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One Simple Solution to Help Maintain Bone Health

Posted by Robert Murray, MD, FAAP @ 7:23 AM

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When my daughter was in high school I worried about her not drinking enough milk. So, every week I bought chocolate milk and put it in the refrigerator, without any editorial comment. She drank it. I was stunned. But it taught me a lesson as a dad about finding the middle ground with her. She drank it because it tasted good, while I offered it because I wanted her to meet the recommended calcium and vitamin D to help ensure lifelong bone strength. During adolescence the clock is ticking. It was a good trade, a win-win.

Chocolate MilkThat memory came back to mind when the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Nutrition updated its perspective on bone health this September in the policy statement “Optimizing Bone Health in Children and Adolescents.” The Committee recommended that clinicians monitor dairy food consumption, beverage choices and eating patterns in their patients, especially those in middle and high school years. The statement reminded me of how far we have to go in improving the dietary pattern of children and adolescents. Read the rest of this entry »

Schools Nationwide Celebrate “Get in the Game with School Lunch”

Posted by Emily Mannel @ 8:59 AM

Emily.Mannel

October 13-17 marked National School Lunch Week (NSLW). This weeklong celebration of the National School Lunch Program encouraged parents, students, and the school community to embrace healthier lifestyles and “Get in the Game with School Lunch.”

The “Get in the Game” theme, which emphasized the importance of physical activity and healthy lifestyles, was fun for everyone – schools celebrated with special sport-themed costumes, guest servers in the cafeteria, decorations, and special activities. In many districts, students were joined in the cafeteria by their parents and grandparents, local news anchors, principals, and other special guests. Here’s a look at how some schools celebrated:

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Going on a Fun Run: All for the Love of Play

Posted by Christine Cliff, MPH, RDN, LDN @ 7:37 AM

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Growing up, my parents signed me up for all kinds of activities, including ballet, soccer and tee-ball. Beyond the organized sports, my brothers and I loved to played pick-up baseball games and even “ghost in the graveyard.” Needless to say, I had many opportunities to get active and develop my love of play.

Today, many kids don’t have this same great opportunity for activity. They may be unable to play outside in their own neighborhoods due to safety concerns. Recess and/or physical education is even being completely eliminated in some school districts making it challenging for kids to get the activity they need during the school day.

So, how does this decrease in play and activity affect kids? Their learning in school and even their bone health can be negatively affected.

Do not despair. There is hope. Four students from Mission Middle School in Escondido, Calif., showed me that despite their challenges with neighborhood safety they love to play and get active, thanks to Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60). Through this in-school nutrition and physical activity program, Nomi, Alexis, Wendy and Manny helped create a Hip-Hop Club at their school so kids can have fun as they get active. Read the rest of this entry »

Good Nutrition: A Solution to Impact Both Childhood Hunger and Obesity

Posted by Judith Jarvis, MS, RDN @ 9:20 AM

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It seems counterintuitive that hunger and overweight can coexist in the same individual, family, or community. Yet the truth is that poverty can make people more vulnerable to hunger as well as obesity – and many of those affected are children. A session I attended at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) in Atlanta explained why low income, food insecure people are especially vulnerable to obesity and demonstrated how two organizations in Georgia – the Georgia Food Bank Association and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Strong4Life program – partnered to address these issues. They discovered that in both hunger and obesity, the key to better health for children and families is good nutrition and improved access to nutrient-rich foods.

Michele Chivore, MBA, of the Georgia Food Bank Association, made the connection between childhood hunger and obesity clear. She explained that among the food insecure, the following factors often contribute to obesity: Read the rest of this entry »

Fueled to the Finish and Beyond: What I Eat During and After A Long Run

Posted by Stephanie Cundith, MS, RD, LD @ 9:16 AM

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I finished! You may recall from my previous post that I was training for a 50 mile race. Well I am happy to tell you that I successfully completed and recovered from the race and I couldn’t have done it without proper nutrition.

I know I talked to you about pre-race nutrition tips in my last post, I would like to follow-up with nutrition tips during and after a run as they are equally as important. I hope you will find these tips helpful no matter if you’re training yourself or sharing with your active clients. Read the rest of this entry »

SMILE: School Meals Improve Learning Environments

Posted by Kristin Schrieber, MS, RD, LDN @ 7:10 AM

Kristin Schrieber

How do you feel when you are hungry? Irritable, distracted, restless? Imagine starting your day that way.

A nutritious breakfast can help students be ready for a day of learning. But when one in five children live in households that are food insecure, and the number of school breakfasts served is only about half of school lunches, many students fall short on nutrients needed for growth and development. They also miss out on the nutrition that may help them reach their full academic potential. That’s why school experts came together with National Dairy Council and Sodexo at this year’s School Breakfast Summit to help stop hunger and improve nutrition in the school environment.

