Children / Kids


Children and binge eating, other eating disorders, obesity, weight, self image, diet

Logo recognition associated with kids’ choice of international junk foods   ScienceDaily  (Mar 6, 2018) –  Young children in six low- and middle-income countries prefer junk food and sugar sweetened beverages over traditional and home cooked meals, according to a new study from the University of Maryland School of Public Health. Researchers investigated the links between marketing and media exposure and the preference for fast food in Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Russia. Kids who easily identified the logos of international brands were more likely to request and prefer the processed foods of low nutrition. … more

Analysis of new studies including 250,000 people confirms sugar-sweetened drinks are linked to overweight and obesity in children and adults   ScienceDaily (Dec 23, 2017) – A new review of the latest evidence on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs)- which includes 30 new studies published between 2013 and 2015 (and none of them industry sponsored) — concludes that SSB consumption is associated with overweight and obesity, and that countries that have not already done so should take action to reduce the consumption of the so-called ’empty calories’ that these drinks contain. … more

Overweight children and adults get significantly healthier and quickly with less sugar  MNT Medical News Today (Aug 9, 2017) – Osteopathic physicians suggest shifting the conversation from weight to health for overweight children and adults, asking patients to reduce their sugar intake to see measurable improvements in metabolic function. Improved measures of health can be seen in less than two weeks of sugar reduction, according to a review published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association (JAOA). … more

Childhood obesity causes lasting damage to the body  ScienceDaily (May 30, 2017) – Obesity in childhood has long term health implications stretching into adulthood, a new study reveals. Examining data collected from over 300,000 participants across 18 studies, researchers from the University of Surrey identified increased arterial damage and enhanced likelihood of pre diabetes in participants who were obese in childhood. The damage, an increased thickness of these vital arteries, heightens the likelihood of an individual suffering from a cardiovascular ailment, such as heart disease, in later life. … more

Parents’ use of emotional feeding increases emotional eating in school-age children   ScienceDaily (Apr 25, 2017) – Emotional eating is not uncommon in children and adolescents, but why youth eat emotionally has been unclear. Now a new longitudinal study from Norway has found that school-age children whose parents fed them more to soothe their negative feelings were more likely to eat emotionally later on. The reverse was also found to be the case, with parents of children who were more easily soothed by food being more likely to feed them for emotional reasons. … more

Are you raising an emotional eater?   CBS News (Apr 25, 2017) by Randy Dotinga – Soothing your kids with food may stop the tears in the short-term. But researchers warn it can lead to unhealthy eating patterns long-term. Parents who are “emotional feeders” can encourage “emotional eating” — a habit linked to weight gain and eating disorders, the Norwegian-British study found. “There is now even stronger evidence that parental feeding styles have a major influence on children’s dietary habits and how children relate to foods and beverages when it comes to addressing their own emotions,” said one expert, Rafael Perez-Escamilla. He’s a professor of epidemiology and public health at Yale University’s School of Public Health. … more

Bullies and their victims obsessed with weight-loss  ScienceDaily (Mar 29, 2017) – School bullies and their victims are more obsessed with weight-loss than anyone else, according to new research … teenagers who are involved in bullying in any way — from bullies, to their victims, to those who both bully and get bullied — are more likely to develop concerns about their eating and exercise behaviours, and become preoccupied with losing weight. … more.

Swedish mum’s battle against sugar goes viral  BBC News (Mar 1, 2017) – the A Swedish mother’s successful stand against sugar has turned her into a social media sensation. Anna Larsson decided to cut out sweet treats after realising how bad her young daughter’s cravings had become. The results shocked her: after a difficult few days, the little girl was no longer asking for yoghurts and iced buns, but happily consumed healthy options she would once have rejected. What’s more, she was sleeping better and was less grumpy. … more

Identifying children at risk of eating disorders is key to saving lives   ScienceDaily (Jan 5, 2017) – Spotting eating disorder symptoms in children as young as nine years old will allow medics to intervene early and save lives, experts say. A team from Newcastle University has identified that girls and boys with more eating disorder symptoms at age nine also had a higher number of symptoms at age 12. … more

Sugar is the ‘alcohol of the child’, yet we let it dominate the breakfast table. The Guardian (Jan 4, 2017) by Robert Lustig – With kids consuming half their sugar quota first thing, it’s no wonder they’re getting diabetes and liver disease. We have to fight corporate interests. Breakfast is considered by most nutrition experts, including Public Health England, to be the most important meal of the day. It gets your brain and your metabolism going, and it suppresses the hunger hormone in your stomach so you won’t overeat at lunch. But in our busy lives, it’s easy to turn to what is quick, cheap, or what you can eat on the go. … more

