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Does Your Family Get Enough Sleep? If Not, Your Kids May be at a Higher Risk for Obesity

Sleep is important for a number of reasons, but a study has discovered a new one you may not know about. According to research from the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES), the amount of sleep you get can impact your kids’ obesity risk.

child sleeping

The study states the amount of sleep parents get is connected to the amount of sleep their children get. The more parents are sleeping, the more children are sleeping, and more child sleep is connected to decreased childhood obesity.

“Parents should make being well rested a family value and a priority,” said Barbara H. Fiese, director of the University of Illinois’ Family Resiliency Center.

“Sleep routines in a family affect all the members of the household, not just children; we know that parents won’t get a good night’s sleep unless and until their preschool children are sleeping.”

It has been shown that not getting enough sleep can lead to moms, dads, and their children gaining weight.
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Early Exposure to Allergens May Reduce Risk of Allergies, Asthma

It may sound a little gross, but a new study suggests that infants exposed to rodent and pet dander, roach allergens, and a variety of household bacteria in their first year of life appear less likely to develop allergies and asthma.

baby and puppy

The study was conducted by scientists from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and other institutions, and was published June 6 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. It showed that early exposure to bacteria and some specific allergens could have an effect on shaping immune responses in young children.

This may help prevent allergies and asthma later in life.


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We’re Not Making Grades, and Our Kids are Paying for It

A report card was just released on physical activity for kids in the United States. Sadly, if the U.S. were a student, it would definitely be going to summer school.

active kids

The first-ever United States Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth was devised as a way to evaluate the levels of physical and sedentary activity in American kids. Those who created the card hope it can be used to demonstrate how important physical activity is, and why people need to do what they can to make sure kids get more of it.


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Sports Drinks: Bad for Kids’ Health and Behavior

sports drinks

Scientists recently discovered an unsettling connection between sports and energy drinks and teenagers. There appears to be a pretty strong link between consumption of the beverage to bad behavior, according to a recent research study published in the Journal of Nutritional Education and Behavior. And while it may not be a surprise that kids hopped up on caffeine might misbehave more than those who stay clear of Redbull and the like, the same trend applies to sports drinks, which were used by about 33-percent of the teens polled.

What, exactly, are kids who drink these beverages up to?  The researchers concluded that both male and female teenagers who consume a high number of sports and energy drinks each week are more likely to smoke, drink other worse-for-you beverages, and actually spend more time in front of the computer or television.

Could Gatorade be the gateway drug for more bad behavior?
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Stop. Just Stop Calling Girls Fat.

I’d bet there’s one thing girls are called more than anything else: Fat. Some hear it from their classmates, others from their friends, still others from their family. Eventually many hear it from themselves. In a UCLA study, more than 2,000 girls were surveyed and 58 percent of them had been told they were too fat by the age of 10.

girls

Soak that in for a moment. More than half of 10 year-old-girls have heard the words “you’re fat.”

Unfortunately, that’s not the worst of it. The study measured the heights and weights at the beginning of the study, and again nine years later. Those who had been told they were fat were 1.66 times more likely to be obese when they were 19.


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