Targeting busy parents with babies, Singapore-based start-up KinderPass has launched a mobile app that provides personalised recommendations for early development of children.
The firm said the app aims to improve the parenting experience by providing activities and ideas that encourage parent-child bonding and are tailored to the needs of a growing child.
In the first 1000 days the brain develops at lightning speed and it’s crucial to stimulate and nurture these complex neural connections and shape them with a positive environment and experience,” said Farha Siddiqui, Clinical Psychologist, Co-Founder and Head of Content at KinderPass.
Available in both iOS and Android versions, KinderPass has now transitioned from a web-app to a mobile app.
To take the pressure off time-poor parents, we have curated a library of over 300 articles, videos and infographics thatwill organise relevant information parents need to understand their child’s development,” said Shireen Sultana, Head of Product and Innovation at the start-up.
Claiming that KinderPass activities are carefully designed, reviewed and tested by over a dozen experts in the field of psychology and education, the firm said that its product features are based on scientific research. (IANS)
Lockdowns implemented across the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic have negatively impacted diet, sleep and physical activity among children with obesity, warn researchers. “The tragic Covid-19 pandemic has collateral effects extending beyond direct viral infection,” said study co-author Myles Faith from the University at Buffalo in the US.
“Children and teens struggling with obesity are placed in an unfortunate position of isolation that appears to create an unfavourable environment for maintaining healthy lifestyle behaviours,” Faith added. Children and adolescents typically gain more weight during summer vacation than during the school year, which led the researchers to wonder if being homebound would have a similar effect on the kids’ lifestyle behaviours.
For the findings, published in the journal Obesity, the researchers surveyed 41 children and teens with obesity under confinement throughout March and April in Verona, Italy. Lifestyle information regarding diet, activity and sleep was collected three weeks into Italy’s mandatory national lockdown and compared to data on the children gathered in 2019.
Questions focused on physical activity, screen time, sleep, eating habits, and the consumption of red meat, pasta, snacks, fruits and vegetables. The results confirmed the negative change in behaviour, indicating that children with obesity fare worse on weight control lifestyle programs while at home compared to when they are engaged in their school curriculum.
Compared to behaviours recorded a year prior, the children ate an additional meal per day; slept an extra half hour per day; added nearly five hours per day in front of the phone, computer and television screens; and dramatically increased their consumption of red meat, sugary drinks and junk foods. Physical activity, on the other hand, decreased by more than two hours per week, and the number of vegetables consumed remained unchanged, the study said. “Recognising the adverse collateral effects of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown is critical in avoiding the depreciation of hard-fought weight control efforts among youths afflicted with excess weight,” Faith said.
“Depending on the duration of the lockdown, the excess weight gained may not be easily reversible and might contribute to obesity during adulthood if healthier behaviours are not re-established,” Faith added. “This is because childhood and adolescent obesity tend to track over time and predict weight status as adults,” the study author wrote. (IANS)
An individualised and family-based physical activity and dietary intervention may reduce the plasma LDL cholesterol concentration of primary school children, say researchers.
The study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, explored the effects of an individualised and family-based physical activity and dietary intervention on the plasma lipids of more than 500 Finnish children aged between 6 and 8 years at baseline.
The researchers were also interested in which components of the lifestyle intervention had the greatest impact of plasma lipids.
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“The LDL cholesterol concentration of kids from families who participated in the lifestyle intervention was slightly reduced during the two-year follow-up, whereas no similar change was observed in children in the control group,” said study researcher Aino-Maija Eloranta from the University of Eastern Finland.
“The lifestyle intervention did not have an impact on other plasma lipids,” Eloranta added.
During the two-year follow-up, families participated in six individualised dietary and physical activity counselling sessions. The sessions were individually tailored to each family and they focused on improving the quality of the family’s diet, increasing physical activity and reducing screen time.
In addition, children were encouraged to participate in weekly after-school exercise clubs. Children’s plasma lipids were analysed at the beginning and at the end of the study.
The study showed that increasing the consumption of high-fat vegetable oil-based spreads and decreasing the consumption of butter-based spreads played the most important role in decreasing the LDL cholesterol concentration.
Replacing high-fat milk with low-fat milk, and doing more physical activity, also explained some of the decreases in the LDL cholesterol concentration.
Having an elevated LDL cholesterol concentration in childhood may predict artery wall thickening in adulthood, the researchers said. The results of the findings thus suggest that a family-based dietary and physical activity intervention may prevent the development of atherosclerosis in adulthood. (IANS)
The World Health Organization accuses the tobacco industry of devious tactics to get children and young people hooked on their deadly tobacco and nicotine products. In advance of World No Tobacco Day (May 31), the WHO is launching a campaign to alert young people to the dangers they face from the industry’s manipulative practices.
More than 40 million young people aged 13 to 15 smoke and use other tobacco products. The World Health Organization says the tobacco industry tries to get children and young people hooked on tobacco early in life, knowing this will turn them into life-long smokers. Unfortunately, WHO says many smokers do not live very long. Every year, it notes millions of people have their lives cut short because of cancers, heart disease and other smoking-related illnesses.
Coordinator of WHO’s No Tobacco Unit, Vinayak Prasad, says the tobacco industry invests more than $9 billion a year to advertise its products. He says much of this huge budget targets young people with attractive promotional campaigns. “At the moment, they are spending a million dollars an hour, which is by the time we finish our press conference, that is a million dollars spent,” said Prasad. “And, why are they doing it? They are doing it to find replacements users. Eight million premature deaths every year. So, they need to find new replacements.”
WHO says the industry sets its sights on the next generation of users by targeting children and young people in markets where tobacco products are not regulated and they can be manipulated easily. WHO is launching a new kit for school students aged 13 to 17 to protect them from the tobacco industry’s exploitative practices. WHO Director of Health Promotion, Ruediger Krech says the kit alerts young people to the industry’s devious tactics and teaches them to say no.
“The tool kit exposes tactics such as parties and concerts hosted by the tobacco and related industries, e-cigarette flavors that attract youth in like bubble-gum and candy, e-cigarette representatives presenting in schools, and product placement in popular youth streaming shows,” said Krech.
WHO is calling on all sectors of society to prevent the tobacco industry from preying on youth. To reach a young audience, the agency is spreading its no tobacco message on TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube and other social media. Health officials urge schools, celebrities and influencers to reject all offers of sponsorship from the industry. They call on TV and streaming services to stop showing tobacco or e-cigarette use on screen.