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July 11, 2011 • Kids Health

News Flash for Parents

  • The British Medical Journal (May 2011) reported that young children between the ages of 3-5 who slept less than 11 hours per day were significantly more likely to become overweight by the age of 7. Conversely, for every additional hour of sleep a night for children ages 3-5, the risk of being overweight at the age of 7 declined by 61%.
  • Past studies have consistently identified a strong relationship between dining out and higher intakes of calories, fat, sugar, and salt, and new research finds that a Father’s dining out habits may have a profound influence on how frequently their children eat away from home. In this evaluation, a father’s use of restaurants (including fast food joints) was one of the most powerful determinants of how often his child did likewise. (Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, May/June 2011)
  • In a new study that is the very first to provide a specific action a woman can take that may lower the risk of having a child with autism – researchers found that mothers who did not take a prenatal vitamin the month prior to and during the first month of pregnancy were almost twice as likely to have a child with autism spectrum disorder vs. those who did. For women who were deemed “genetically high-risk,” not taking a prenatal vitamin was associated with a seven fold increased risk. (Epidemiology Online, May 2011)