Family, Youth and Community Sciences News

Research-based information, resources, and tips for families, consumers, and educators; provided by the faculty of the University of Florida/IFAS Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences.

Physical Activity-Teens and Parents

Active teensAs we know, parents have a strong influence on the development of healthy lifestyle choices of their children. When parents guide their children to eat nutritious snacks and meals and engage in physical activity, they help them establish patterns that can last a lifetime – and usually a healthier lifetime. So how are young people doing?

According to a recent article in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, physical inactivity is increasing among teens in the U.S., especially among girls. In 2005, almost one-third of teens failed to meet national recommendations for moderate to vigorous physical activity (MMWR, 2006). Researchers from The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and San Diego State University explored the relationship between parental influences and adolescent physical activity and whether those relationships were mediated by self-esteem and depression.

Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, the researchers found that family cohesion, parent-child communication, and parental engagement positively influenced a teen’s physical activity. They also found that positive parental relationships were associated with their teen’s self-esteem, which in turn led to increased physical activity. The researchers suggest that “a parenting style characterized by warmth and support, while providing adolescents with appropriate levels of autonomy, may be important for achieving recommended levels of physical activity.”

The research suggests that when families spend time together, communicate with each other, and develop strong family bonds they also are more likely to promote physical activity among their teens.

Listening, learning and living together, it’s the science of life. “Family Album” is a co-production of University of Florida IFAS Extension, the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences and of WUFT-FM. If you’d like to learn more, please visit our website at familyalbumradio.org.


Podcast: Parental influence on physical activity
Written by: Donna Davis
Reviewed by: Linda Bobroff & Suzanna Smith

Reference

Ornelas, I., Perreira, K., Ayala, G. Parental influences on adolescent physical activity: a longitudinal study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2007, 4:3 doi:10.1186/1479-5868-4-3. Retrieved on February 5, 2007.

Eaton D, Kann L, Kinchen S, Ross J, Hawkins J, Harris W, Lowry R, McManus T,
Chyen D, Shanklin S, et al: “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance -- United States, 2005”. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Surveillance Summaries2006, 55:1-108. Retrieved on February 14, 2007.

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Teen Assets and Liabilities

When we think about assets and liabilities, we often think in financial terms. Even when we think about the assets our children might enjoy, we might consider their intellectual and physical strengths as well as the things we try to provide for them. Most teens I know consider their cars, cell phones and wardrobes their most important assets.

Yet, according to the non-profit Search Institute (2006), some of the most important assets teenagers have are developmental building blocks that “help young people grow up healthy, caring and responsible” (http://www.search-institute.org/assets/40AssetsList.pdf).

The Search Institute has identified a framework of “40 Developmental Assets” for adolescents that focus on both external and internal assets. External assets include the people and places that support and guide young people and help them make “constructive use” of their time. Families, schools, religious communities, neighborhoods, and youth programs provide external assets.

Internal assets are “characteristics and behaviors that reflect positive internal growth and development of young people.” A youth’s internal assets include her or his commitment to learning such as motivation to do well in school and reading for pleasure. A teen’s internal assets also include their positive values such as being caring, honest and responsible; as well as exhibiting social competencies, such as being able to resist negative peer pressure and having good friendship skills. High self-esteem as part of a positive identity is another internal asset.

According to the Search Institute, these assets can make a tremendous difference in young people's lives, giving them strength to avoid risky behaviors and to make positive choices.

Listening, learning and living together, it’s the science of life. “Family Album” is a co-production of University of Florida IFAS Extension, the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences and of WUFT-FM. If you’d like to learn more, please visit our website at familyalbumradio.org.

Podcast: Adolescent developmental assets
Written by: Donna Davis
Reviewed by: Kate Fogarty & Suzanna Smith

Reference

40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents (ages 12-18), (2006), Search Institute, retrieved on January 29, 2007 online at http://www.search-institute.org/assets/40AssetsList.pdf and http://www.search-institute.org/assets/

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Adult Responsibility for Teens Development


I have loved being around the teenagers in my life. For many of these kids, life has not been easy and I have hoped that they have been able to find a safe harbor in our home. Having a place to go and adults to count on are what the Search Institute calls external “Developmental Assets.”