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What’s so special about breakfast? Research indicates that the simple act of eating school breakfast can help academic performance, which, in turn, can help dramatically change a child’s life. In a systematic review of 45 studies that measured the effects of breakfast versus no breakfast on cognitive performance between 1950 and 2008 nearly all showed at least one positive effect, particularly in undernourished children.

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The Complex Yet Simple Food Called Milk

Posted by Gregory Miller, PhD, FACN @ 8:48 AM

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As I was taking the train home one evening, I pulled a review paper out of my briefcase on milk composition and its role in human health that I had been meaning to read. The paper described the essential role nutrients in milk play in growth and development, immune function, and nutrient transport and absorption. I read about the different proteins (at least 10) and fatty acids (more than 400) in milk and their functional benefits — at first dutifully — then with a rekindled sense of wonder at the complexity and health-promoting qualities of this seemingly simple food called cow’s milk.

One component of milk that illustrates its complexity is protein. When we think about milk as a good source of protein, we might discuss its benefits for increasing satiety and for helping to maintain bone and muscle health when part of a higher protein diet. However, this paper delves into other functions of milk proteins that help illustrate the unique function for each type of protein. For example, Read the rest of this entry »

At Least 3 Reasons to Play with the Kids This Fall

Posted by Judith Jarvis, MS, RDN @ 2:36 PM

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Playing outside together is one of the best family activities there is – especially in the fall. It sounds idyllic – playing touch football in the backyard with mom, dad, brothers and sisters; raking leaves as a family and jumping in them (then bagging them); riding bikes through the neighborhood or in a forest preserve, doing a 5K walk/run together.

As health and wellness professionals, you can encourage families you counsel to bring play home this fall. In addition to burning calories, relieving stress, improving relationships, and making memories, playing together as a family can help promote health for children and adults alike.

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Here are at least three reasons why kids should be encouraged to play and why the adults in their life should play with them:

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Embracing Powerful Partnerships

Posted by Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN, LDN @ 3:09 PM

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When it comes to championing change and helping empower people to make better choices to improve their health, public-private partnerships are critical. What makes them so powerful is the chance for people to come together because they share a common goal, even if at first blush, seem to be unlikely collaborators. At this year’s Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE), we were thrilled to share the stage with Dr. David Satcher, the 16th U.S. Surgeon General to talk about this very thing. Dr. Satcher shared an inspiring story highlighting just how powerful collaboration can be from his time as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“You might remember the eradication of polio,” said Dr. Satcher. “Out of a shared commitment with Rotary International came one of the most striking public-private partnerships in history. Fifty-seven thousand employees of Rotary showed up in the streets of India to help get children immunized. The business community can help bring tremendous resources to the table to make a difference.”

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A different, but equally important partnership started 13 years ago when Dr. Satcher released the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity, the first among many reports to recommend engagement in public-private partnerships to improve child health. National Dairy Council began working with Dr. Satcher and many others from the nutrition, health, education, business, government and NGO sectors to find solutions to improve the future of our youth — which resulted in the formation of Action for Healthy Kids, Fuel Up to Play 60 and the GENYOUth Foundation. Read the rest of this entry »

Connecting the Dots: Reducing the Burden of Type 2 Diabetes and Kidney Disease

Posted by Judith Jarvis, MS, RDN @ 1:32 PM

Judith.Jarvis

I just attended an educational session at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Exhibition (FNCE) in Atlanta that was all about connections. There are indirect connections between prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and its primary risk factors, which are type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) can also make new connections as they embrace new roles and responsibilities available for helping people manage these conditions.

Desmond Williams, MD, PhD, CKD Initiative Team Lead at the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), gave an overview of the burden of CKD, its risk factors, and how activities for CKD  are coordinated to provide a unified nationwide response. The National Chronic Kidney Disease Fact Sheet, 2014 for the public and the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2014 for health professionals are available from the CDC.

We learned:

  • The CDC estimates that more than 10 percent of adults in the United States – more than 20 million people – may have CKD.
  • Over the last 10 years prevalence of CKD has increased dramatically, so prevention is key.
  • Hypertension and diabetes account for 70 percent of CKD cases.

Since 2001 there has been a reduction in new cases of ESRD and death.  The message was clear that managing blood sugar levels and blood pressure goes a long way in preventing CKD in the first place and helps slow its progression to end-stage renal disease, dialysis, transplant or death. Thankfully, progress has been made in reaching Healthy People 2020 goals related to diabetes and chronic kidney disease as this report shows. Read the rest of this entry »