Newsbites June 30th: Good News Bad News | The Family Fork

Newsbites June 30th: Good News Bad News

Chronic diseases in children are on the rise. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association obesity, asthma, diabetes and attention deficit disorder have soared in the last four decades. In 1960 1.6% of US children suffered an activity limiting chronic ailment, compared to 7% in 2004. Researchers blame increased screen time i.e. television, video games and other electronic media, more time spent indoors, decreased physical activity, increased consumption of fast foods and sugary beverages, and changes in parenting (ouch). Go to The Increase of Childhood Chronic Conditions in the United States to read the full article.

The good news is when it's a family affair children fare better than when the focus is on the child alone. So says researchers who tested the unique family based weight management program "Bright Bodies" (this study was also published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The Journal's latest issue is dedicated to chronic disease in kids). The children who participated with their families received an intensive family-based program that included exercise, nutrition education and behavior modification. The children who were not part of the family group just received weight management counseling in a clinic every six months.

The results were significant. After one year the kids in the family based program showed decreased body mass index (a measure of weight for height), decreased body fat and improved blood cholesterol levels while the other kids fared worse in all of the same categories. That gets a big wow! More ammunition that as adults we must be models of behavior!

Have a great rest of your weekend with lots of fruits and veggies!
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About the Author

Registered dietitian Andrea N. Giancoli is a nutrition advocate, consultant and educator.