Local Efforts Seek To Reduce Childhood Obesity; Sleep-Deprived Kids Most VulnerableNPR: "[A] new study finds that even for infants and preschoolers, a good, long night's sleep may be just as important as diet and physical activity. Over the past three decades, obesity rates have doubled among children age 2 to 5, and tripled among 6- to 11-year-olds. So University of Washington maternal and child health researcher Janice Bell wanted to know whether sleep had anything to do with it. She looked at federal data collected on nearly 2,000 children and compared those who slept 10 hours or more a night with those who slept less. She also looked at how much the children weighed over a five-year period. The most striking findings had to do with infants and toddlers. The study appears in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine" (Neighmond, 9/7).
The New York Times: "New York City schoolchildren are as heavy, or perhaps even heavier, than the national average, despite the Bloomberg administration's dogged efforts to improve the health of city residents, according to new data from the city's health department. Two out of five, or 40 percent, of the nearly 637,000 children in kindergarten through the eighth grade were found to be overweight or obese in the 2008-9 school year. Those rates were the same as in the previous year" (Hartocollis, 9/4).
The Washington Post: "This school year, all Montgomery County [Md.] schools began posting nutrition information in cafeterias to help their young calorie-counters and encourage healthier choices. They also did it to comply with a new county law that requires food outlets with more than 20 locations to post calorie information for items served. The change comes during a national effort to combat childhood obesity and improve the quality and healthfulness of the foods children eat. First Lady Michelle Obama has advocated for a child nutrition bill that would increase federal spending on school food and tighten limits on fat and sodium contents. The Senate approved the bill last month, and the House is expected to do so this fall" (Birnbaum, 9/6). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.