Cochrane reviews show impact of lifestyle changes on obesity

Two Cochrane reviews, published today, show that a combination of diet, physical activity and behavioural change interventions may reduce weight in children and adolescents | OnMedica

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The two reviews look at the effects of diet, physical activity and behavioural interventions in treating children with overweight or obesity from six years old to early adulthood. They summarise the results of 114 studies which involved over 13,000 children and young people.

Emotional wellbeing of young people

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Public Health England has carried out a thematic analysis of the recent Health Behaviour in School Age Children (HSBC) survey exploring the rising trend in poorer emotional wellbeing of young people.

The reports cover self-harm; cyberbullying and the emotional wellbeing of adolescent girls.  They examine the data and explore what protective factors may exist in a young person’s life which may be linked to their mental health outcomes, ranging from personal attributes, family, school, peer and wider community context.

Public Health England has also produced a summary of data from the most recent HBSC survey.

Te reports can be downloaded below:

Preventing tooth decay in children under five

This professional resource from Public Health England outlines how health professionals, councils and partners can help prevent tooth decay in children under 5 as part of ensuring every child has the best start in life.

The guidance covers the following areas:

  • Scale of the problem
  • Risk factors for tooth decay
  • How to prevent tooth decay
  • Effective interventions for improving dental health
Preventing decay

Image Source: http://www.gov.uk

Eggs can significantly increase growth in young children

Eggs significantly increased growth and reduced stunting by 47 percent in young children, finds a new study from a leading expert on child nutrition | ScienceDaily

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Eggs significantly increased growth and reduced stunting by 47 percent in young children, finds a new study from a leading expert on child nutrition at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. This was a much greater effect than had been shown in previous studies.

Eggs were shown to increase standardized length-for-age score and weight-for-age score. Models indicated a reduced prevalence of stunting by 47 percent and underweight by 74 percent. Children in the treatment group had higher dietary intakes of eggs and reduced intake of sugar-sweetened foods compared to control.

80% of under-twos in England didn’t visit an NHS dentist last year

Faculty of Dental Surgery says ‘widespread misunderstanding’ among parents over when to visit dentist leads to children having to have rotten teeth removed

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The Faculty of Dental Surgery (FDS) at The Royal College of Surgeons has analysed on the latest NHS Digital dental statistics for children and found that approximately 80% of children between the age of one and two didn’t visit an NHS dentist in the twelve months leading up to March 31st 2017.

The FDS is warning that there is a widespread misunderstanding among parents about when a baby should visit the dentist. NHS dental check-ups for children are free. Official Public Health England guidance states that parents and carers should ensure their child has a dental check-up as soon as their teeth start to appear, which is usually at around six months old.

Many of the 9,220 cases of tooth extractions performed in hospitals on children aged one to four during 2015/16 can be attributed to tooth decay, which the FDS points out is 90% preventable.

Digital technology and adolescent conduct problems

Adolescents spend an unprecedented amount of time using digital technology to access the Internet and engage with social media. There is concern that this continuous connectivity could increase their mental health symptoms, especially for at-risk adolescents. | Journal of Pediatric Nursing

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A new US study has reported that on days that at-risk adolescents used technology more, they experienced more conduct problems and higher attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms compared to days when they used digital technologies less.

However, the study also found that on days when adolescents spent more time using digital technologies they were less likely to report symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Key findings:

•Daily digital technology use by at-risk adolescents is associated with worse mental health symptoms.
•Higher levels of digital technology use were associated with increases in next-day conduct problems.
•Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms increased with increased digital technology use.
•When adolescents spent more time using digital technologies they reported fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Full reference: McBride, Deborah L. Daily Digital Technology Use Linked to Mental Health Symptoms for High-risk Adolescents. Journal of Pediatric Nursing: Nursing Care of Children and Families. Published online 7th June 2017

TVs in the bedroom linked to childhood obesity, study finds

Scientists say there is a clear link between having a TV in your bedroom as a young child and becoming overweight later in childhood | | International Journal of Obesity | Story via The Guardian 

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Children who have TVs in their bedrooms are more likely to be overweight than those who do not, a study by University College London scientists suggests.

Sitting still for long periods watching TV has long been thought to be one of the changes in behaviour of the last few decades that could be contributing to the obesity epidemic. It has been suspected that having a TV in the bedroom might exacerbate the problem. Children or adolescents might be snacking unobserved, they could be exposed to advertising for junk food while watching adult programmes and they may not sleep as well, which is also linked to putting on weight.

Published in the International Journal of Obesity, the research used data on more than 12,000 children born in 2000/2001 who were recruited to the UK Millennium Cohort Study, set up to look at the influences on children’s development into adulthood. They investigated the data from the age of seven to 11. More than half had a TV in their bedroom.

They found that girls who had a TV in their bedroom at age seven were at an approximately 30% higher risk of being overweight at age 11, compared to children who did not have a TV in their bedroom. Boys were 20% more likely to become overweight.

Full story : The Guardian

See also: TVs in children’s bedrooms ‘increase risk of obesity’ | BBC

Full reference: Heilmann, A et al. | Longitudinal associations between television in the bedroom and body fatness in a UK cohort study | International Journal of Obesity | article preview 1 June 2017