January 2015 | Hotlunch.com | 1-888-376-7136

[Volume 7, Issue 1]

Lack of Exercise Worse Than Being Obese

Obesity has been associated with a greater risk of health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer. And it's not a stretch to believe that a lack of exercise goes along with obesity. A new study suggests it may be worse.

Lack of exercise more deadly than obesity, study suggests

This news story published by HealthDay describes a study that examined the potential impact of physical activity on people who were at normal weight, overweight and obese. They found a decreased risk of early death by as much as 30 percent. And we're only talking about 20 minutes of walking, or so, every day.

What to do at home and school:

  • Get kids active early - that's what Phys Ed is all about.
  • Have kids keep track of the times they walk or exercise every day. Have them make take-home physical activity diaries to share with family members.
  • Be a role model - whether you're a parent or a teacher, make sure the kids see that you are physically active every day.
Weight Loss Surgery for Adolescents

Young people who are obese also have the chronic health problems that go with it such as sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. One treatment for adult morbid obesity is bariatric surgery. But does this seem too drastic for kids?

As obesity crisis spreads among adolescents, hospital ramps up weight-loss surgery program

This news story from NJ.com describes a new weight loss surgery program for adolescents at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at Robert Wood John University Hospital in New Jersey. The procedure is growing, although it is still rare. According to the story, more than 1,500 kids had the surgery in 2009. Success rates for kids are about the same as for adults - up to 75 percent of the excess weight is lost within two years.

Recess Promotes Healthy Eating

Burning off some steam with recess before lunch might just lead to making better food choices, says a new study. As you know, kids need to pick a fruit and a vegetable side at lunch, but they may wind up in the trash. But this new study says that having recess first might change that.

Recess promotes healthy eating by school kids: study

Here's another news story from HealthDay. It describes a new study that finds kids eat better when recess is scheduled before lunch. But why? Well, the authors say it could be that when kids eat lunch first, they rush through their meals so they can get to their playtime. Turning that around might not only increase hunger but give the kids the time they need to finish their meals.

What to do at school:

  • Check the schedules - is it possible to make lunch and recess switches?
  • Talk to those kids and tell them why they need to take a little extra time to finish their veggies.
  • Go back to basics and make sure kids know why they need to eat healthy foods every day.
Obese Preschoolers Slim Down in Preschool Settings

Obesity starts young in some cases, and many preschoolers, and their families struggle with the excess weight. A new study suggests that preschool and day care programs might be one way for little kids to get help.

Obese preschoolers may slim down with head start, study says

This news story from the Associated Press describes a study that looked at almost 44,000 preschoolers who were enrolled in Head Start programs in Michigan. They found that many kids reduced their weight by the time they started kindergarten. Perhaps programs like Head Start that target impoverished families can help these kids by providing healthier meals and a more 'normalizing' environment. Why do I say that? Because it may be good for preschoolers who are underweight as well.
Milk and Similar Beverages Good for Rehydrating

You've probably seen the various 'recovery' drinks on the market, such as Gatorade and Powerade. The combination of carbohydrates and electrolytes is formulated to help the body recover after a heavy-duty work out. A few years back I remember learning that chocolate milk was perfectly suited for that task. Now a new study says similar beverages work too.

Milk and milk drinks 'more effective rehydration options' than Powerade: Study

This story from Food Navigator describes a study that compared various milk-based drinks for rehydration potential. They included full cream milk, soy milk, and a couple of milk-based meal replacement type drinks. They found that milk and milk-based drinks could be more effective than typical sports drinks.

About HotLunch.com

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  • Save up to 60 % of the time and resources you currently spend running your Hotlunch program.

  • Reduce errors, increase profits for you school and bring outstanding payments down to zero.

  • Hotlunch.com has been used by schools all over the nation  to manage after school care, volunteer recruitment, capital campaigns and much more!

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How Do People Decide What To Eat?

The main reason we choose the foods we eat is because we're hungry and we want to fill our stomachs. But, there's more to it than that or we wouldn't have so many different varieties of foods and flavors to choose from. So, in no particular order are the reasons we eat what we eat:

It's tasty. We love foods that taste good and have the right texture. Think of a big piece of chocolate cake with thick fudge frosting that melts in your mouth. Or a juicy steak, or roast corn on the cob... whatever it is that you love. If you hate the flavor or texture of something, you're probably not going to eat it.

It's available. When you get the munchies in the middle of the night, you're probably going to grab something from your fridge or kitchen cabinets. Maybe it isn't the most delicious thing, but it's right there. You can eat it and go back to sleep. On a larger scale, we tend to eat the foods that are easy to find in our local grocery stores and restaurants. Cost is an important factor too. Your budget might limit your choice a little bit or a lot.

It's socially acceptable. Have you ever sat down at a pizza restaurant with your friends thinking how you should order just a salad, but you were afraid they'd all think you were weird? How people in our social circles see us has an impact on the foods we choose. It can work the opposite way too if you make healthy choices because your mom is watching you.

Emotional reasons. Most people have specific comfort foods they reach for when they're feeling sad or lonely. Maybe those foods remind you of home or a special memory so they make you feel better. It's like a hug on a plate. But the connection between food and mood can be negative - like punishing a child by sending him to bed without dinner, or having such strong emotions that you lose your appetite altogether.

Cultural choices. Do you favor foods that are connected to your family's origin or culture? In the United States, we love our hamburgers and hot dogs, and there are specific foods attached to many holidays. People in other countries prefer different national foods, and religions can impact your food choices, as well.

Health issues. Your current state of health can be a concern. People with conditions like celiac disease, food allergies, phenylkentonuria and lactose intolerance must avoid certain foods or they'll get sick. People, who follow diets to prevent or help treat diabetes and heart disease, or to lose weight, also make food choices based on their health.

More About School Lunches, Nutrition and Healthy Kids

Total milk intake dropped by nearly half when chocolate milk removed from Canadian school program

More evidence that healthy living works wonders for women's hearts

Health-promoting Nordic diet reduces inflammatory gene activity in adipose tissue

Why we love the pain of spicy food

About Shereen Jegtvig

Shereen Jegtvig is a health and nutrition writer with two decades of experience counseling people on nutrition and diet. She has a master’s degree in human nutrition and is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Association of Health Care Journalists.

Shereen writes about nutrition for the large website About.com (http://nutrition.about.com), is co-author of Superfoods for Dummies (http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470445394.html) and Clinical Anatomy for Dummies (http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118116437.html). She also teaches Evidence Based Nutrition to nutrition graduate students at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut.