Monday, September 20, 2010

Childhood Obesity Might Be Linked to Strain of Cold Virus

At least part of the blame for childhood obesity might be traced to a unexpected cause -- a certain strain of the virus that causes the common cold.

New research at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego shows that youngsters who were infected by adenovirus 36, which causes the common cold and slight gastrointestinal upset, were an average of 50 pounds heavier than children who hadn't been infected by this particular strain.

This study doesn't, however, suggest that people should give up on healthy eating and exercise.

Other studies, done in animals and human adults, have already shown an association between viral infections and obesity, but the exact relationship between those factors still isn't well known.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Childhood Obesity and Nutritional Needs (II)

by Protica Research

Adding a Supplement to a Child's Diet

If the child's pediatrician agrees with it, adding a protein supplement as either a meal replacement or a between meal snack is beneficial for a number of reasons. First, protein can help the child from feeling overly hungry because it contributes to feelings of satiety. Second, there are so many options that you and your child can find the right kind of protein in the right kind of supplement that will suit everyone's tastes and needs. And finally, there are a number of benefits from the various kinds of protein and protein supplements including muscle building, repair and maintenance. Supplement options include protein shakes, powders, bars and liquid protein supplement shots.

Protein powders include soy, whey, egg and rice proteins. The number of teens who are vegetarians or vegans is fairly high, even among those who are overweight, so if you are planning to suggest adding one of these, make sure that you are choosing the right one for the teen.

Soy is a complete protein, meaning that it has all eight essential amino acids that the body cannot make on its own. Soy and rice protein are both appropriate for vegans and vegetarians. Whey protein is made from a byproduct of cheese production and is not suitable for vegans. Ovo-lacto vegetarians can have both whey and egg protein powder supplements.

A liquid protein supplement shot like Profect by Protica is also a good option for children and teens. It is small and comes in packaging that they might find pretty cool since it looks like a plastic test tube vial. It has only one hundred calories but gives a full 25 grams of protein per serving and comes in flavors that will appeal to children including Blue Raspberry, Grapefruit-Mango, Fresh Citrus Berry and Cool Melon Splash. It also provides 100% of the day's vitamin C and 10% of the day's vitamin B complex, but has zero carbohydrates and zero fats.

Other Nutritional Considerations

Make sure that children are getting all of the nutrients that they need, including calcium. Low fat milk is a great after-exercise drink for children, and gives them calcium as well as 9 grams of protein.

Animal proteins are complete proteins, supplying all of the essential amino acids. In children, there are nine essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, valine, threonine, methione, phenylalanine, tryptophan, lysine and histidine.

Plant proteins are not complete because they lack one or more of these essential amino acids. The exception to this rule is soy protein, which is complete. Opting for lower fat versions of either type of protein as well as getting complex carbohydrates instead of simple carbs is better for your entire family, not just the overweight child. One of the best protein food sources from the animal world is turkey breast, which can be used in place of a number of the children's favorite food choices.

Learn substitutions for your children's favorite meals as well as healthier choices for when the family is out to dinner. Don't worry about when your child is out of your sight so much, as long as he is getting healthy foods 80% of the time, the other 20% will not be so damaging. Make sure to boost exercise not only for the one child, but for the whole family as well.

References

Joan Lippert Downsizing the American Child: How to Get Your Kid Healthier and Happier. Heart Insight Magazine. August 2009

Diane E. Papalia, Sally Wendkos Olds and Ruth Duskin Feldman. A Child's World: Infancy Through Adolescence. Eleventh Edition. McGraw-Hill Publishing Company. United States 2008

The US Guidelines on Protein and Diet. The United States Department of Agriculture


About the Author
About Protica Research (http://www.protica.com) Founded in 2001, Protica, Inc. is a nutritional research firm specializing in the development of dense nutrition in compact forms. Protica manufactures Profect (http://www.profect.com), IsoMetric (http://www.isometric.com), Pediagro (http://www.pediagro.com), Fruitasia (http://www.fruitasia.com) and many other brands in its GMP-certified, 250,000 square foot facility. Copyright - Protica

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Childhood Obesity and Nutritional Needs (I)

by Protica Research

One of the most serious and continuing problems that parents of today's children have to deal with is childhood obesity. Not only are children who are overweight or obese for their age group at greater risk for psychological and social development problems, but they are also facing more and more health risks that have long been considered adults-only problems. One in three American children and teens are classified as either overweight or obese. Here are some frightening statistics about children (especially teens) and weight:

- The number of US teens that are overweight tripled from 1980 to 2004 from 5% to 17%.

- US teens are more likely to be overweight or obese than their peers from other countries.

- 47% of 11 year old girls thought they were overweight and were on or thought they should be on a diet. The number of girls age 15 who thought this way was 62%

(Source: Papalia, Olds and Feldman, 2008)

The consequences of these statistics:

- Overweight children ages 7-13 are at an increased risk of heart disease at age 25.

- Children, aged 6 to 11 are twice as likely to have diabetes as children of normal weight.

- Children who watch two to four hours of television are 2.5 times as likely to develop high blood pressure over those who watch less.

(Source: Lippert, 2009)

Healthy Food Needs Not Diets

Before you start a diet for your child, it is important that you work with the pediatrician. A child's needs for calories and nutrients are as important as an adult's. Reducing calories too drastically can lead to serious problems for the child's development not only physically, but mentally as well.

A child still needs to get the right amount of calories, but often needs a tweak on where those calories are coming from. It is often a matter of getting the child up and moving around more throughout the day as well as limiting the time that is spent in front of the television and the computer. Make sure that the child is still getting the right amounts of fats, proteins and carbohydrates for his or her age group. Also, make sure that the child is not obsessing about his or her weight and resist doing the same. Enlist your child's help in choosing better foods, including snacks, and have them help cook dinner. Remember, there are no "bad" foods, and an occasional treat is not a bad thing, as long as there is moderation and exercise. Eventually, most children will have a growth spurt that will leave them a little taller so that the weight they have is more evenly distributed. The pediatrician will give you guidelines for the number of calories and nutrients that your child should have, but a general guideline for protein needs:

Age Group

Protein grams per kg of body weight

Newborn to six months 2.2

Six to twelve months 2.0

One to three years 1.8

Four to six years 1.5

Seven to ten years 1.2

Eleven to fourteen years old 1.0

Fifteen to eighteen years 0.9

Ages nineteen plus 0.8

(Source: US Guidelines on Protein and Diet)

Protein plays a vital role in every cell in the body and must be included in a healthy diet, but sources should be lower in fat whenever possible. Opting for plant proteins and protein supplements can be more healthful for children as well as their parents.
(to be continued)

About the Author
About Protica Research (http://www.protica.com) Founded in 2001, Protica, Inc. is a nutritional research firm specializing in the development of dense nutrition in compact forms. Protica manufactures Profect (http://www.profect.com), IsoMetric (http://www.isometric.com), Pediagro (http://www.pediagro.com), Fruitasia (http://www.fruitasia.com) and many other brands in its GMP-certified, 250,000 square foot facility. Copyright - Protica

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