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USDA delays healthy school lunch requirements

The Hill – Lydia Wheeler

“The Trump administration is delaying Obama-era requirements aimed at making school meals healthier for kids. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released an interim final rule Wednesday allowing schools to serve flavored one-percent milk and get a state exemption to serve grains that are not whole-grain rich through the 2018-2019 school year. Schools under the rule also get out of having to further reduce sodium levels in breakfasts and lunches next year.”(more)

Less than 50 percent of U.K. adolescents eat fruit or veg daily

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Less than 50 per cent of adolescents in the UK eat fruit or vegetables every day, according to the latest research from the University of St Andrews. However, in a new international study, researchers also found that young people in the UK are eating fewer sweets and drinking less fizzy juice than they did 15 years ago. The findings are part of an international WHO (World Health Organization) report into childhood obesity to be presented at a major meeting in Portugal today (Wednesday 17 May 2017). The report, which looked at the health and wellbeing of young people around the world, examined their behaviours over a 12 year period (2002 to 2014).”(more)

Being overweight in childhood may heighten lifetime risk of depression

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“New research presented at this year’s European Congress on Obesity suggests that being overweight, especially from a young age, may substantially increase the lifetime risk of major depression. The study by Deborah Gibson-Smith from VU University Medical Center in the Netherlands and colleagues found that being overweight at age 8 or 13 was associated with more than triple the risk of developing major depression at some point in their lives, whilst carrying excess weight over a lifetime (both as a child and as an adult) quadrupled the chance of developing depression compared to only being overweight as an adult.”(more)

Child’s Play Is Good for All of Us

The New York Times – Gretchen Reynolds

“If all of the children who currently are sedentary started exercising every day, societies could save enormous amounts of money in the coming decades and have healthier citizens as a whole, according to a remarkable new study. In the United States alone, we could expect to save more than $120 billion every year in health care and associated expenses.”(more)

Garden-enhanced intervention improved BMI and nutrition knowledge of California students

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“The factors that affect rates of childhood obesity are complex. For example, parent feeding practices have been shown to be influential, but that influence has also been shown to change with age. Factors such as access to fruits and vegetables and the availability of safe space for physical exercise have also been associated with a risk for obesity. Because schools can act as a focal point for engaging students, families, educators, administrators, and community members, researchers implemented and evaluated a multicomponent, school-based nutrition intervention in an attempt to improve children’s dietary behaviors and prevent childhood obesity. Their results are published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.”(more)

White House relaxes Obama-era healthy school lunch rules

BBC – Staff Writer

“The Trump administration has loosened nutritional standards aimed at making US school lunches healthier that were championed by former first lady Michelle Obama. New Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue postponed reductions in sodium, relaxed requirements for whole grains and allowed sweetened flavoured milk back. One in five US children is obese, the US government says. More than 30m mostly poor children eat federally-funded school lunches. The 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act made federal grants for meals conditional on reductions in calories, sodium and trans fat content and increases in fruit, vegetables and whole grains.”(more)