- Compared to kids who use cash in school cafeterias, kids who use debit cards seem to make more unhealthful eating choices, finds behavioral economist Brian Wansink at Cornell University.
- The Mississippi State Medical Association and State Department of Health released their sixth annual health report for the state on Wednesday, and according to at least one physician, the state failed… But he said most of Mississippi’s worst health statistics would see dramatic improvements if Mississippi schools made healthy eating and exercise a priority.
- Obese American adults die an average of almost four years earlier than those with normal weight, and middle-aged obese adults face the highest risk of an early death, a new study suggests.
- Working-age adults consumed an average of 118 fewer calories a day in the 2009-10 period than four years earlier, according to a study released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Americans also reported eating more home-cooked meals with their families and fewer in restaurants—though the economy played a role—and reading nutritional labels on food at grocery stores more often. The latest findings add to growing evidence that suggests the nation's eating habits may be taking a more healthful turn.
- Judy Schrock takes great pride in preparing healthy meals for the kids at East Middle School. “I come here every day for these kids,” said Schrock, a food service employee for Great Falls Public Schools. “I love working with these kids and making sure they get fed well.” She and her fellow food service workers, along with physical education teachers, are also taking great pride in the fact that 17 of the 20 schools in Great Falls have recently earned bronze or silver HealthierUS awards from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- 14 public and charter schools in the District have overhauled recess dramatically to make playtime a priority. Each of those schools has a Playworks coach who helps facilitate playground activities. A nonprofit organization started in Oakland, Calif., in 1996, Playworks champions recess not only for its health benefits, but for the opportunities it creates to teach children conflict resolution skills.
- We think poverty makes people obese and that obesity makes people poor. It's harder to understand exactly why.
- Investing in a broad school health program could lead to in-school and at-home benefits for students, a new Canadian study hints. Children increased their daily physical activity on both school days and weekends in the years after schools hired a full-time health facilitator and set healthy living goals, researchers found.
- A mobile farmer's market could soon ride to the rescue of Orange County's "food deserts." Advocates are pushing the idea of customizing and stocking a retired LYNX bus with fresh fruits and vegetables to sell in low-income communities where full-service grocery stores and transportation options are limited.
- The Salem Health and Wellness Foundation has been working for over 10 years to promote the overall health of the residents of Salem County, but have recently started to focus their efforts on some key issues facing the area. Executive Director Brenda Goins said the foundation has created the Healthy Kids, Bright Futures initiative that looks to tackle childhood obesity and teen pregnancy in the county.
Most students are exposed in school to efforts by food and beverage companies to sell food or gain brand loyalty, despite a decline in some kinds of commercial enterprises, including in soda machine contracts, researchers reported Monday. High school students get the most exposure, and for almost 64% of elementary school students, the most common type of commercialism is food coupons distributed as incentives, the researchers wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. Pediatrics.
Editor’s Note: This study was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through its national research program Bridging the Gap.
- While the U.S. teen obesity rate has leveled off in recent years, a new study shows that the problem is actually worsening for kids from less-affluent families.
- Surrounded by vast, flat landscapes where farmers and field hands harvest corn, lettuce and food crops headed to tables across the country, many who live [in Imperial County, CA] pick vegetables by day but struggle to feed their children at night.