Thursday, September 5, 2013

Child Trends- News: Obesity and Kids without Food

September 5, 2013  Subscribe
Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
Children without food
September 2013 is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and even kids with limited access to nutritious food can find themselves at risk for obesity. More than 20 percent of U.S. children lived in households that were food-insecure during part of 2011. These children are actually at greater risk of being overweight, perhaps because of lower diet quality or less variety, or because unpredictable availability of food can lead to overeating. Even marginal food insecurity is associated with poor health and developmental outcomes, extending to behavioral problems and depression.
Full-day kindergarten attendance triples over 35 years
Since 1977, the percentage of kindergarteners enrolled in full-day (in contrast to half-day) programs has nearly tripled, from 28 percent then to 76 percent in 2012, with no variation by family income level. While one study found that children in these programs scored higher in math and reading through second grade, another found that academic gains had largely disappeared by the end of first grade. There's similar ambiguity regarding behavioral outcomes for these kids. Read more in the Child Trends DataBank
National Grandparents Day
Children living without their parents
Nearly 3 million U.S. children live in homes with no parent present; more than half of these live with grandparents. Just in time for National Grandparents Day (Sept 8th) comes this review of literature about children in nonparental care. It points out, for example, that not much is known about the quality of relationships between caregivers and parents. Evidence suggests that positive relationships may be beneficial to the children, by promoting parent-child contact or more-stable placements. The report was produced by Child Trends for The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services. 
Trend Lines Blog
Beyond twerking: What we know about sex among teens
Miley Cirus's recent performance at the MTV Music Video Awards elevated twerking in the popular lexicon, and with it much speculation about sexual attitudes and actions among today's teens. We know, though, that dating during adolescence is common (66 percent of 12th graders have) and that most sexually active teens first have sex in a steady dating relationship. But a smaller percentage of high school students are sexually active than were just over twenty years ago. Child Trends' Elisabeth Golub on what we know about sex and dating among teens, in our latest blog post.
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