Key House Panel Directs USDA to Consider Funding Multivitamins for Use in WIC Program

Women Infants Children Program Infographic
Nutrition News Change What You Kids Eat and Change Their Future

Key House Panel Directs USDA to Consider Funding Multivitamins for Use in WIC Program

A key House Panel directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Nutrition Services (FNS) to prepare a report assessing the benefits of allowing vitamins to be purchased through the supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children (WIC).

“Women, infants and children utilizing the WIC program deserve equal access to and should be allowed to purchase vitamins,” said Dan Fabricant, CEO and executive director of NPA (Natural Products Association).  “The Committee’s instructions are a step in the right direction towards addressing the crisis of undernourishment in America.”

Vitamins are proven to have many health benefits especially relevant to those the WIC program intends to help:
· Classic nutrient deficiency diseases (scurvy, pellagra, and iron deficiency anemia);

· Improve appetite and growth rates in low-income children;

· Prevent neural tube birth defects;

· Protect against heart disease and stroke; and

· Build bone mass in the young.

“We will continue to look for policy options to improve access and availability to products that support a healthy lifestyle for American consumers,” Fabricant said.

NPA also sent a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the House Committee on Appropriations expressing its strong view that the WIC program should be expanded to include the purchase of multivitamins and multiminerals.

Read more www.npainfo.org.

 

Longer School Lunches Lead To Better Food Choices

School Salad Bar

Longer School Lunches Lead To Better Food Choices, Say Researchers

More research to inform industrial education. Less time to eat definitely makes an impact. Not only on food choices, but the amount of food chosen that gets eaten. More food waste.

I guess there’s a big difference between 20 and 15 minutes to eat lunch. What’s wrong with this picture? School salad bars are one of the easiest options available for teaching healthy food choices and learning life long values. If we don’t allow enough time to eat lunch, what’s the point?

→  Read full article by  Elliot Beer

Toddlers Taking Vitamin D Have Less Body Fat

Nutrition News Vitamin D Comver

The new study confirmed the importance for the development of strong bones of a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU/day during a baby’s first year.

Less Body Fat For Toddlers Taking Vitamin D

02/05/2016 14:52 GMT McGill University

A healthy intake of vitamin D in the first year of life appears to set children up to have more muscle mass and less body fat as toddlers, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatric Obesity.

The findings emerged from research initially aimed at confirming the importance of vitamin D for bone density. The additional benefit in terms of body composition came as a surprise for the research team.
→  Read full article,

http://www.mcgill.ca/newsroom/channels/news/less-body-fat-toddlers-taking-vitamin-d-260693

Further analysis also indicated a correlation between lean muscle mass and the average level of vitamin D in the body over the first three years of a child’s life.

The only other factor found to make a significant difference to the children’s amount of body fat was their level of physical activity.

Video Games May Help Increase Fruit, Vegetable Intake

Fruits and Vegetables

Serious Video Games May Help Increase Fruit, Vegetable Intake

04/05/2016 06:56 GMT Elsevier

Using a serious video game, Squires Quest! II: Saving the Kingdom of Fivealot, researchers from the United States Department of Agriculture / Agricultural Research Service Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital evaluated how creating implementation intentions (i.e., specific plans) within the goal-setting component in the game helped fourth and fifth grade students improve fruit and vegetable intake at specific meals.
→  Read full article,

Full bibliographic information

“Meal-Specific Dietary Changes from Squires Quest! II: A Serious Video Game Intervention,” by Karen W. Cullen, DrPH, RD; Yan Liu, MS; Debbe I. Thompson, PhD (DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2016.02.004), Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Volume 48, Issue 5 (May 2016), published by Elsevier.

China Pays Price For Western Lifestyle With Soaring Childhood Obesity

Chinese beach scene with McDonald's shade umbrellas covering the beach

The prevalence of overweight and obesity is rising faster in children than (7 to 12 years) than adolescents (13 to 18 years),

China is paying the price of adopting a western lifestyle with soaring childhood obesity, shows a 29 year study in nearly 28 000 children and adolescents published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.1 Less than 1% of children and adolescents were obese in 1985 compared to 17% of boys and 9% of girls in 2014. The authors speculate that boys may be fatter than girls because of a societal preference for sons.

“This is extremely worrying,” said Professor Joep Perk, cardiovascular prevention spokesperson for the European Society of Cardiology. “It is the worst explosion of childhood and adolescent obesity that I have ever seen. The study is large and well run, and cannot be ignored. China is set for an escalation of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and the popularity of the western lifestyle will cost lives.”

Data for the study was obtained from six national surveys in schoolchildren carried out by the Department of Education in Shandong Province, China, between 1985 and 2014. A total of 27 840 rural students aged 7 to 18 years had their height and weight measured. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated as kg/m2. Overweight and obesity were defined using cut-off points recommended by the Working Group on Obesity in China (WGOC), the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The prevalence of overweight and obesity in boys increased from 0.74% and 0.03% in 1985 to 16.35% and 17.20% in 2014, and in girls increased from 1.45% and 0.12% in 1985 to 13.91% and 9.11% in 2014, respectively.

“China is a large agricultural country and our findings have huge implications for the entire nation,” said Dr Ying-Xiu Zhang, leader of the investigation team at the Shandong Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Shandong University Institute of Preventive Medicine, Jinan, Shandong, China. “The rises in overweight and obesity coincide with increasing incomes in rural households and we expect this trend to continue in the coming decades in Shandong Province and other regions of China.”

“China has experienced rapid socioeconomic and nutritional changes in the past 30 years,” continued Dr Zhang. “In China today, people eat more and are less physically active than they were in the past. The traditional Chinese diet has shifted towards one that is high in fat and calories and low in fibre.”

The authors speculated that boys are fatter than girls because they are given preferential treatment. The Chinese 2005 National Youth Risk Behaviour Surveillance reported that 4.3% of boys and 2.7% of girls frequently had soft drinks, while 12.7% of boys and 4.3% of girls spent more than two hours per day playing computer games.

Dr Zhang said: “Traditionally the societal preference, particularly in rural areas, has been for sons. That could result in boys enjoying more of the family’s resources. In addition, boys may prefer to have a larger body size than girls.”

“Computer games themselves are not the issue,” added Professor Perk. “The problem is that kids sit there with a two litre bottle of fizzy drink. To burn those calories they would need to walk 46 km but they don’t.”

The prevalence of overweight and obesity is rising faster in children than (7 to 12 years) than adolescents (13 to 18 years), which the authors say could be because teenagers are more concerned about their appearance. “Adolescents generally pay more attention to their body shape and do more exercise than children,” said Dr Zhang.

“Rural areas of China have been largely ignored in strategies to reduce childhood obesity,” said Dr Zhang. “This is a wake-up call for policymakers that rural China should not be neglected in obesity interventions.

We need to educate children on healthy eating and physical activity, and monitor their weight to check if these efforts are making a difference.”

Professor Perk said: “This calls for a catastrophe committee in China to stop the alarming rise in childhood and adolescent obesity. They need to return to their former nutritional habits instead of eating junk food. Parents must take some responsibility and point their children in the direction of healthier choices.”

Superfoods cover image

Play The Is It Healthy Game!

Read Nutrition News

Making Healthy Choices Easier Than You Think

You have Successfully Subscribed!