FRUIT AND VEGETABLE INTAKE STILL TOO LOW; HUMAN NUTRITIONIST SAYS TO FOCUS ON LUNCH
From FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Released: 19-Aug-2014
Source Newsroom: Kansas State University
Newswise — MANHATTAN, Kansas — Changes to a supplemental nutrition program are improving the number of fruits eaten daily by children, but kids and adults still aren’t reaching the recommended daily intake amounts. A Kansas State University human nutritionist says to reach that amount, you need to focus on lunch.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that children between the ages of 2 and 18 are eating more whole fruits and drinking less fruit juice, while vegetable intake remains the same. Sandy Procter, assistant professor of human nutrition and coordinator of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program in the university’s College of Human Ecology, says the switch from fruit juice to whole fruit is a big improvement.
“This is a really positive sign for that age group because that is where we were seeing a lot of concern with overconsumption of fruit juice,” Procter said. “There has been a real concerted effort to get the message out to well-meaning parents and caregivers that even though 100 percent fruit juice is very nutritious, it is very high in calories. When it is over-served to young children, it can cause diarrhea and contribute to obesity.”
Procter attributes the fruit intake improvements to changes made to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC. In 2007 on a trial basis, the WIC program began allowing the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables and decreasing the amount of money available for fruit juice. The changes went into effect for all on the program in January 2014.
Despite the improvement, most children and adults are not getting enough fruits and vegetables. According to the 2013 State Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables from the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, the average American eats one serving of fruit and 1.3 servings of vegetables per day. In Kansas, the percent of people who reported consuming fruit less than one time a day is 41 percent. For vegetables, 22 percent reported eating less than one serving of vegetables a day, with French fries included as a vegetable option.
“We talk about five servings a day being pretty easy to accomplish and while it may be easy, we are not getting there,” Procter said. “I think as parents are preparing for back to school, it’s important to realize that it’s fairly simple to accomplish — you just have to plan ahead.”
Procter emphasizes lunch as the most important meal for fruit and vegetable consumption and says that if these nutritious components aren’t included in lunch, it is very hard to reach the recommended five servings a day of fruits and vegetables. She also says improving dietary patterns in children will lead to healthier food habits later in life.
CHILDREN’S DRAWINGS INDICATE LATER INTELLIGENCE
From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton 18 Aug.2014. Stone Hearth Newsletter – Eureka Alert – Kings College London
How 4-year old children draw pictures of a child is an indicator of intelligence at age 14, according to a study by King’s College London, published today in Psychological Science.
The researchers studied 7,752 pairs of identical and non-identical twins (a total of 15,504 children) from the Medical Research Council (MRC) funded Twins Early Development Study (TEDS), and found that the link between drawing and later intelligence was influenced by genes.
At the age of 4, children were asked by their parents to complete a ‘Draw-a-Child’ test, i.e. draw a picture of a child. Each figure was scored between 0 and 12 depending on the presence and correct quantity of features such as head, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hair, body, arms etc. For example, a drawing with two legs, two arms, a body and head, but no facial features, would score 4. The children were also given verbal and non-verbal intelligence tests at ages 4 and 14.
The researchers found that higher scores on the Draw-a-Child test were moderately associated with higher scores of intelligence at ages 4 and 14. The correlation between drawing and intelligence was moderate at ages 4 (0.33) and 14 (0.20).
Dr Rosalind Arden, lead author of the paper from the MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP) Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, says: “The Draw-a-Child test was devised in the 1920’s to assess children’s intelligence, so the fact that the test correlated with intelligence at age 4 was expected. What surprised us was that it correlated with intelligence a decade later.”
“The correlation is moderate, so our findings are interesting, but it does not mean that parents should worry if their child draws badly. Drawing ability does not determine intelligence, there are countless factors, both genetic and environmental, which affect intelligence in later life.”
The researchers also measured the heritability of figure drawing. Identical twins share all their genes, whereas non-identical twins only share about 50 percent, but each pair will have a similar upbringing, family environment and access to the same materials.
Overall, at age 4, drawings from identical twins pairs were more similar to one another than drawings from non-identical twin pairs. Therefore, the researchers concluded that differences in children’s drawings have an important genetic link. They also found that drawing at age 4 and intelligence at age 14 had a strong genetic link.