Childhood binge eating: Families, feeding, and feelings  ScienceDaily (June 28, 2016) – In order to put childhood binge eating into context, a new systematic review identifies two potential risk factors for binge eating in children under the age of 12. With family being the most proximal and influential setting affecting behaviors and attitudes in children, the study reports that parental non-involvement or emotional unresponsiveness and weight-related teasing in the family are behaviors consistently associated with childhood binge eating. … more

Eating disorders are different in boys and girls, study says   Globe & Mail (Feb 16, 2016) by Kathryn Doyle, Reuters – In girls, eating disorders are often linked with a mood disorder, but that’s not the case with eating disorders in boys, according to a new study. And on average, boys develop eating disorders at a slightly younger age than girls do, and they usually don’t have anorexia or bulimia, researchers say. “These results indicate that there are indeed differences in the ways in which child and adolescent males and females present for eating disorder treatment,” said lead author Kathryn Kinasz of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at The University of Chicago. … more

Extremely rare eating disorder misunderstood, says Edmonton boy   CBC News (Feb 4, 2016). Zachary Bell is not a ‘picky eater,’ he suffers from Restrictive Food Intake Disorder … (ARFID), which centres around a phobia of certain tastes, colours or textures. Sufferers of ARFID have an inability to eat certain foods. “Safe” foods may be limited to certain food types and even specific brands. Some sufferers can experience extreme reactions, such as gagging and vomiting when exposed to adverse foods. … more

Kids Who Are Better at Tasting Sugar Are More Likely to Be Overweight, Study Finds  Time/Living (Dec 15, 2015) by Belinda Luscombe –Being more sensitive to sugar might not be a good thing. Some kids can taste as little as 0.005 teaspoons of sugar in a fluid ounce of water. Others need three teaspoons until they register it. Logic would suggest that the less sugar-sensitive—those who need to add more sugar to get the hit of sweetness—would be more likely to be obese, right? Not according to new research. … more

Child obesity at highest level in Canada and U.S. ‘Bark is bigger than the bite’ from government obesity proclamations, scientist says  CBC News (Aug 25, 2015) – Child obesity in Canada and the U.S. appears to have levelled off, but there needs to be a greater emphasis on prevention, experts say. The prevalence of obesity in recent years among those aged three to 19 was 13 per cent in Canada, compared with 17.5 per cent in the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday in a report, “Prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents in Canada and the United States.” … more

New sleep program for overweight children (July 25, 2015) – Inadequate sleep and weight problems in children are closely linked, with an estimated 60 to 90 percent of children who have shortened or disrupted sleep being at increased risk for obesity. more …

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder: More than just picky eating   ScienceDaily (June 18, 2015) — Eating disorders experts weigh in on disorder — two years after classification as a mental health condition. A new commentary by experts reflects on the clinical impact of the diagnosis of Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, and the work that remains in terms of treatments and improved outcomes. more …

Obese children’s brains more responsive to sugar   ScienceDaily (Dec 12, 2014)   A new study led by researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine finds that the brains of obese children literally light up differently when tasting sugar. Published online in International Journal of Obesity, the study does not show a causal relationship between sugar hypersensitivity and overeating but it does support the idea that the growing number of America’s obese youth may have a heightened psychological reward response to food. more …

Food craving is stronger, but controllable, for kids   ScienceDaily (Sept 8, 2014) — Children show stronger food craving than adolescents and adults, but they are also able to use a cognitive strategy that reduces craving, according to new research. “These findings are important because they suggest that we may have another tool in our toolbox to combat childhood obesity,” says psychological scientist and the study’s lead researcher. more …

Severe obesity on the rise among children in the U.S.   ScienceDaily (Apr 7, 2014) – A new analysis finds that all classes of obesity in children have increased over the last 14 years. In addition, there is a troubling upward trend in the more severe forms of childhood obesity… These findings are based on a new analysis of data collected from 26,690 children ages 2-19 from 1999 to 2012 as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). more …

Shorter sleepers are over-eaters, study in children shows   ScienceDaily (Mar 25, 2014) – Young children who sleep less eat more, which can lead to obesity and related health problems later in life, reports a new study. The study found that 16 month-old children who slept for less than 10 hours each day consumed on average 105kcal more per day than children who slept for more than 13 hours. This is an increase of around 10% from 982kcal to 1087kcal.   more …

Developmental approach to obesity in children, adolescents   ScienceDaily (Oct. 22, 2013) — New studies of factors affecting the risk of obesity in children and adolescents — as well as promising approaches to prevention and treatment — are assembled in the special October Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, the official journal of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics…The special issue includes ten new research papers addressing obesity in every period of development: from early and middle childhood, through adolescence and young adulthood.  Link

