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Poverty is detrimental to the lives of children

24 Nov

Researchers have discovered some very interesting facts many of us already know for sure.  Children raised in poverty are more likely to get sick and die sooner than children raised in more affuent surrounding. Duhh!! Of  course rich children will do better – they eat better, live in better homes and have regular medical check up, sure their chances of a better life is much better.According to an annual report released by the Quebec government, even for children who manage to escape poverty when they become adults, the damage is done. The health effects can be felt throughout their lifetimes. Most notably, poverty related illeness include respiratory, cardiac and mental health problems.
“Even if you change your social status later on, many of these impacts will still be there,” Alain Poirier, Quebec’s director of public health.

One in 135 children is autistic

21 Nov

In today’s news the shocking research shows that one in 130 children in the US is autistic. A mother appeared on the WCCO show and she and her son who is autistic talked about their lives, hopes and dreams.  The mother said that like any mother she has hopes and dreams for her son.  One has to reframe the hopes and dreams to fit the child but it is important to hope and dream.  She always advised that do not try to be a superwoman, you need help and support to get through.  Her son’s dream was to become an ordained pastor and I wish him and that he does achieve his dream.  I have to ask why are so many of our children autistic?  What are we doing wrong? Is it our environment? Or is it the refinement of our medical technology to detect more illnesses that might have gone unnoticed or unnamed in the past.  The statistics are staggering to me. Too many children’s lives are affected by this illness and it is time we get it under wrap. 

Sleeping is good for you and your children

6 Nov

Here’s another reason to get the kids to bed early: More sleep may lower their risk of becoming obese.University of Michigan researchers have found that every additional hour per night a third-grader spends sleeping reduces the child’s chances of being obese in sixth grade by 40 per cent.The less sleep children got, the more likely the children were to be obese in sixth grade, no matter what the child’s weight was in third grade, said Dr. Julie Lumeng of the University of Michigan, who led the research.If there was a magic number for the third graders, it was nine hours, 45 minutes of sleep. Sleeping more than that lowered the risk significantly.

Organic or non organic cereals for children

26 Sep

There is an article in the New York Times (Sept 26/07)alerting parents to the fact that if they choose to give their children  organic breakfasts they may be missing out on vitamins found in the regular cereals.

The article proceeded to report that since the 1940’s, commercial cereal companies have been adding vitamins to their flakes, puffs and O’s in order to replace nutrients stripped away during the manufacturing process.

This is ridiculous and I think articles like this is just trying to promote those useless, additive-driven, sugar and salt laden cereals for children.  What is better than pure wholesome food?  We do not need manufacturers to strip wheat of its natural vitamins and minerals to make it more appealing and then add these back to the foods using all kinds of preservatives.

The natural vitamins and micro-nutrients found in pure food cannot be replaced fully by artificial means.  There may be valuable trace nutrients that even the scientists do not know about but which provides us with some healthy benefits.

My advice is to separate food from vitamins.  If you have to give your child a multivitamin a day, then do so but don’t try using cereal as a multivitamin table. It’s absurd.

New Drug Approved for Children

23 Aug

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) atypical antipsychotic drug Risperdal (chemical name risperidone) for use in two types of treatment with children and adolescents. The approval was given yesterday, 22nd August. One application is for short treatment of schizophrenia in adolescents aged from 13 to 17 and the other is for short term treatment of manic or mixed episodes of bipolar I disorder in children aged between 10 and 17. Lithium has been the only FDA approved pediatric drug for treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in these age groups until now.

Diet food, drink could set young kids up for later obesity: study

8 Aug

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 8, 2007 | 10:55 AM ET

The Canadian Press

 Parents who feed young children low-calorie foods and beverages in a bid to keep them at a healthy weight may inadvertently contribute to overeating and even childhood obesity, researchers from the University of Alberta suggest. In studies of laboratory rats, researchers found that young rodents could be trained to connect the taste of food with their caloric value. When food flavours were associated with low-caloric energy — as with diet foods and drinks — the rodents would chow down on far more food at regular meals than their bodies required. Consuming diet foods and drinks may inadvertently contribute to overeating, according to a study from the University of Alberta.(Canadian Press) “They ate more when they had a cue that indicated ‘I haven’t had any calories,’ even though they had just taken in a good number of calories,” David Pierce, a professor of sociology and lead author of the study told CBC News. Calorie-wise foods that taste the same as their full-calorie counterparts may undermine the body’s natural ability to regulate food intake and weight, said Pierce. He theorizes that the body “gets a sensory cue that it hasn’t had any calories,” even though it is actually receiving an ample amount. He speculated that a similar mechanism could lead young children who consume diet foods and drinks to also end up overeating and gaining excess weight over time. “I think the data showed that if you subvert the usual relationship between taste and calorie content, it leads to disruption of the normal physiological and behavioural energy balance in juveniles, resulting in an overeating effect,” Pierce said Tuesday from Edmonton. Continue Article “Based on what we’ve learned, it is better for children to eat healthy, well-balanced diets with sufficient calories for their daily activities, rather than low-calorie snacks or meals,” he said. For one of the studies in their research paper, published Wednesday in the journal Obesity, four-week-old lab rats were conditioned over 16 days to associate certain sweet or salty flavours with low-calorie food. Following that conditioning, the rodents were fed a high-calorie rice cake snack dipped in a flavour they’d come to associate with low-energy foods. And even though the rice cake should have helped satiate their need for energy-producing calories, the animals still overate when it came to the regular meal that followed. In a second study, eight-week-old “adolescent” rats had low-cal foods added to their diet, but those animals did not display the same tendency to overeat. The researchers believe the older rats didn’t eat excessively because they had learned as youngsters to rely on a variety of taste-related cues to correctly assess the energy value of their food. “It may be that the adolescent rat is probably relying on other sensory and gustatory cues in addition to the ones we were using to energy-regulate,” said Pierce. Fruits, vegetables good after school snacksDr. Katherine Morrison, a pediatric endocrinologist and childhood obesity expert at McMaster University, called the study intriguing. “I welcome a study such as this to help us to move further in our understanding of how do we become full and what is it that encourages us to eat,” Morrison said from Hamilton. ‘It is better for children to eat healthy, well-balanced diets with sufficient calories for their daily activities, rather than low-calorie snacks or meals.’— David Pierce, researcher”When it comes specifically to sweetened drinks, I think this study raises a question [about] just substituting diet pop for [regular] pop. It doesn’t tell us that we shouldn’t do it. It raises the question: Is that a good approach?” Morrison said she encourages parents when their child comes home “famished” after school to have healthy foods on hand — such as vegetables, fruits or salad — “that will sort of take the edge off as you move into your evening meal. “You certainly don’t want to be going with something like chips or chocolate bars or even granola bars, which give a pretty high-calorie punch in short order.”

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