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For children, exercise may help stave off depression

The Globe and Mail – Dave McGinn

“One more reason to make your kids put down screens and go play outside. Multiple studies have found a link between physical activity and lower rates of depression in adults and teens. Now, researchers have shown the same correlation exists for children as young as 6. In a study published in this month’s journal Pediatrics, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology tracked nearly 800 children for two years, beginning when they were six years old. The children’s parents were interviewed about their children’s mental health. Accelerometers were used to measure each child’s physical activity. Consistent with previous studies of adults and teenagers, the researchers found that two years later, the physically active kids had fewer symptoms of depression.”(more)

Parents struggle to keep the junk food out of little mouths

USA Today – Jueun Choi

“The survey results are positive in the sense that most parents recognize that healthy eating is the goal, Clark said. But there’s a problem if one in four parents in the country acknowledge that their kids’ diet is not the ideal, she said. Parents face several day-to-day challenges, but the main problem (70%) behind an unhealthy diet is the high cost of healthy food. The next reason (60%) is children’s preference for sugary and fatty food. Parents with a low-income level and low education have a hard time determining which foods are healthy (52%), or those food are unavailable where they shop (23%). Research shows that frequent consumption of fast food leads to heart disease, obesity, headaches, acne, high blood pressure, dental problems and high cholesterol. Diet also affects mental health.”(more)

Teach kids heart-healthy habits for lifelong health

The Apopka Voice – Reggie Connell

“Kids have amazing resiliency. And while it may seem like childhood naturally brings with it an endless stream of junk food and video games, science is showing us the importance of early cardiac health as the heart may not be as forgiving. “In pediatric cardiology, much of the focus is on congenital heart disease, but the fact is that your child is much more likely to die of acquired heart disease in their lifetime” states Dr. Matthew Zussman, Medical Director of Pediatric Interventional Cardiology at the Florida Hospital for Children. Dr. Zussman further explains why conversations about heart health must start young.”(more)

Is Swimming the Best Exercise for Children with Asthma?

Health Line – Gigen Mammoser

“It’s cold outside, which means it can be difficult to get anyone, let alone kids, up off the couch to exercise. And if your child has asthma that can present concerns. In the United States, asthma affects 1 in 11 children, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). And a cold, dry winter can make these youngsters even more susceptible to the condition. Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the airways — or bronchial tubes — inside the lungs. What can be problematic for children with asthma is how exercise, or any kind of strenuous activity — games of tag or school soccer matches — can affect the disease.”(more)

Children’s Dental Health Month: Oral habits to practice

WMBF NBC – Christel Bell

“February is Children Dental Health Month, a time to remind parents and caregivers the importance of teaching children good oral health habits. Jessica Thomas, with Sawgrass Pediatric Dentistry in Carolina Forest, said regular six-month checkups for children are recommended. “This is just to set up a guideline for how things should be going and how everything looks,” Thomas said. “We just like for them to (do so) early so we can get them on the right track.” Thomas says regular cleanings are important, especially for small teeth.”(more)

Fructose consumption linked to the increase of liver disease among adolescents and children

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Recent research suggests that dietary fructose intake may increase serum uric acid concentrations and that both uric acid concentration and fructose consumption may be increased in individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Investigators have now established that both dietary fructose consumption and serum uric acid concentrations are independently associated with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Their conclusions are published in the Journal of Hepatology.”(more)