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Michelle Obama on Attempts to Roll Back Healthy Reforms – NYTimes.com

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Michelle Obama on Attempts to Roll Back Healthy Reforms – NYTimes.com.

WHEN we began our Let’s Move! initiative four years ago, we set one simple but ambitious goal: to end the epidemic of childhood obesity in a generation so that kids born today will grow up healthy.

To achieve this goal, we have adhered to one clear standard: what works. The initiatives we undertake are evidence-based, and we rely on the most current science. Research indicated that kids needed less sugar, salt and fat in their diets, so we revamped school lunch menus accordingly. When data showed that the lack of nearby grocery stores negatively affected people’s eating habits, we worked to get more fresh-food retailers into underserved areas. Studies on habit formation in young children drove our efforts to get healthier food and more physical activity into child care centers.

Today, we are seeing glimmers of progress. Tens of millions of kids are getting better nutrition in school; families are thinking more carefully about food they eat, cook and buy…

Tesco to no longer stock sweets at checkouts – Health News | Irish Medical News | The Irish Times – Wed, May 21, 2014

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Tesco to no longer stock sweets at checkouts – Health News | Irish Medical News | The Irish Times – Wed, May 21, 2014.

Tesco stores around the country will no longer stock sweets and chocolates at checkouts from tomorrow.

The change will be fully implemented by the end of the year across all 146 stores.

Tesco Ireland chief executive Phil J Clarke said customers had “made it clear to us that removing sweets and chocolates from checkouts will help them to make healthier choices”.

Obesity expert Dr Eva Orsmond said: “Irish supermarkets have a clear role to play in helping parents and shoppers to make healthier choices for their families”…

In Delivery Rooms, Reducing Births of Convenience – NYTimes.com

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In Delivery Rooms, Reducing Births of Convenience – NYTimes.com.

“Here’s a paradox, though: Despite the fact that unnecessary C-sections produce worse outcomes for more money, America’s C-section rate is growing fast — it has risen 50 percent in the last 10 years and now is used in a third of all births. This is not because of aging mothers or assisted reproduction — these make up a small fraction of births. Nor is it due to rising obesity — the two trends don’t track each other. The biggest increase in C-section rates is among women under 25. Most of the increase has come in low-risk births…”

 

The science of why most marathon winners are from east Africa – Vox

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The science of why most marathon winners are from east Africa – Vox.

“All six winners in Boston today are originally from the same corner of the world: east Africa. And that’s true of almost every major long-distance race, going back for years. So why is that? Why do runners from two or three medium-sized countries, none of which have much money or highly developed infrastructure, manage to outrun virtually the entire world —virtually every time they compete?

This is a question that scientists and journalists have been asking since the 1990s, when the trend began, a few years after African nutrition rates caught up with the rest of the world. But the question has never totally been answered, in part because merely asking it touches on some of the most sensitive issues in modern history: colonialism, slavery, and persistent racial inequality both in Africa and outside of it…”

Plastic surgery app for nine-year-olds sparks outrage on Twitter | Technology | theguardian.com

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Plastic surgery app for nine-year-olds sparks outrage on Twitter | Technology | theguardian.com.

Apple and Google are facing a backlash from social media users for promoting cartoon plastic surgery apps to children as young as nine.

Messages on Twitter spoke of disgust over an iTunes game which shows a smiling cartoon character named Barbie about to go under the knife. Users of the app are placed in the role of a liposuction doctor.

The blurb for the app, created by Corina Rodriquez, reads: “This unfortunate girl has so much extra weight that no diet can help her. In our clinic she can go through a surgery called liposuction that will make her slim and beautiful. We’ll need to make small cuts on problem areas and suck out the extra fat. Will you operate her, doctor??”…

An Epidemic of Attention Deficit Disorder – NYTimes.com

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An Epidemic of Attention Deficit Disorder – NYTimes.com.

There is no doubt that a small percentage of children, perhaps 5 percent, have the disorder and that medication can alleviate the symptoms, such as inability to concentrate, that can impede success in school or in life. Some studies have shown that medications helped elementary schoolchildren who had been carefully evaluated for A.D.H.D. improve their concentration and their scores on reading and math tests.

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 15 percent of high-school-age children had been diagnosed with the disorder and that the number of children taking medication for it had soared to 3.5 million, up from 600,000 in 1990. Many of these children, it appears, had been diagnosed by unskilled doctors based on dubious symptoms…

Children from poorer homes ‘watch more TV and eat fattier foods’

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Children from poorer homes ‘watch more TV and eat fattier foods’.

CHILDREN from disadvantaged homes consume 23pc more calories than better-off youngsters each day, and spend much more time in front of TV and computer screens.

A new Growing Up in Ireland (GUI) report highlights the widening health and social gap between Irish children by the time they are just five years old. It also lays bare the growing strain placed on families by the economic downturn.  It reveals that the average five-year-old consumes approximately 1,500 calories per day, but children from less advantaged backgrounds, such as lower-income groups, consume 23pc more calories on average each day.  And this higher calorie intake is clearly related to obesity rates. The report also shows that children whose mothers are educated to Junior Cert level or lower are more than twice as likely to be obese (9pc) as those whose mothers have a degree (4pc).

Research finds sleep a factor in childhood obesity – Health News | Irish Medical News | The Irish Times – Tue, Nov 05, 2013

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Research finds sleep a factor in childhood obesity – Health News | Irish Medical News | The Irish Times – Tue, Nov 05, 2013.

Putting children to bed earlier may be a simple way to keep their weight down, research has shown.

Childhood obesity is not only caused by fast food, sugary drinks and lack of exercise, the new findings suggest. Lack of sleep also appears to be an important factor.

Scientists made the discovery after adjusting the sleep patterns of 37 children aged eight to 11, more than a quarter of whom were overweight or obese…

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