For many teens today, these assets aren’t always easy to come by. External developmental assets include “relationships, experiences, and opportunities provided by nuclear and extended families, caring adults and peers, neighborhoods, and institutions within communities.” (http://www.search-institute.org/assets/40AssetsList.pdf)

The Search Institute recommends several ways for adults to build an adolescent’s developmental assets. These include helping them find activities to make constructive use of their time; empowering them to use their abilities to help others; and sparking their commitment to learning.

However, “only a small percentage of adults are deeply engaged in promoting the healthy development of young people outside their own families, according to two startling studies by the Institute (2000, 2002). According to this research, there is a disconnect between what adults claim to be their priorities in influencing children and what they actually are doing about it, especially when those children are not their own – even if they’re neighbors.

However, the Search Institute’s research highlights how important it is for caring adults to support teens and give them the skills to overcome many obstacles and develop qualities that will help them become caring, responsible adults.

Listening, learning and living together, it’s the science of life. “Family Album” is a co-production of University of Florida IFAS Extension, the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences and of WUFT-FM. If you’d like to learn more, please visit our website at familyalbumradio.org.

Podcast: Building teen developmental assets
Written by: Donna Davis
Reviewed by: Kate Fogarty & Suzanna Smith

Reference

40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents (ages 12-18), (2006), Search Institute, retrieved on January 29, 2007 online at http://www.search-institute.org/assets/40AssetsList.pdf and http://www.search-institute.org/assets/

“Grading Grown-Ups 2002: How do American kids and adults relate?” (2002), Search Institute. Retrieved on January 31, 2007 online at http://www.search-institute.org/norms/ and http://www.search-institute.org/norms/gg2002.pdf

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Warning Signs Your Child Has an Eating Disorder

Adolescent girls typically are very concerned about their body image. For some, this concern leads to extreme eating and/or exercise behavior. They may restrict the amount of food they eat and/or exercise several hours a day. For some, this may be a sign of an emerging eating disorder. These behaviors are easily overlooked, and many young people consciously keep their condition a secret from parents and friends.

Research shows that roughly 3% of adolescents struggle with some form of eating disorder, and 90% of those struggling are females (Haines & Neumark-Sztainer, 2006). Parents often are unaware of the problem until the condition seriously endangers their child’s health. This might be avoided if parents were aware of the physical and psychological warning signs of eating disorders.

  • Signs may include excessive fear of weight gain, severe restriction in the type and amount of food eaten, a desire to eat alone, withdrawal from family and friends, and denial of bad eating habits (Treasure, Van Furth, & Schmidt, 2003). Physical signs include absence of the menstrual cycle, dry or brittle hair, tooth decay, decreased energy, and often, marked weight loss (Treasure et. al., 2003).

Fast intervention and treatment are keys to reducing long term health effects of eating disorders and increasing the chance of a full recovery. Parents who suspect that their child has an eating disorder should consult their primary care provider and ask for a referral to a mental health professional or an eating disorders team who will provide evaluation, diagnosis, and multi-disciplinary treatment. (Thompson, 1996).

Families that heed the warning signs and arrange for proper intervention and treatment can reduce the prolonged effects of eating disorders, and increase their child’s chance of a full recovery.

Listening, learning, and living together, it’s the science of life. “Family Album” is a co-production of University of Florida IFAS Extension, the Department of Family, Youth, and Community Sciences and of WUFT-FM. If you’d like to learn more, please visit our website at familyalbumradio.org.

References

Haines, J, Neumark-Sztainer, D. (2006). Prevention of obesity and eating disorders: a consideration of shared risk factors. Health Education Research, 1-13.

