BUSM /BMC Researcher Receives Grant to Examine Food Insecurity in Households with a Child with Special Healthcare Needs
For Immediate Release, June 12, 2013
Contact: Jenny Eriksen Leary, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617-638-6841
(Boston) – Ruth Rose-Jacobs, ScD, associate professor of pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and a research scientist at Boston Medical Center (BMC), has received funding for a two-year study to examine the association between the presence of young children with special healthcare needs in households and food insecurity. Rose-Jacobs, also a child development researcher with Children’s HealthWatch, is the principal investigator (PI) on this $249,984 grant awarded by the University of Kentucky’s Research Program on Childhood Hunger, which is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutritional Service.
Children with special health care needs (SHCN) are children who have, or are at increased risk for a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or emotional condition and require health and related services of a type or amount beyond that required by children generally. The research project will examine the impact of having a young child with SHCN on child and/or household food insecurity in low-income households. Food insecurity is not being able to afford enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members. According to the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs, approximately 15 percent of US children under the age of 17 have SHCN. Households with versus without a child with SHCN are more likely to live at or near the poverty level. The presence of a child with SHCN is associated with lower overall household adult employment due to the increased care needs of the child, which may be associated with family material hardships.
“We anticipate that households with a child with SHCN suffer disproportionately from food insecurity,” said Rose-Jacobs, who is one of three recipients of these two-year grants on food insecurity. “This study could have important implications for the expansion of food insecurity screening and inform practice in federal and state nutrition and non-nutrition assistance programs aimed at reducing food insecurity and other material hardships.
The study will take place at safety-net hospitals in Baltimore, Boston, Little Rock, Ark., Minneapolis and Philadelphia.
In 2011, approximately 25 percent of American households with children under 6 years of age were food insecure at some point during the year, according to data from the USDA’s Economic Research Service. According to Children’s HealthWatch (www.childrenshealthwatch.org), children from food insecure households, when compared to those from food secure households, are 90 percent more likely to be reported in fair or poor health and are two thirds more likely to be at risk for developmental delays.
To read more about the study, visit: http://www.ukcpr.org/CHTaskOrderRFP.aspx
Joan Salge Blake and Hardin Coleman talk about health & nutrition education and healthy school lunches
Registered Dietitian and Sargent Clinical Associate Professor Joan Salge Blake and School of Education Dean Hardin Coleman joined us this morning on UStream for a live chat about the importance of healthy school lunches. They also talked about the importance of health and nutrition education. You can view the full chat below:
Americans at LARGE
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently took the vital signs of Americans and declared that more needs to be done to combat obesity. Currently, 68% of Americans are either overweight or obese. Excess body fat increases your risk of heart disease, certain cancers, stroke, and diabetes — all major killers of Americans.
Correctly, the CDC has identified that there isn’t a single, simple solution to this problem, but rather, it has to be a team effort of the states, communities, and personal changes to trim down America. States can bring more local, waist-friendly fruits and vegetables to schools and the workplace. Communities can support and maintain safe outdoor spaces such as playgrounds and bike paths to encourage physical activity. On a personal level, the time has come for all of us to consider a diet and lifestyle makeover.
Taking gradual and realistic steps to change your diet and lifestyle is less overwhelming and more likely to be successful. To help you, try these 52 Small Steps to Losing Weight. Changes can be made……one small step at a time.
A new study from Yale University published in the journal Pediatrics has found that popular cartoon and other characters can influence children’s food choices, and even preference, for the taste of a food. According to the research, “children significantly prefer the taste of junk foods branded with licensed cartoon characters on the packaging, compared with the same foods without characters.”
Joan Salge Blake, Clinical Associate Professor of Nutrition at BU’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, says these findings support recent moves to limit or restrict the use of licensed characters on children’s snacks:
“In this study involving 40 children, ages 4 to 6 years old, researchers asked each child to taste, and then rate, identical packages of pairs of graham crackers, gummy fruit snacks, and carrots. The only difference between the pairs of snack items was that one of packages had a sticker of a licensed character stuck on the front of the label. The results showed that the kiddies significantly preferred the snack with the cartoon character on the label, as compared to the same food without the sticker. The stickers also had an influence over the perceived taste of the food, as the children were significantly more likely to rate the taste of the graham crackers and gummy fruit snacks with the licensed character higher than the exact same, paired equivalent.”
“Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that these influential licensed characters should be restricted on unhealthy junk foods marketed to kids.”
“Ironically, last month, the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity made a similar suggestion in their Report to the President. The Task Force recommended that all media companies limit the licensing of these child-friendly characters to only healthy foods and beverages.”
“Could licensed characters help improve children’s diets? We only have to look to the very successful, Got Milk? Campaign to see how Hollywood influences consumer choices. When the dairy industry noted a decline in milk consumption among Americans in the 1990’s, they painted milk mustaches on celebrities and milk sales increased. If licensed characters were removed from the less healthy foods, and only plastered on Mother Nature’s finest in the produce aisle, perhaps kiddies would be screaming for Pooh Bear bananas. It would be music to America’s ears. It’s worth a shot as long as the consumer doesn’t have to pay extra for the sticker.”
In response to a recent article in AdAge magazine reporting that the Spanish government is planning to ban some diet and beauty TV Ads before 10 PM:
“This is a terrific first step in easing the constant visual reminders of the unrealistic, body weight often portrayed in the media and viewed by young, vulnerable individuals who feel pressured to be ‘thin at all health costs.’ Continued monitoring and viligence of these unhealthy media messages needs to continue to avoid a shift from television advertising to Internet advertising, especially on popular social media websites that are heavily used by this age group.”
Eating Breakfast Can Make Your Slimmer
Some research suggests that people who skip breakfast have a higher body mass index (BMI), which is a measure of your weight in relationship to your height and a higher tendency of being overweight. With two thirds of Americans overweight, a morning meal may just be the best kept waist-trimming secret. Here is more information about the benefits of breakfast and WHAT to eat to start your day.
A healthy breakfast that will fuel your morning and fight hunger should contain a combination of nutrient-rich carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits and veggies along with some some lean protein and a smidgen of fat. Fiber, protein, and fat will help you feel full longer! Here are Picture Perfect Breakfast Combos.
The Science Behind Holiday Weight Gain: Tis the season… We know that the holiday season brings too many parties, too many get-togethers, and too many desserts. However, an interesting article from the National Council on Strength & Fitness identifies a group of compounding physiological factors that explain why the activities of the holidays make it more challenging to maintain your weight.
According to the article, stress can play a factor. Stress can lead to the drive to use food and alcohol as a coping mechanism. Consistently eating excess calories will not only cause excess weight gain but reaching for the alcohol can also can increase the release of the hormone, ghrelin, which can stimulate hunger and eating. In essence, alcohol provides a double whammy effect. The shopping and festive activities can wreck havoc with your sleep patterns. According to the article, getting less than 8 hours of sleep a night can alter the levels of insulin and ghrelin in your body and lead to overeating.
To help you enjoy your holidays without the excess bulge, I will be posting a daily Holiday Party Tip starting tomorrow.