Monday, September 23, 2013
How tempting it is to have Cheeseburger Day in the same month as National Childhood Obesity Month? While it is ok to allow your children special occasion treats periodically (my 5 year old is on a 2 sweet per day limit when he asks for too much junk in one day), making sure your child also balances their diet with healthy fruits and vegetables is very important. Too often I think we as parents look back on our childhood, and our waistline, saying your kids won't be able to eat what they want when they want when they grow older and their metabolism slows down so let's just allow them to eat all the junk food they want now before it's too late. The difference between most of our upbringings compared to our children's is we had lots of play time outside. So many parents discuss how they were able to play outside until the street lights came on. Nowadays - parents can't let their kids sit on front steps without full supervision.
This is why it is so important to make sure your kids are getting enough physical activity everyday! When they come home, plan a few minutes between dinner and homework to sneak in a few turns of the jump rope or play a little catch or see who can keep the hola hoop going the longest. These are even fun activities you can participate with the kids while being in doors. While you may not squeeze the full 30 minutes of recommended active time at this particular moment, it will create a new habit of being active in your home instead of just plopping in front of the television or playing video games. If you participate with your child, imagine the added benefits your own body will receive!
Visit the National Institute of Health's We Can! website for more information on how to help keep your kids healthy and active.
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Study by Public Health England backs concerns raised by doctors that lack of exercise leads to unhealthy lifestyles
Monday, September 2, 2013
School districts show positive trends
School districts nationwide are showing improvements in measures related to nutritional policies, physical education and tobacco policies, according to the 2012 School Health Policies and Practices Study (SHPPS). SHPPS is the largest and most comprehensive survey to assess school health policies.
"Schools play a critical role in the health and well-being of our youth," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "Good news for students and parents – more students have access to healthy food, better physical fitness activities through initiatives such as ‘Let’s Move,’ and campuses that are completely tobacco free."
Key findings include:Nutrition:
- The percentage of school districts that allowed soft drink companies to advertise soft drinks on school grounds decreased from 46.6 percent in 2006 to 33.5 percent in 2012.
- Between 2006 and 2012, the percentage of districts that required schools to prohibit offering junk food in vending machines increased from 29.8 percent to 43.4 percent.
- Between 2006 and 2012, the percentage of districts with food procurement contracts that addressed nutritional standards for foods that can be purchased separately from the school breakfast or lunch increased from 55.1 percent to 73.5 percent.
- Between 2000 and 2012, the percentage of districts that made information available to families on the nutrition and caloric content of foods available to students increased from 35.3 percent to 52.7 percent.
Physical education/physical activity:
- The percentage of school districts that required elementary schools to teach physical education increased from 82.6 percent in 2000 to 93.6 percent in 2012.
- More than half of school districts (61.6 percent) had a formal agreement, such as a memorandum of agreement or understanding, between the school district and another public or private entity for shared use of school or community property. Among those districts, more than half had agreements with a local youth organization (e.g., the YMCA, Boys or Girls Clubs, or the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts) or a local parks or recreation department.
- The percentage of districts with policies that prohibited all tobacco use during any school-related activity increased from 46.7 percent in 2000 to 67.5 percent in 2012.
SHPPS is a national survey periodically conducted to assess school health policies and practices at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. SHPPS assesses the characteristics of eight components of school health: health education, physical education and activity, health services, mental health and social services, nutrition services, healthy and safe school environment, faculty and staff health promotion, and family and community involvement.
SHPPS was conducted at all levels in 1994, 2000, and 2006. The 2012 study collected data at the state and district levels only. The school- and classroom-level data from SHPPS will be collected in 2014 and released in 2015.
For more information, go to www.cdc.gov/shpps.