Jul 02 2017

Why Are You Waiting To Vaccinate Your Children?

We share more than food and culture within our homes and communities. We can also spread disease. Luckily, we live in a time when vaccines can protect us from many of the most serious illnesses. Staying current on your shots helps you—and your neighbors—avoid getting and spreading disease. Vaccines have led to large reductions in illness and death—for both kids and adults—compared with the “pre-vaccine era,” says Dr. David M. Koelle, a vaccine expert at the University of Washington in Seattle. Vaccines will prevent about 322 million illnesses, 21 million hospitalizations, and 732,000 deaths among U.S. children born over the last 20 years, according to a recent report. Vaccines harness your immune system’s natural ability to detect and destroy disease-causing germs and then “remember” the best way to fight these germs in the future. Vaccination, or immunization, has completely eliminated naturally occurring smallpox worldwide—to the point that we no longer need to get shots against this fast-spreading, once-deadly disease. Polio too has been eliminated in the U.S. and most other nations as well, thanks to immunizations. Poliovirus can affect the brain and spinal cord, leaving people unable to move their arms or legs, or sometimes unable to breathe. “These childhood diseases used to be dreaded problems that would kill or paralyze children,” says Koelle. “In the 1950s, it was a common occurrence for kids to be fine in the spring, get ...

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Jun 10 2017

Pregnancy Diet Consisting of Refined Grains Raises Child Obesity Risk

Pregnancy diet high in refined grains could increase child obesity risk by age 7, NIH study suggests Children born to women with gestational diabetes whose diet included high proportions of refined grains may have a higher risk of obesity by age 7, compared to children born to women with gestational diabetes who ate low proportions of refined grains, according to results from a National Institutes of Health study. These findings, which appear online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, were part of the Diabetes & Women’s Health Study, a research project led by NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Gestational diabetes, or high blood sugar during pregnancy, affects about 5 percent of all pregnancies in the United States and may lead to health problems for mothers and newborns. The authors noted that previous studies have linked diets high in refined grains — such as white rice — to obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The researchers compared records from 918 mother-child pairs who took part in the Danish National Birth Cohort, a study that followed the pregnancies of more than 91,000 women in Denmark. They found that children born to women with gestational diabetes who consumed the most refined grain (more than 156 grams per day) were twice as likely to be obese at age 7, compared to children born to women with ...

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Oct 11 2016

Presidential Proclamation — National School Lunch Week, 2016

NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH WEEK, 2016 - - - - - - - BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION Seventy years ago, President Harry Truman signed the National School Lunch Act, declaring "Nothing is more important in our national life than the welfare of our children, and proper nourishment comes first in attaining this welfare." This Act created the National School Lunch Program and provided lunch to 7 million children in its first year -- today, more than 30 million children depend on it each day. As we observe the 70th anniversary of this program, we recommit to ensuring access to proper nutrition throughout the school day for all our young people so that they may pursue their education and chase their dreams. Since the beginning of my Administration, I have worked to build on the legacy of the National School Lunch Program. In 2010, the Congress passed and I signed into law the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which increased the number of students who could get subsidized or free school meals and improved the quality of school meals. For children from low-income households, meals provided by the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program may be their only reliable source of nutrition throughout the day. We are working to increase access for more children, including by using Medicaid data to automatically connect eligible students in need ...

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Aug 30 2016

Test Time! How Much Exercise Does Your Child Need?

From the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: Physical Activity Guidelines Regular physical activity in children and adolescents promotes health and fitness. Compared to those who are inactive, physically active youth have higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness and stronger muscles. They also typically have lower body fatness. Their bones are stronger, and they may have reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. Youth who are regularly active also have a better chance of a healthy adulthood. Children and adolescents don't usually develop chronic diseases, such as heart disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, or osteoporosis. However, risk factors for these diseases can begin to develop early in life. Regular physical activity makes it less likely that these risk factors will develop and more likely that children will remain healthy as adults. Youth can achieve substantial health benefits by doing moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity for periods of time that add up to 60 minutes (1 hour) or more each day. This activity should include aerobic activity as well as age-appropriate muscle- and bone–strengthening activities. Although current science is not complete, it appears that, as with adults, the total amount of physical activity is more important for achieving health benefits than is any one component (frequency, intensity, or duration) or specific mix of activities (aerobic, muscle-strengthening, bone strengthening). Even so, bone-strengthening activities remain especially important for children and young adolescents because the greatest gains in ...

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May 23 2016

FDA Changes Nutrition Facts Food Label!

  May 20, 2016 FDA News Release The FDA today finalized the new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods to reflect new scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. The new label will make it easier for consumers to make better informed food choices. Highlights of the Final Nutrition Facts Label Features a Refreshed Design The “iconic” look of the label remains, but we are making important updates to ensure consumers have access to the information they need to make informed decisions about the foods they eat. These changes include increasing the type size for “Calories,” “servings per container,” and the “Serving size” declaration, and bolding the number of calories and the “Serving size” declaration to highlight this information. Manufacturers must declare the actual amount, in addition to percent Daily Value of vitamin D, calcium, iron and potassium. They can voluntarily declare the gram amount for other vitamins and minerals. The footnote is changing to better explain what percent Daily Value means. It will read: “*The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.” Reflects Updated Information about Nutrition Science “Added sugars,” in grams and as percent Daily Value, will be included on the label. Scientific data shows that it is ...

