Friends play bigger role than others in how active girls are in late childhood, study shows

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

Who your daughter hangs out with at school plays a major role in her physical activity levels, according to a new University of Alberta study. “Schools, teachers and parents are not the only ones shaping the physical activity of kids. Friends—especially for girls—are also important,” said Jodie Stearns, a Ph.D. candidate in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation. (more)

Researchers discover how young children seem to run around all day without getting tired

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

Children not only have fatigue-resistant muscles, but recover very quickly from high-intensity exercise—even faster than well-trained adult endurance athletes. This is the finding of new research published in open-access journal Frontiers in Physiology, which compared the energy output and post-exercise recovery rates of young boys, untrained adults and endurance athletes. The research could help develop athletic potential in children as well as improve our understanding of how our bodies change from childhood to adulthood—including how these processes contribute to the risk of diseases such as diabetes. (more)

Advice on common kids’ skin conditions

Medical X-Press – Colleen Moriarty

Just reading the words “contagious skin diseases” can make you feel itchy all over. Pools, locker rooms, contact sports and pets all offer opportunities for your kids to catch “icky” skin conditions—such as warts, ringworm and impetigo—you’d rather they didn’t bring home. Although usually harmless, these skin diseases can be uncomfortable, and can also trigger feelings of self-consciousness. “Kids are embarrassed about warts on their hands or face, not wanting to be teased at school,” says Yale Medicine dermatologist Christopher G. Bunick, MD, Ph.D. “Similarly, the thought of a fungal infection on the skin, like with ringworm, makes many parents shudder with uneasiness. And they’re genuinely scared about the spread of any bacterial skin infection like impetigo.” (more)

Playground study tests accuracy of kids’ activity trackers

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

Mum and dad wear them so the kids want one too. But how well do children’s activity trackers keep up with these little bundles of energy? A new QUT study is aiming to test the accuracy of commercially available fitness trackers by comparing their data with information collected by multiple scientific movement sensors during 20 minutes of play. (more)

Study Links More Sugar Consumption to Poorer Cognition in Kids

Pysch Central – Janice Wood

Substituting diet soda for sugar-sweetened versions during pregnancy also appeared to have negative effects, according to the study’s findings. However, children’s fruit consumption had beneficial effects and was associated with higher cognitive scores, researchers said. For the study, investigators collected dietary assessment data for more than 1,000 pregnant women from 1999 to 2002 who participated in Project Viva. Their children’s diets were assessed in early childhood. (more)

5 tips to help give your child a positive body image

The Chicago Daily Herald – Staff Writer

Advertising, social media and celebrities have a huge impact on teens’ perception of body image: Who has the perfect body, and how do I get it? Unfortunately, it can be the reason so many young girls have very unrealistic expectations about their own body image. And those whose appearances don’t “stack up” are often victims of cruel peer teasing. (more)

Could Before-School Physical Activity Be the ‘Apple’ Your Child Needs?

The U.S. News and World Report – Michael O. Schroeder

Adults aren’t the only ones who spend a significant portion of their days sitting. Just as many grownups go to sedentary jobs, kids spend hours daily rooted to chairs in classrooms. All the while childhood obesity continues to be a major problem, and recent research published in the journal Pediatrics indicates it’s only getting worse, reflecting how weight concerns afflict people of all ages in the U.S. (more)

Many approaches may help children improve self-regulation

Reuters – Lisa Rapaport

Self-regulation covers a lot of things that kids need to succeed inside and outside the classroom, ranging from the ability to have positive interactions with others, the capacity to avoid inappropriate or aggressive actions, and the ability to carry out self-directed learning. Cognitive processes contributing to self-regulation are often referred to as “executive function” and can include impulse control as well as the ability to direct or focus attention, adapt flexibly to changes, and retain information. (more)

Getting kids to eat veggies

The New Strait Times – Nadia Badarudin

I STILL remember the fuss and drama at my dinner table when I tried to get my two children to eat vegetables. Despite all the tips from friends and the Internet’s How to- advice, my children’s excuses were “veggies taste awful” and “carrots are for rabbits”. Many parents have difficulties making children understand the nutritional benefits of vegetables. (more)

A beginner’s guide to starting a vegetable garden at home

Chicago Parent – Megan Murray Elsener

Got a green thumb? Me either. But that shouldn’t stop you from growing your own garden right in your own backyard. Growing a garden is an activity the entire family can enjoy and benefit from. Whether you are a true gardening novice or just want to try something new, here are some of the most foolproof and easy vegetables to grow. (more)