Thompson, K.J. (ed). (1996). Body image, eating disorders, and obesity: An integrative guide for assessment and treatment. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Treasure, J., Van Furth, E., & Schmidt, U. (eds). Handbook of eating disorders. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

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Weight Control for Older Adults

Obesity is in the news just about every day, with concerns for family members from 5 to 105. But are the health risks the same for older and younger family members who carry excess weight, and is it appropriate for the elderly to try to lose excess body weight to improve health and quality of life?

First, obesity is on the rise among all people, including persons over 65 years old. Second, research shows that obesity can accelerate the decline in physical function seen in some older persons, potentially leading to a decline in quality of life including the ability to live independently. Also, although obese older adults may live as long as those at a healthier body weight, they are at higher risk for diabetes and other chronic diseases, and they spend considerably more on health care.

Some health professionals are reluctant to recommend weight loss for obese older adults due to concerns about potential adverse effects on muscle and bone mass. However, several studies have found that weight loss regimes can help older persons lose weight while improving physical function, quality of life, and medical conditions (like diabetes) that often are associated with obesity. To promote retention of muscle and bone mass, it is recommended that weight loss programs for older family members include weight-bearing exercise and adequate intake of protein, calcium and vitamin D.

Older adults who want to lose weight should first get a thorough medical check-up. If weight loss is recommended, they should choose a research-based weight management program, possibly offered by a local Extension office, or consult with a registered dietitian with weight management expertise.

Listening, learning and living together, it’s the science of life. “Family Album” is a co-production of University of Florida IFAS Extension, the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences and of WUFT-FM. If you’d like to learn more, please visit our website at familyalbumradio.org.

Podcast: Weight Management in Older Adults
Written by: Linda Bobroff
Reviewed by: Donna Davis

References

Lakdawall DN, Goldman DP and Shang B. The health and cost consequences of obesity among the future elderly. Health Affairs. 2005 (Web exclusive) Available at: http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/full/hlthaff.w5.r30/DC1

Villareal DT, Apovian CM, Kushner RF and Klein S. Obesity in older adults: technical review and position statement of the American Society for Nutrition and NAASO, The Obesity Society. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005;82:923-34.

Other Papers of Interest

Manini TM, Everhart JE, Patel KV, Schoeller DA, Colbert LH, Visser M, Tylavsky F, Bauer DC, Goodpaster BH and Harris TB. Daily activity energy expenditure and mortality among older adults. JAMA. 2006;296:171-79.

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Flora Foods Recalls “Cerignola” Olives Because of Possible Health Risk

Flora Foods Recalls “Cerignola” Olives Because of Possible Health Risk

Contact:
Flora Foods
954-785-3100

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Pompano Beach, FL -- March 8, 2007 -- Flora Foods of Pompano Beach, Florida, is recalling its 25oz jars of "Cerignola Olives" because they have the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum, a bacterium which can cause life-threatening illness or death. Consumers are warned not to use the product even if it does not look or smell spoiled.

Botulism, a potentially fatal form of food poisoning, can cause the following symptoms: general weakness, dizziness, double-vision and trouble with speaking or swallowing. Difficulty in breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distension and constipation may also be common symptoms. People experiencing these problems should seek immediate medical attention.

The recalled "Cerignola" olives were distributed in Florida, Georgia and upstate New York in retail stores.

The product comes in a 25 oz, clear glass jar marked with LOT #G080 stamped on the label.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

The potential for contamination was noted after routine testing found that the product had been underprocessed.

Distribution of the product has been suspended as FDA and the company continue their investigation as to the source of the problem.

Consumers who have purchased 25 oz jars of "Cerignola" olives are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 954-785-3100.

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Peanut Butter Recalls

Keep up-to-date with the latest information regarding the peanut butter recalls directly from the FDA News.
Symptoms of foodborne illness caused by Salmonella include fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. In persons with poor underlying health or weakened immune systems, Salmonella can invade the bloodstream and cause life-threatening infections or death. Individuals who have recently eaten peanut butter-containing products from these companies and who have experienced any of these symptoms should contact their doctor or health care provider immediately and report the illnesses to their state or local health authorities. Similarly, institutional food establishments and other food service providers who have received reports of illness from consumers after they consumed a product containing this peanut butter are encouraged to share that information with their local health department.

