Wednesday November 21, 2018

New campaign to limit children’s calories to 200 per day

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New campaign to limit children's calories to 200 per day
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London, Jan 2, 2018: Concerned over the high intake of sugar from unhealthy snacks among young children in England, a new campaign has urged parents to limit the intake of calories to just 200 per day by including foods such as malt loaf, low-sugar yoghurt and drinks with no added sugar.

The suggestions from Public Health England (PHE) — a government agency for preventing ill health — are part of their newly launched campaign “Change4Life”.

The Change4Life campaign wants parents to give their children a maximum of two snacks a day containing no more than 100 calories each, not including fruit and vegetables, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

The eight-week Change4Life campaign will offer parents money-off vouchers towards items including malt loaf, lower-sugar yoghurt and drinks with no added sugar in some supermarkets.

The offer will also be extended on a range of healthier snacks include packs of chopped vegetables and fruit, sugar-free jelly, and plain rice crackers at selected supermarkets.

According to the PHE’s National Diet and Nutritional Survey, children between the ages of four and 10 consumed 51.2 per cent of their sugar from unhealthy snacks, including biscuits, cakes, pastries, buns, sweets and fizzy and juice drinks.

On average, primary school children have at least three sugary snacks a day, which means they can easily consume three times more sugar than the recommended maximum.

Each year children consume, on average, some 400 biscuits, 120 cakes, buns and pastries, 100 portions of sweets, 70 chocolate bars and ice creams and 150 juice drink pouches and cans of fizzy drink, the findings revealed.

“If you wander through a supermarket you see many more things being sold as snacks than ever before,” Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, was quoted as saying to the BBC.

“What has changed is kids’ lunch boxes are getting full of snacking products. It leads to a lot of calories for lunch,” Tedstone added.

Tedstone hoped that the campaign would help to “empower” parents to make healthier snacking choices for their children”.

The PHE has previously called on businesses to cut sugar by 20 per cent by 2020, and by five per cent in 2017.

The agency said it had also improved its app that reveals the content of sugar, salt and saturated fat in food and drink.

A sugar tax on the UK soft drinks industry has already been announced and will come into force next April, the report said.

Last month, the health body also urged British men and women to reduce their intake of calories to just 1,600 a day, which included 400 calories for breakfast, 600 for lunch and 600 for dinner, without drinks, the Daily Mail reported.

For those who follow this, 200 calories in form of snacks can be taken. (IANS)

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Growth Hormone Deficiency May Also Hit Healthy Children

Since he started getting these injections two years ago, Spencer has grown about 15 centimeters.

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FILE - UNICEF staff measure a girl's height to see if she is stunted in a village health clinic of South Hamgyong province, North Korea. VOA

Most healthy children between the ages of four and 10 grow about five centimeters (two inches) a year. So, one family knew something was wrong when their son fit into the same clothes, season after season. Doctors were able to get him growing once again after testing for a growth hormone.

Eleven year-old Spencer Baehman is passionate about baseball.

“My goal is to play college baseball,” Spencer said.

There was only one problem. Spencer was the shortest player on his team. It didn’t stop him from playing, but the height difference was noticeable. And it made Spencer feel different.

“I want to be as tall as these kids,” Spencer said.

At first, Spencer’s parents thought their son was just small, but gradually, they suspected something was wrong. His mom, Stephanie Baehman, became worried.

“It really set in one year coming out of winter into spring when he got out his cleats for spring baseball and he put them on, and they fit. And they never should have fit. Those were from the spring prior,” Baehman said.

Spencer’s parents set up an appointment with Dr. Bert Bachrach, the chief of pediatric endocrinology at University of Missouri Health Care. Nurses measured Spencer’s height.

After careful testing, Dr. Bachrach determined a growth hormone deficiency was causing Spencer’s growth failure. Hormones are basically chemicals that send messages from one cell to another.

“Growth hormone just doesn’t affect your growth, it affects your muscle mass and fat distribution, so that affects your cholesterol, that affects you overall, it also affects your overall sense of wellbeing,” Bachrach said.

Young Kids learning
Young Kids learning. pixabay

Growth hormone insufficiency is a disorder involving the pituitary gland which is a small, pea-sized gland located at the base of the brain. It’s this gland that produces human growth hormone, among others.

Also Read: Poor Aerobic Fitness Increases Risk of Diabetes in Kids

Every day, Spencer’s mother gives him a daily hormone injection. Since he started getting these injections two years ago, Spencer has grown about 15 centimeters (six inches). But just in case he doesn’t grow tall, he has a reminder written in each of his baseball caps.

“It says HDMH, which means height doesn’t measure heart,” Spencer read.

And heart is something Spencer has plenty of. (VOA)