Don’t tell your daughter she is beautiful, parents told: Minister says children should avoid a fixation with looks   National Post (May 28, 2013) by Louisa Peacock, The Telegraph – Parents should stop telling their children they look beautiful because it places too much emphasis on appearance and can lead to body confidence issues later in life, Jo Swinson, the U.K. women’s minister, has claimed. Mothers and fathers who praise their sons and daughters for wearing a nice outfit or having nice hair risk sending a message to children that looks are the most important thing to succeed in life, the minister said.  Instead, she said, children should be praised for completing tasks or their ability to be inquisitive.   Link

Child maltreatment increases risk of adult obesity   ScienceDaily (May 21, 2013) — Children who have suffered maltreatment are 36% more likely to be obese in adulthood compared to non-maltreated children, according to a new study by King’s College London. The authors estimate that the prevention or effective treatment of 7 cases of child maltreatment could avoid 1 case of adult obesity.  Link

School-based ‘healthy living’ programs triggering eating disorders in some children: Canadian study    National Post (Mar. 31, 2013) by Sharon Kirkey – School-based, obesity-prevention programs that push “healthy eating” are triggering disordered eating in some children, creating sudden neuroses around food in children who never before worried about their weight, Canadian researchers report.   Link

Celebrity endorsement encourages children to eat junk food   ScienceDaily (Mar. 8, 2013) — A study by the University of Liverpool has found that celebrity endorsement of a food product encourages children to eat more of the endorsed product. It also found that children were prompted to eat more of the endorsed product when they saw the celebrity on TV in a different context.   Link

Eating junk food while pregnant may make your child a junk food addict   ScienceDaily (Feb. 28, 2013) — Here’s another reason why a healthy diet during pregnancy is critical to the future health of your children: New research published in the March 2013 issue of The FASEB Journal, suggests that pregnant mothers who consume junk food actually cause changes in the development of the opioid signaling pathway in the brains of their unborn children. This change results in the babies being less sensitive to opioids, which are released upon consumption of foods that are high in fat and sugar. In turn, these children, born with a higher “tolerance” to junk food need to eat more of it to achieve a “feel good” response.  Link

Antibiotic use in infants before six months associated with being overweight in childhood   ScienceDaily (Aug. 21, 2012) — Treating very young infants with antibiotics may predispose them to being overweight in childhood, according to a study of more than 10,000 children by researchers at the NYU School of Medicine and the NYU Wagner School of Public Service and published in the online August 21, 2012, issue of the International Journal of Obesity. Link

Junk food laws may help curb childhood obesity: Study     Huffington Post (Aug. 13, 2012) by Lindsey Tanner  — Laws strictly curbing school sales of junk food and sweetened drinks may play a role in slowing childhood obesity, according to a study that seems to offer the first evidence such efforts could pay off.   The results come from the first large national look at the effectiveness of the state laws over time. They are not a slam-dunk, and even obesity experts who praised the study acknowledge the measures are a political hot potato, smacking of a “nanny state” and opposed by industry and cash-strapped schools relying on food processors’ money.   Link

Obesity alone may not hurt kids’ classroom performance.  Study suggests that socioeconomic, genetic factors have greater effect   US News & World Report: HealthDay News (July 13, 2012) – Being obese does not affect children’s school performance, according to a new British study.  Researchers at the University of York analyzed data from nearly 4,000 participants in the Children of the ’90s Birth Cohort Study.  “We sought to test whether obesity directly hinders performance due to bullying or health problems, or whether kids who are obese do less well because of other factors that are associated with both obesity and lower exam results, such as coming from a disadvantaged family”…   Link

Soft drink consumption not the major contributor to childhood obesity, study says   ScienceDaily (June 14, 2012) — Most children and youth who consume soft drinks and other sweetened beverages, such as fruit punch and lemonade, are not at any higher risk for obesity than their peers who drink healthy beverages, says a new study published in the October issue of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. The study examined the relationship between beverage intake patterns of Canadian children and their risk for obesity and found sweetened beverage intake to be a risk factor only in boys aged 6-11.   Link

Treating childhood obesity: A family affair   ScienceDaily (May 1, 2012) — With nearly one-third of American children being overweight or obese, doctors agree that there is an acute need for more effective treatments. In many weight management programs, the dropout rate can be as high as 73 percent, and even in successful programs, the benefits are usually short term. Although family-based approaches to pediatric obesity are considered the gold standard of treatment, theories of the family and how it functions have not been incorporated into effective interventions…  Link

