risk factors for cardiac disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, or family history of heart disease, mention these to the doctor. Time is of the essence, so don’t count on medical staff to know your background or read your chart — tell them your risk factors right away, so your condition can be evaluated fully and completely.

Information provided by: Yahoo health

Chicago school bans homemade lunches, the latest in national food fight

CT  SCHOOL-LUNCH-2C_MAIN 0411 KMStudents who attend Chicago’s Little Village Academy public school get nothing but nutritional tough love during their lunch period each day. The students can either eat the cafeteria food–or go hungry. Only students with allergies are allowed to bring a homemade lunch to school, the Chicago Tribune reports.

“Nutrition wise, it is better for the children to eat at the school,” principal Elsa CarmonaƂ told the paper of the years-old policy. “It’s about … the excellent quality food that they are able to serve (in the lunchroom). It’s milk versus a Coke.”

But students said they would rather bring their own lunch to school in the time-honored tradition of the brown paper bag. “They’re afraid that we’ll all bring in greasy food instead of healthy food and it won’t be as good as what they give us at school,” student Yesenia Gutierrez told the paper. “It’s really lame.”

The story has attracted hundreds of comments so far. One commenter, who says her children attend a different Chicago public school, writes, “I can accept if they want to ban soda, but to tell me I can’t send a lunch with my child. ARE YOU KIDDING ME????”

For parents whose kids do not qualify for free or reduced price school lunches, the $2.25 daily cafeteria price can also tally more than a homemade lunch. “We don’t spend anywhere close to that on my son’s daily intake of a sandwich (lovingly cut into the shape of a Star Wars ship), Goldfish crackers and milk,” Northwestern education policy professor Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach told the paper in an email. She told The Lookout parents at her child’s public school would be upset if they tried to ban homemade lunches.

“I think that lots of parents at least at my child’s school do think that what they pack is more nutritious [than school lunches],” she said. A Chicago public school teacher started a blog to protest the city’s school lunches, and last year the schools tightened their nutrition standards for cafeteria-served school lunches. Every lunch must contain whole grains, only reduced-fat salad dressings and mayonnaise are offered as condiments, and the meals must feature a different vegetable each day. Meal providers also must reduce sodium content by 5 percent annually. About 86 percent of the district’s students qualify for free or reduced price school lunches because their families live close to the poverty line.

Change in Chicago’s school cafeterias feeds into a larger effort to combat the country’s childhood obesity epidemic. About a third of America’s kids are overweight or obese, and since children consume at least 30 percent of their calories while in school, making lunches healthier is seen as one way to counter that problem. Poorer kids are also more likely to be obese or overweight than middle class kids, and to consume a bigger proportion of their calories while at school. Forty-four percent of American kids living below the poverty line are obese or overweight, according to a 2010 study published in Health Affairs.

While we haven’t been able to track down another school that bans homemade lunches outright, many smaller food battles have been playing out in cafeterias across the country. As principals try to counter obesity in their schools, healthy intentions can come across as overreach, occasionally sparking parent and student anger.

Alabama parents protested a school’s rule that barred students from bringing any drinks from home, as ice water was provided at lunch. East Syracuse, New York schools have outlawed cupcakes and other desserts. And schools around the country have kicked out chocolate milk and soda vending machines. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin even showed up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with dozens of cookies to express her disdain for a debate in the state about recommending teachers limit the number of times per month the sugary treats are eaten in classroom birthday celebrations.

Tucson, Arizona’s Children’s Success Academy allows home-packed lunches–but only if nothing in them contains white flour, refined sugar, or other “processed” foods, the Arizona Republic reported in a story last year. The school has no cafeteria, so some parents told the paper they struggled to find foods to pack that meet the restrictions. Many schools ban fast food or other take-out meals.

Soon, cafeteria offerings across the country will all be healthier, whether students like it or not. Last year’s Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama, calls for higher nutritional standards to serve the 32 million kids who eat lunch every day at school (most of whom qualify for free or reduced price lunches through a federal government program). For the first time, the USDA will set calorie limits for school lunches, and will recommend they contain more vegetables and whole grains, and less salt, USA Today reports. French fries should be replaced by vegetables and fruit, the guidelines say.

The bill also calls for stricter food safety checks on cafeteria food.

Article provided by: Liz Goodwin

Popular Organic Milk Brand Might Be In Trouble

Horizon Organic Milk is facing criticism after the release of their new “Horizon Fat-Free Milk Plus DHA Omega 3″ product on February 22nd . The bad reviews are stemming from the popular Organic brand (their kid cartons are even at Starbucks) adding the synthetic ingredient DHA oil to their new fat-free milk line.
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Note: Just this particular product is under fire, the rest of the brand, owned by parent company Dean Foods, seems to maintain it’s good organic reputation.

Organic food watchdog groups such as the Cornucopia Institute, are complaining that if a product has DHA oil in it then, it shouldn’t be considered organic.

Dean Foods’ Horizon spokesman Dr. Alan Greene said “Organic milk fortified with DHA is a great option for families looking to incorporate nutritious products in their diets with the proven benefits of DHA, including those for heart, brain and eye health.”

Charlotte Vallaeys, a farm and food policy analyst with Cornucopia is concerned that DHA’s nutritional benefits haven’t been proven nor has it been reviewed by the National Organic Standards Board “It is therefore absolutely baffling that Dean Foods would introduce a product with synthetic DHA and have the audacity to label it organic, and it’s even more disturbing that their certifier would allow this,”

What do you guys think? Should products with DHA be considered Organic?