Dr Arden explains: “This does not mean that there is a drawing gene – a child’s ability to draw stems from many other abilities, such as observing, holding a pencil etc. We are a long way off understanding how genes influence all these different types of behaviour.”
Dr Arden adds: “Drawing is an ancient behaviour, dating back beyond 15,000 years ago. Through drawing, we are attempting to show someone else what’s in our mind. This capacity to reproduce figures is a uniquely human ability and a sign of cognitive ability, in a similar way to writing, which transformed the human species’ ability to store information, and build a civilisation.”
With the help of over 10,000 active families, the Twins Early Development Study is one of the world’s premier studies of how genes and environments shape our development from birth to young adulthood. TEDS is funded by the Medical Research Council, with additional support from the US National Institutes of Health. The study is based at King’s College London, under the leadership of Professor Robert Plomin, who has been ranked among the 100 most eminent psychologists in the history of science. The TEDS researchers use the latest discoveries in psychology and genetics to untangle the complex interplay between nature and nurture.
About King’s College London
King’s College London is one of the top 20 universities in the world (2013/14 QS World University Rankings) and the fourth oldest in England. It is The Sunday Times ‘Best University for Graduate Employment 2012/13′. King’s has nearly 26,000 students (of whom more than 10,600 are graduate students) from some 140 countries worldwide, and more than 7,000 staff. The College is in the second phase of a £1 billion redevelopment programme which is transforming its estate.
King’s has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise for British universities, 23 departments were ranked in the top quartile of British universities; over half of our academic staff work in departments that are in the top 10 per cent in the UK in their field and can thus be classed as world leading. The College is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of nearly £590 million.
King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King’s Health Partners. King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world’s leading research-led universities and three of London’s most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services.
STUDY FINDS WOMEN SEEK ANTI-AGING CLINICIANS FOR MENOPAUSAL SYMPTOMS
From FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton Released: 19-Aug-2014 8:00
Source Newsroom: Case Western Reserve University – Citations 109th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association
Newswise — Feeling that conventional doctors did not take their suffering seriously, women instead sought out hormonal treatments for menopausal symptoms from anti-aging clinicians, according to a Case Western Reserve University study that investigated the appeal of anti-aging medicine.
Some women also feared the harmful side effects from conventional hormone replacement therapy (HRT) that had shown increased risks for cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure. Yet, they thought that the bioidentical, “natural” hormones their anti-aging doctors prescribed were safe, despite a lack of conventional scientific evidence to that fact.
Michael Flatt, a doctoral candidate in sociology at Case Western Reserve University, and Jennifer Fishman, assistant professor at McGill University, will discuss these and other findings during the presentation “‘Hormones Are Where It’s At’: Bioidentical Hormones, Menopausal Women, and Anti-Aging Medicine” on Monday, Aug. 18, at the 109th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, Aug. 16-19, in San Francisco.
The findings about the women’s attitudes are part of a larger study in the Department of Bioethics at Case Western Reserve that investigated the views of scientists, doctors and patients involved with anti-aging science and medicine.
The researchers, who conducted the study with Richard Settersten Jr., professor of public health at Oregon State University, explored what it was about anti-aging medicine that appealed to women, given that the costs for care and prescribed medications were not covered by medical insurance.
Was it vanity to maintain their youthful appearance or some other motivation?
Findings from in-depth interviews with 25 women who used bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) prescribed by an anti-aging clinician bucked the vanity-driven stereotype.
Instead, Flatt said the women told researchers they wanted to relieve their menopausal symptoms, feel energized and avoid chronic illnesses associated with aging. The women also described their motivation as wanting to return to an “optimal” state and believed that bioidentical hormones would do this.
“Hormones became the panacea reported by the women,” Flatt said. “They felt that if the hormones were in order, they’d be back on track.”
The anti-aging clinicians prescribed BHRT after the women took a series of tests to determine the causes of their menopausal symptoms, which purportedly included hormonal and vitamin deficiencies.
They were prescribed BHRT, hormones derived from plants, like soy and yams. The hormonal therapies are unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration and made to order by compounding pharmacists.
Among the reasons the women said they found anti-aging medicine attractive were:
• Patients received more time and attention from the clinician.
• Medications were seen as “natural” and thought to return one to an optimal state of being.
• BHRT was perceived as safer than conventional hormone replacement therapy.