Category Archives: Parenting

CDC: One in four high school students drinks soda daily

According to the results of a nationwide survey of over 11,000 high school students in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, “one in four high school students drink soda every day – a sign fewer teens are downing the sugary drinks.” Continue reading

Sleep deprivation associated with carbohydrate craving and depression

In a number of past blogs I’ve discussed the association with lack of sleep and overweight and obesity. This association is found in children, teens, and adults. Now we know another reason why this occurs. Continue reading

Life expectancy has fallen in hundreds of US counties

In my 2005 book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat, I published this the then shocking statement, “If we don’t get a handle on (childhood obesity), this generation of kids coming up will have a shorter life span than their parents. That’s scandalous!” Now, we’re seeing some data indicating this unfortunate prediction may indeed be happening. Continue reading

US replaces food pyramid with nutrition plate

The US Department of Agriculture recently unveiled the long awaited replacement for the food pyramid, the triangle of nutrition introduced back in 1992. And I, for one, think it’s a great change! Continue reading

Report recommends most children avoid sports drinks

In a new report, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), representing most of the nation’s pediatricians, is advising children and teens NOT to down sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade unless they’re actually playing sports and to forgo energy drinks like Java Monster, Red Bull and Full Throttle altogether. Continue reading

Pediatric society rejects ‘personal belief’ exemption for vaccination of kids

Research has shown that children who are exempted from vaccinations have a 35-fold higher risk for measles, a 23-fold higher risk for pertussis and a nine-fold higher risk for varicella than do vaccinated children. Continue reading

The list of long- and short-term benefits of breastfeeding continues to grow

Long-time readers of this blog know I’m a big, big fan of encouraging, equipping, and enabling new moms to exclusively breastfeed their infants for at least six months. Here’s a summary of some of my reasons for this: Continue reading

Breastfed babies have better head growth and lower blood pressure

Breastfeeding is universally recommended as the superior method for feeding infants because it’s linked to prevention of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and long-term prevention of various illnesses including asthma, diabetes,and obesity … and even behavioral problems. Now a study is showing that breastfed babies have improved head (and presumably brain) growth and lower blood pressure. Continue reading

Breast-feeding reduces later behavior problems

A recent British study finds more behavioral issues among kids who were formula-fed, as compared to kids who are breastfed. In fact, breast-fed children are significantly less likely to have behavioral problems at age 5 than are those who were given formula as infants. Continue reading

Prolonged bottle feeding boosts kids’ obesity risk: study

Nearly one-quarter of 2-year-old babies who are still drinking from a bottle at 2 years of age may be prone to obesity by the time they turn 5, a new study suggests. Continue reading

Daycare centers purposely flout TV guidelines

A shocking study has reported that media, such as just turning on the TV, is used far too often as a replacement for adult-child interaction. In fact, the study showed that, “More than two-thirds of daycare centers included in a new U.S. study have TVs available for children to watch, and nearly 60 percent of the centers ignored the American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines for television exposure in young kids.” Continue reading

Infants are being given potentially harmful herbal supplements

About one in ten infants are given unregulated and potentially unsafe herbal products or teas by their moms. Continue reading

Early screening test detects autism in children as young as one year

An early screening test for autism, designed to detect signs of the condition in babies as young as 1 year old, has just been released. USA Today reports that the test “could revolutionize the care of autistic children, experts say, by getting them diagnosed and treated years earlier than usual.” Continue reading

Does your child have unrecognized high blood pressure? Nearly 20% of young adults do!

Stunning research published in the journal Epidemiology indicates that nearly one-fifth of Americans who are 24 to 32 years old have high blood pressure. And, the percent may be higher in younger kids. Is your child at risk and what can you do? Continue reading

Kids who sleep less gain more weight

If kids get fewer hours of sleep, they may start packing on the pounds, researchers say in a new study. In fact, each additional hour of sleep per night was associated with a 63% reduction in body mass index (BMI) for children age 3 to 7 years. Continue reading

How (and why) to increase the number of family meals at home

Family meals have long been an American tradition. During the past several decades, however, the American family has undergone radical changes—and family meals have changed at the same time. And as family meals have decreased, so has the physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual health of our children. Continue reading

Family meals reduce risk of children being overweight

The CNN “Eatocracy” blog reports, “A study in the journal Pediatrics finds that children and adolescents who share meals with their families at least three times per week are less likely to be overweight, eat unhealthy foods or be at risk for eating disorders.” Continue reading

AMA, other medical groups urge states to ban children under 18 from tanning salons

USA Today reports, “Since 1992, rates of melanoma – once considered an old person’s disease – have risen 3% a year in white women ages 15 to 39, according to the American Cancer Society.” Alarmingly, many young women who are developing melanoma have spent time tanning indoors at salons. Continue reading

Overweight teens face dramatically increased heart risks later in life

In past blogs, I’ve told you that the obesity epidemic among teens not only results in “Obese children showing signs of heart disease,” but that “Obese Children are Twice as Likely to Die Young.” New research is showing that it’s even worse than I thought. Continue reading

Finally, some schools sending parents BMI figures

On its website, WFLD-TV Chicago reports students “at some schools across the country will be adding another test to their agendas: One that measures their body mass index” (BMI) as “school officials are taking a stand against childhood obesity.”

“Finally!” is all I can say! However, you don’t just want your child’s BMI ..  you also need to know their BMI percentile AND their blood pressure percentile. Here’s how you can find out this critical information and why you need to know: Continue reading