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The Biomedical Engineering blog is the place for conversation and discussion about topics related to engineering principles of the medical field. Here, you'll find everything from discussions about emerging medical technologies to advances in medical research. The blog's owner, Chelsey H, is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) with a degree in Biomedical Engineering.

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Children and Public Daycare: A Weighty Issue

Posted July 15, 2008 12:00 AM by Sharkles

With new guidelines to test cholesterol in children, we are left to consider how childhood obesity has risen so dramatically in the first place. These days, parenting isn't easy. For many families, having one parent stay home with a child is not an option. After all, the financial status of these families demands two working parents.

When relatives or private child-care is not an option, many parents decide that putting their child in the hands of a public daycare is the best choice. But now studies are reporting that public daycare may provide a link to childhood obesity. Let's look at the facts.

University Research

According to researchers at the University of Illinois and the Harvard School of Public Health, toddlers who attend public daycare tend to gain more weight then those who are taken care of privately. Juhee Kim and Karen Peterson studied a database of 8,000 infants from 2001 and 2002. From this database, they concluded that 55% of children were taken care of by people who were not their parents – usually relatives or public childcare professionals. Of the 55%, half of the children were enrolled in full-time public daycare – 40% of them beginning at younger then three months old.

Kim and Peterson also found that babies in public daycare facilities gained an average of about 175 grams (about 0.4 lb) over nine months when compared to babies who were taken care of exclusively by their parents or private care facilities.

Public Daycare and Weight Gain

Additionally, public daycare babies are more likely to start eating solid foods sooner. Juhee Kim explains that infants go through a critical period from three to six months. During this time, parental bonds are formed. This is also the time when most infants transition from milk to solid foods. Although the connection isn't confirmed, Kim believes that the weight gain may be attributed to the irregular eating patterns and habits given by public caregivers. "If children are cared for by their parents, they are exposed to only one environment. But if they are put in a child-care setting, then they have two different environments and two different feeding patterns. That might be a factor for more weight gain," Kim says.

Research on what contributes to childhood obesity is ongoing. Additional questions are posed by this study, such as "what / when / how are these babies being fed". While daycare facilities are shown to enhance cognitive development for later academic success, the way they establish eating habits remains a subject for debate.

Resources:

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1821143,00.html?xid=feed-yahoo-healthsci

http://cr4.globalspec.com/blogentry/6262/Do-Your-Kids-Have-High-Cholesterol

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#1

Re: Children and Public Daycare: A Weighty Issue

07/15/2008 4:02 PM

Obese parents with bad eating habits=obese children with bad eating habits. There are exceptions to this equation, but not many. Fat in the US nowadays is normal because people are lazy.

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#2

Re: Children and Public Daycare: A Weighty Issue

07/15/2008 4:59 PM

Children in a good daycare eat with a regularity that would impress those adults who think that lunch comes from a vending machine anytime between 12 and 2. There's a scheduled time for breakfast, morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack. Some daycare providers even complain that it seems they're always either preparing food, feeding the children, or cleaning up after them.

So maybe the problem in some of these public daycares is that there's too much emphasis on eating, and not enough on exercise. Kids need proper nutrition and regular eating patterns, of course, but physical activity is also important to their development and well-being.

As for older kids, I'm still trying to figure out when nachos became an entree in our local school-lunch program. No, I'm not kidding. On the one hand, the school teaches the kids about the food pyramid and "eating right". On the other, it makes "pub food" the fuel for the next generation. Go figure.

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#3

Re: Children and Public Daycare: A Weighty Issue

07/16/2008 12:54 AM

Testing for cholesterol in children is just another way for the drug makers to get a new market. The adult market is more than saturated so to keep there revenue up.

Something similar a few years ago with kids on ADD or ADHD when the market be came saturated they went after the adults.

The weight issue Could be from all of the process foods they eat. A large part of foods and drinks has high fructose corn syrup as one of the top ingredients.

As food is process and refined the caloric content increases.

Obesity 30 to 50 years ago was not as prevalent as it is now in children or adults.

The diet Americans eat has changed in the same time period. In countries that have a healthier diet whole foods limited process foods. The obesity rate is lower.

Even exercisers or the lack of does have some influence, BUT just changing just the way and what you eat can have a bigger influence than just exercise alone.


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#4
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Re: Children and Public Daycare: A Weighty Issue

07/16/2008 1:58 AM

great answer and really true observations.

as a aside in the small picture beside your screen name i see what looks like someone dressing a plow point on a 2 or 300 cwt anvil i thought that when i quit cleaning the twyer 40 years ago i had shut down the last working smithy in the world.

as for the comment about working the metal as equaling how to begin the higher purpose reworking of a man's soul have you ever heard of or seen the portrayal of blacksmith ritual?

if yes then i would like to craft a reply to you, 3-4-5 x w.b. 'da ber

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#5
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Re: Children and Public Daycare: A Weighty Issue

07/16/2008 8:07 AM

I would have to agree that the drugs companies are responsible for the "guideline" to test for cholesterol in kids. A few years ago my doctor was pushing me to go on some cholesterol med because the limit had been lowered from 240 to 180 in the new "ATPII" (Adult Test Panel II). I asked why the limit had been lowered. He said new studies showed that blah blah. I asked who paid for the studies. He just looked at me and said "point taken."

