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Researchers at Kent State University observe children during free play with absent parents, parents supervising, and parents participating. Kids were more likely to achieve more activity at a higher intensity with parents who participated with the child. Could this translate to adults in general? Let's get kids more active by increasing the active involvement of the adults!

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CNN reported on a 2015 study by the CDC comparing the United States' childhood obesity rate with that of Canada. Differing by 10% in girls during 2013, what is Canada doing right? Some decreases in this rate are attributed to Canada's laws restricting fast food marketing, limited consumption of soft drinks, and the United States' increase in snacking.

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The amount of afterschool time associated with sedentary, light, and moderate to vigorous physical activity was researched by a team at Deakin University in Australia. The study found that half of a child's time afterschool is spent doing sedentary activities. Afterschool programs can provide organized opportunities for children's physical activity and minimize time spent sedentary.

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The CDC reports that physical activity is positively related to children’s health. However, schools continue to reduce time for physical education and recess in order to focus on academics. As a result, less than half of youth in America meet the recommended amounts of daily physical activity. Decreases in time children can be active during school makes programs outside of the school day, like afterschool programs, a vitally important setting for getting children the activity they need.

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Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine studied the relationship between parents and their obese children in order to understand how it can be used to improve pediatric health. The study, published in the British Journal of General Practice, reveals how poorly parents rate their own child’s weight issues — at least until they reach extreme levels of obesity.

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Check out P2YP in action!

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March is the National Nutrition Month and the the Alliance for for a Healthier Generation has a challenge you to choose one of the nutritious practices that you have been trying out this month and make it your motto. Maybe it's eating breakfast every day or keeping water at your desk. Whatever it is, choose one thing, something manageable and make it a habit for the rest of the year.

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Chris Avtges, food service director of Vernon Public Schools in Connecticut, knows first-hand how important it is to make healthy food choices. Chris lost 140 lbs by changing his lifestyle and now uses what he's learned to prepare healthy meals, design menus focused on nutrition, and create a culture of wellness at schools for a living.

"Giving our kids the best chance at health is what inspires my work every day." - Chris Avtges

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The Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP) tested a way of making fruits and vegetables more affordable for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assis­tance Program (SNAP). Under HIP, SNAP partici­pants received a financial incentive for purchasing fruits and vegetables. The HIP evaluation used a random assignment research design. Specifically, 7,500 Hampden County SNAP households were randomly selected to partic­ipate in HIP, while the remaining 47,595 households continued to receive SNAP benefits as usual. The final evaluation report presents findings on the impacts of HIP on fruit and vegetable consumption and spending, the processes involved in implementation and operating HIP, impacts on stakeholders, and the costs associated with the pilot.

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Out-of-school-time programs serve snacks to millions of children annually. State and national snack policies endorse serving more-healthful options, such as fruits, yet often allow less-healthful options, such as cookies and chips, to be served simultaneously. To date, no studies have examined the choices children make when provided with disparate snack options in out-of-school-time programs.

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Check out how Orlando's Wyndham Lakes YMCA is putting the HEPA standards into action!

Taste tests are a great way to get children to try new healthy foods!


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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urges parents and communities to support healthy, nutritious foods to help prevent children from becoming overweight or obese.

Schools also will begin making changes this school year to provide healthier snack options for students. Food offered for sale in vending machines, school stores and a la carte in lunch lines will meet some of the same health and nutrition standards that national school lunches follow.


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Out-of-school time (OST) programs serve a large, diverse population of children, including those at increased obesity risk. In this study, parents' perspectives about nutrition and physical activity (PA) during OST were assessed. Results suggest that many parents would support efforts to improve OST nutrition and PA. Yet, there is a need to further understand the perceptions and motivations of different subgroups to enact successful obesity prevention efforts during OST.

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