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Exercise holds many benefits for children

Los Altos Online – Mona Luke-Zeitoun, M.D.

“Kids need to move. From school-age up through young adulthood, kids should get at least 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. Unfortunately, most kids aren’t getting the recommended amount of daily exercise. The result? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. Following are some tips and information to help make physical activity a regular part of your child’s life for optimal good health.”(more)

Poor fitness at young age affects your child’s health later in life

WXYZ Detroit – Staff Writer

“Parents, you need to listen carefully because poor fitness at a young age affects your child’s health later in life. Over 1.1 million kids in 50 countries between the ages of 9 and 17 took part in a popular field test, the 20-meter shuttle run. How did American kids do? At the bottom. We ranked 47th place out of 50! You may be thinking it’s our western lifestyle but kids in Canada ranked much higher in 19th place. The study points to wealth inequality. Countries with large gaps between the rich and poor often had low fitness levels because poverty is linked to lower physical activity.”(more)

Pediatricians update digital media recommendations for kids

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“It’s not so bad to hand your child an iPad once in a while depending on how it’s used. Playing a game together or Skyping with Grandma? That’s OK. Helping your little one calm down or trying to keep peace in the house? Not so much. New guidelines announced by the American Academy of Pediatrics today say parents not only need to pay attention to the amount of time children spend on digital media – but also how, when and where they use it. For children ages 2 to 5, media should be limited to one hour a day, the statement says, and it should involve high-quality programming or something parents and kids can view or engage with together. With the exception of video-chatting, digital media should also be avoided in children younger than 18 months old. “Digital media has become an inevitable part of childhood for many infants, toddlers and preschoolers, but research is limited on how this affects their development,” says one of the lead authors of the statement Jenny Radesky, M.D., a developmental behavioral expert and pediatrician at University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.”(more)

Nutrition & Kids: Some facts on fast food and its effect on children

The Morning Sun – Grace Derocha

“Family schedules get hectic fast, and busy days may mean fast food. Studies found 25 percent of Americans consume fast food every day, and American children ages 6 to 14 eat it 157 million fast-food meals every month. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that close to 34 percent of children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 eat fast food every day, but many people are unaware of its long-term effects on children.”(more)

NEEF: Children’s Health Month

WKYC – Sarah Blount and Jane Chan

“October is Children’s Health Month! How does the environment affect your child’s health and wellbeing? Outside: Studies show that spending time in green, natural environments can have positive impacts on children’s mental and physical health.”(more)

Early marijuana use associated with abnormal brain function, lower IQ

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“In a new study, scientists in London, Ontario have discovered that early marijuana use may result in abnormal brain function and lower IQ. Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal substance in the world. Previous studies have suggested that frequent marijuana users, especially those who begin at a young age, are at a higher risk for cognitive dysfunction and psychiatric illness, including depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Dr. Elizabeth Osuch, a Scientist at Lawson Health Research Institute and the Dr. Joseph Rea Chair in Mood Disorders at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at Western University, is a Canadian leader in studying both mood and anxiety disorders and the effects of marijuana.”(more)