Stories about: unhealthful eating

This week on Thrive: Jan. 4 – 8

Here’s a quick look at what Thrive was up to last week.

Children’s obesity expert gives tips on how to change your eating habits for the better. Mark Alexander, MD explores the question of whether or not high school athletes should be screened for heart disease. Children’s injury prevention expert gives tips on how to avoid a winter sports injury. Claire McCarthy, MD lists great resolutions for your family to live by. Do later bedtimes increase risk of teenage suicide and depression? A group of doctors is pushing for routine circumcision. Our Mediatrician discusses teenage boys and first-person shooter video games.

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Top pediatric health stories of 2009

McCarthyClaire_dsc0435From swine flu to obesity to dangerous plastics, many issues that affect children’s health garnered media attention in the year 2009. Here’s a rundown of the some of the biggest and most important stories:

H1N1

This is the story that caught the most attention—for good reason. Not only is the H1N1 influenza virus very contagious, it appears to particularly affect young people. H1N1 caused more pediatric hospitalizations and deaths than we usually see with the seasonal influenza virus, which is very scary for parents (and pediatricians!). The virus led to countless school closings—sometimes to control the spread, and sometimes because there weren’t enough teachers left to teach!

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Despite promises, junk food still advertised to kids

froot loopsChildren’s diet quality has declined to shocking levels, directly fueling the obesity epidemic. There are, of course, many forces affecting the eating habits of children today, such as the widespread availability of junk food, an under-funded school lunch program, and busy, stressed families. However, TV advertising to children has undoubtedly played a major role. Saturday morning children’s shows have seemingly become little more than a continuous food commercial, with beloved, iconic cartoon figures like SpongeBob peddling junk foods during programming as well as ads.

In response to the threat of governmental regulation and legal action, major food companies like Kellogg, General Mills, ConAgra and PepsiCo banded together in 2006 to create a voluntary advertising code of conduct. Called the “Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative,” this policy aimed to “change the landscape of child-directed advertising” by encouraging “Better-for-You” foods.

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Healthful eating during the holiday season

holiday cookiesby Jenny Kinne MS, RD, LDN, CLC, clinical nutrition specialist in Gastroenterology/Nutrition.

It’s beginning to look and feel a lot like the holiday season! With celebrations of all sorts just around the corner many people find themselves asking, how do you balance healthful eating with all the tempting treats and fun foods? Here are some tips to keep up healthful habits but also enjoy your holiday favorites.

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