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May 02 2016

Presidential Proclamation — National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, 2016

NATIONAL PHYSICAL FITNESS AND SPORTS MONTH, 2016 - - - - - - - BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION For generations, sports have brought Americans of all ages together and helped us celebrate our country's competitive spirit. When we work to instill an appreciation for physical fitness in our people, we do more than honor an age-old tradition -- we take a critical step toward ensuring the prospect of a long and healthy life. During National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, we highlight the importance of staying active, and we encourage all Americans to partake in physical activity to maintain their health and well-being. Sports and other forms of physical activity inspire us -- they bridge differences, unite Americans from every walk of life, and teach the importance of teamwork. Whether exploring the great outdoors or shooting hoops with friends, regular physical activity can also relieve stress, boost energy and self-esteem, and prevent numerous chronic diseases, including some of the leading causes of death, such as cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Children should engage in physical activity for at least 1 hour each day, and adults should do so for at least 30 minutes. Critical to enabling our youth to reach their fullest potential, regular exercise must go hand-in-hand with healthy eating and proper nutrition -- because our children's well-being tomorrow depends on what they eat today. This year, we ...

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Jul 31 2015

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans FAQs

Q: What is the Dietary Guidelines for Americans policy? A: The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Dietary Guidelines) provides advice for making food and physical activity choices that promote good health, a healthy weight, and help prevent disease for Americans ages 2 years and over, including Americans at increased risk of chronic disease. The recommendations are based on a rigorous review of relevant scientific evidence that occurs through a transparent process. The Dietary Guidelines serves as the cornerstone for all federal nutrition education and program activities. Q: Why is the Dietary Guidelines important? A: The Dietary Guidelines forms the basis of federal nutrition policy, education, outreach, and food assistance programs used by consumers, industry, nutrition educators, and health professionals. All federal dietary guidance for the public is required to be consistent with the Dietary Guidelines, which provides scientific basis for the government to speak in a consistent and uniform manner. The Dietary Guidelines is used in the development of print and web-based educational materials, messages, tools, and programs to communicate healthy eating and physical activity information to the public. Q: Why does the government create the Dietary Guidelines and when is it updated? A: The Dietary Guidelines is congressionally mandated under the 1990 National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act (Public Law 101-445, Section 301, Title III). This law requires that the Dietary Guidelines are based on the preponderance of current scientific and medical knowledge, ...

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Jun 02 2015

Happy Birthday to MyPlate!!!!

Celebrate MyPlate’s 4th Birthday All Week Long! //   Today is MyPlate's birthday and we want to celebrate this milestone with you! It was exactly 4 years ago today, on June 2, 2011, that MyPlate was first introduced, replacing the food guide pyramids with which many of us grew up. MyPlate has been inspiring healthy plates for 4 years! And now we have a library of MyPlates in multiple languages for you to use and share.  Adding to the English version and the Spanish MiPlato, this suite of MyPlate icons in 20 languages is accompanied by a translated tip sheet. The translated resources can be used by educators, public health groups, and others to reach more Americans with healthy eating messages based on the Dietary Guidelines. Find tips for enjoying foods from many cultures here. Join our celebration all week long on Facebook or Twitter and tell us what MyPlate means to you!

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May 10 2014

Let’s Not Forget About The Obesity Epidemic!

Childhood Obesity Facts Childhood obesity rates remain high. Overall, obesity among our nation’s young people, aged 2 to 19 years, has not changed significantly since 2003-2004 and remains at about 17 percent. • Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese. • The prevalence of obesity among children aged 2 to 5 years decreased significantly from 13.9% in 2003-2004 to 8.4% in 2011-2012. • There are significant racial and age disparities in obesity prevalence among children and adolescents. In 2011-2012, obesity prevalence was higher among Hispanics (22.4%) and non-Hispanic black youth (20.2%) than non-Hispanic white youth (14.1%). The prevalence of obesity was lower in non-Hispanic Asian youth (8.6%) than in youth who were non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black or Hispanic. • In 2011-2012, 8.4% of 2- to 5-year-olds were obese compared with 17.7% of 6- to 11-year-olds and 20.5% of 12- to 19-year-olds. Note: In children and adolescents aged 2 to 19 years, obesity was defined as a body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile of the sex-specific CDC BMI-for-age growth charts. Obesity and extreme obesity rates decline among low-income preschool children • Obesity and extreme obesity among U.S. low-income, preschool-aged children went down for the first time in recent years, according to a CDC study. • From 2003 through 2010, the prevalence of obesity decreased slightly from 15.21% to 14.94%. Similarly, the prevalence of extreme obesity decreased from 2.22% to 2.07%. • However, from 1998 through 2003, ...

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May 01 2014

NATIONAL PHYSICAL FITNESS AND SPORTS MONTH, 2014

NATIONAL PHYSICAL FITNESS AND SPORTS MONTH, 2014 - - - - - - - BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA A PROCLAMATION Sports keep children healthy, teach them to work as part of a team, and help them develop the discipline to achieve their goals. During National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, we encourage America's sons and daughters to get active and challenge everyone to join the movement for a happier, fitter Nation. For 4 years, First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative has worked with community and faith leaders, educators, health care professionals, and businesses to give our children a healthy start and empower schools to build active environments. My Administration launched the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, replacing the old Physical Fitness Test to put a stronger emphasis on students' health. We also created the new Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, which encourages all Americans to commit to eating right and getting regular exercise. Because everyone should have the chance to get active, the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition is expanding I Can Do It, You Can Do It! -- a program that creates more opportunities for Americans with disabilities to participate in fitness and sports. For more information or to learn how you can get involved, visitwww.LetsMove.gov and www.Fitness.gov. By leading more active lifestyles, we can invest in our futures and encourage our children to do the same. This month, ...

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