The pervasiveness of junk food advertising to children   National Post  (Apr. 6, 2012) by Jeannie Marshall – In the following book excerpt, Jeannie Marshall describes her efforts to shield her son from the lure of ‘packaged cakes, chocolate bars, cookies, yogurt-like products and ice cream’: … I noticed that Nico was becoming more agitated after watching television, that he would want to eat things that we didn’t have in our refrigerator or cupboards, and that he would recognize children’s food products when he saw them in the supermarket or in the hands of one of his little stroller-bound peers.   Link

Like mother, like daughter: Eating disorders run in families (Feb. 13, 2012) by Stacy Lu – Like mother, like daughter: Seeing her child with an eating disorder may hit too close to home for some moms. Research shows disorders run in families; a relative of a person with an eating disorder is ten times more likely to have the illness than someone without a family history of disorders.  Link

School obesity programs may promote worrisome eating behaviors and physical activity in kids   ScienceDaily (Jan. 24, 2012) – In a new poll, 30% of parents report at least one worrisome behavior in their children that could be associated with the development of eating disorders.  A new report from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health examines the possible association between school-based childhood obesity prevention programs and an increase in eating disorders among young children and adolescents.  Link

Obesity in teen years may be blamed on mother/child relationships    CNN Health (Dec. 26, 2011) by Dr. Sanjay Gupta – The mother-child relationship has always carried a lot of weight.  Now researchers say some obese teens might be in essence, carrying the weight of their relationship with their mothers when they were younger. A new study published in this week’s edition of Pediatrics finds the type of relationship a mother has with her young child could affect that little one’s chances of becoming obese as a teen. Link

Heavy kids, heavy emotions:  Shame, stress and depression often spur further weight gain (Feb. 14, 2010) by Jeanna Bryner  – The ballooning waistlines of children hit the spotlight when Michelle Obama admitted publicly her daughters had an unhealthy body mass index. And while many urge kids to slim down to avoid heart disease and other physical ailments, the emotional consequences from teasing and low self-esteem could be just as debilitating, scientists say.   Link

Intense sweets taste especially good to some kids   ScienceDaily (Feb. 11, 2010) — New research from the Monell Center reports that children’s response to intense sweet taste is related to both a family history of alcoholism and the child’s own self-reports of depression.   The findings illustrate how liking for sweets differs among children based on underlying familial and biological factors.  Link

When parents try to control every little bite:  Being too restrictive about your child’s diet can backfire, experts say Health ( Sep. 3, 2009) by Bridget Murray Law — Driven by concern about childhood obesity or other food anxieties, more nutrition-focused parents are turning into food cops, monitoring every morsel their children eat…In fact, a recent study found that being too restrictive about the foods children eat can cause more weight gain. Researchers from the Center for Childhood Obesity Research at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, found the highest weight gain among girls who considered their parents most restrictive about eating certain foods. The study tracked 200 girls for 10 years from age 5.  Link

Childhood: food allergies may be linked to obesity    New York Times (May 25, 2009) by Nicholas Bakalar  — Reducing childhood obesity may have yet another benefit: lowering the incidence of food allergies.  Researchers studying more than 4,000 children ages 2 to 19 enrolled in a larger survey of childhood health found a significant association of overweight and obesity with allergic reactions to eggs, peanuts and other common allergens. For example, overweight and obese children were over 50 percent more likely than those of normal weight to be allergic to milk. Over all, the obese and overweight children were about 25 percent more likely to have one or more food allergies.   Link

Does mom know when enough is enough? Missed satiety cues from infants linked to obesity   ScienceDaily (May 12, 2009) — As the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States continues, researchers are examining whether early parent and child behaviors contribute to the problem. A study from the Department of Nutritional Sciences, Rutgers University, published in the May/June 2009 issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior reports that mothers who miss signs of satiety in their infants tend to overfeed them, leading to excess weight gains during the 6 month to 1 year period.  Link

Children who are dissatisfied with their appearance often have problems with their peer group   ScienceDaily (Mar. 18, 2009) — Being satisfied with one’s appearance is one of the most important prerequisites for a positive self image. However, in today’s appearance culture it is the rule rather than the exception that children and young people are dissatisfied with their appearance.  Link

Scars of child abuse reach down to genetic level, scientists find (Feb 23, 2009) — Child abuse early in life appears to permanently change how people respond to stress, say researchers in Montreal who studied the brains of suicide victims.  Link

Gene may explain why some go for fatty foods (Dec 10, 2008) – A study of children found those with a common gene variation tends to overeat high-calorie foods. They ate 100 extra calories per meal, which over the long term can put on weight.  Link