The use of high fructose corn syrup as a sweetener over cane sugar has been driven by government subsidies to agrobusiness, mainly ADM (Archers Daniel Midland). As metal said, the rise in obesity correlates well with the increased use of corn syrup and processed foods. You even get corn syrup in spaghetti sause and other surprising places. The stuff is tough to avoid.

From my own personal experience I was only able to stablize my weight and finally start loosing some after I stopped drinking pop (aka soda, aka fizzy drinks). So there is one data point saying to avoid corn syrup.

It's a paradox that the drug and agro companies spend so much lobbying the government just to end up causing health issues for the population in general which then drives up the cost of health care....

I guess we can fall back on the old adage "you are what you eat."

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#11
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Re: Children and Public Daycare: A Weighty Issue

07/26/2008 10:43 AM

good points especially about the archers daniels parts to the issue.

if you want to have a good look at the issue that is a greate place to start, however dig up the p.a. i. about the sources of the sugar itself and the cane and soy industries contribution to it. connect to the amazonia (brazil) english language version of that weekly e amail news and read what the brazilians have been ccomplaining about in the terms of deforesting the amazon for cane and soy not for the cattle that the two companies in turn use their grains to feed .

it will be very difficult to avoid drawing the conclusions that the a.d.m.'s of the world have a vested intrest in keeping america and the world obese and food sugar dependent.

the book Rats in The Grain will give far more info than anything that you will find here or in to this point my readings on the subject as presented by any authour. The reason for that book's information being so accurate is the authours' relationship as a chemist who leaked confidential internal memos A.D.M. had him work on is now under a impossible to serve in any ones life time jail term.

it is very interesting that the lead consel in his prosecution was a canadian lawyer not an american one. a satiricist would be able to make political hay over that having occured considering his relationship to the deal that real shafted the american manufacturing industries of all stripes. these two last statements are my personal opinion, they are limited to that extent by the regulations i have to adhere to under this discussions liits, i canot avoid losing the info that comes through having it available to myself and the people who depend on me o get it, e.g. persons with visible and invisible disability.

'da ber

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#6

Re: Children and Public Daycare: A Weighty Issue

07/16/2008 9:01 AM

It is a little ironic that this question shows up on an engineering forum. All be it the parents fault for the food they buy, we the engineers are also at fault.

Our jobs are to invent things that make life easier. Clap-on-clap-off, robot vacuum's and mowers, video games, computers (well this is a necessity), power soft drinks (sugar filled), and even the remote control. This list can go on, and will as we invent even more.

Covey Buckington (I think I spelled this right) has a good song out that says it all. "When we grew up we played with kids, and they were all outside."

I know this all to well as I have a niece that is 15 yrs old, and about 200 lbs. Good kid and in the honors class's. However very lazy and refuses to do anything that is exerting. Taking her dog out is like pulling teeth.

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#7
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Re: Children and Public Daycare: A Weighty Issue

07/16/2008 9:22 AM

Actually, it's Bucky Covington (spelling from his website). A very good song. It's one of my favorites.

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Re: Children and Public Daycare: A Weighty Issue

07/16/2008 9:36 AM

Thanks, I guess I'm becoming slightly dyslexic in my older days.

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#9
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Re: Children and Public Daycare: A Weighty Issue

07/16/2008 10:12 AM

A lot of this boils down to personal choices. My wife and I have three boys and we also take care of foster children we now have two, a boy and a girl so we have 5 kids ander the age of 8. By choice, we don't have cable or satelite dish, we pick up a local staion for news/weather. The kids play outside with the dog, in the rain or shine. They pick up/play with all kinds of bugs and worms or the occasional snake or frog and they have a blast.

I want the kids to have the kind of childhood I had, running around in the cow pastures, chasing dogs and each other, riding bikes until it was dinner time then going back out to catch lightning bugs. Now don't get me wrong, when I was a kid I played with M-80s and swung on grapevines and a lot of other unsafe things, but they didn't kill me (somehow).

Now, I don't let my kids play with fireworks, but when they get old enough, I'll show them how to use them the right way to have fun. I don't think people want to take the time with their kids to go fishing or biking or swimming in the creek because we, and yes I said we, are too busy. We need to make changes in our lives for the good of our families and I'm not talking about Obama's type of change, I mean REAL change. Now if we were able to accomplish that, my friends, this world would be a lot better place and the drug companies and doctors would have to change because kids would be happier and healthier. When you get off work, go take a kid for a walk (but not just any kid, that might get you in trouble)

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#12
In reply to #9

Re: Children and Public Daycare: A Weighty Issue

07/26/2008 11:26 AM

M-80's as a kids toy? thats a progressive family alright!

'da ber

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#10

Re: Children and Public Daycare: A Weighty Issue

07/26/2008 9:36 AM

The problem of childrens weight has increased since they started adding stuff to the milk. I know the lifestyle has changed but I see famers with kids that work the same as we did growing up and the only real difference is the milk put on the talbes for kids. These people butcher their own beef, chicken and pork so I know the growth hormones are not there.

I don't know what they added to the milk but I am guessing the soybean products along with some type of corn compound.

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