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Fitness and Food

kids playing in shadowIn our fitness-conscious and competitive world, there are multitudes of self-styled nutrition “experts” who have plenty of advice to offer, many with a product to sell. For parents of athletes, the choices can be overwhelming as they seek to provide that competitive edge to their children through proper nutrition. If you’re packing for long days on soccer sidelines, wrestling mats, baseball fields, swimming pools, tracks or any number of strenuous sports activities for your children, knowing how to provide the right fuel throughout the day can be confusing!

According to nutrition experts, except for energy (calories) and water, nutritional needs are basically the same for people who exercise for fun and health, for athletes, and for those who are less active. Using MyPyramid as a guide to eating well for fitness and health can help parents provide their young athletes with good nutrition for training and competition. And, while well-nourished athletes don’t require supplements of protein, amino acids, vitamins, or ergogenic aides such as chromium or creatineas many marketers might have you believe, there are certain nutritional steps your young athlete can take to maximize his or her performance.

For starters, a high-carbohydrate diet provides energy for training and competition. By eating a high-carbohydrate diet each day, your child will have a ready supply of glucose when it’s needed. Likewise, make certain your athlete is well hydrated by consuming cool water before, during and after exercise. Dehydration decreases performance and can cause serious harm to the body. During intense exercise lasting longer than an hour, commercial sports drinks are even better than water as they replace the sodium and electrolytes lost during exercise. And, while these tips will help children during their sports activities, the same rules hold true for the adult athletes in your family!

Listening, learning and living together, it’s the science of life. “Family Album” is a co-production of University of Florida IFAS Extension, the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences and of WUFT-FM. If you’d like to learn more, please visit our website at familyalbumradio.org.

Podcast: Food and fitness
Written by Linda Bobroff and Donna Davis
Reviewed by Suzanna Smith


Source


Bobroff, Linda B., “Food and Fitness: Myths and Truths” (2006) EDIS document FCS8100, one of a series of the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Retrieved September 26, 2006 online at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu

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Finding Balance for Kids

balance in children's livesWhether school is in full swing or you’re dealing with summer schedules, you may be asking yourself, “Where does the time go?” I was stunned the first time I realized my kids were feeling this way, too!


Children often feel the push to become involved in as many different activities as possible. And, parents, who tend to have their own wide variety of interests, don’t always see or set the limits that their children need. As a parent, it’s important to monitor your child for signs of activity “burn out” and to step in when you know your kids are being overloaded.

If you’ve got a “stressed out” kid, here are some simple strategies to help improve the situation. First, set priorities. Help your children pick activities that are most important to them, make sure they can handle these, along with other responsibilities, and then help them manage their time wisely. Second, check on their homework load. Making schoolwork the first priority shows your children how important an education really is. Third, be sure to schedule downtime. Time to “rest and relax” is just as important as the activities themselves. And finally, be a role model. Parents with too many activities in their own lives will likely find that “over-scheduling” is happening in the lives of their children, too.

Out-of-school activities aren’t bad for children. In fact, research shows extracurricular activities have been linked to higher grades regardless of the type of activity. The important thing for parents to remember is to help their children find a balance in their lives.

Listening, learning and living together, it’s the science of life. “Family Album” is a co-production of University of Florida IFAS Extension, the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences and of WUFT-FM. If you’d like to learn more, please visit our website at familyalbumradio.org.

Take the Family Album Radio Survey

Podcast: Finding the Balance
Written by Minal Patel and Christa Guerrero
Reviewed by Donna Davis and Suzanna Smith

Sources

Cosden, M., Morrison, G., Gutierrez, L., & Brown, M. (2004). The effects of homework programs and after-school activities on school success. Theory into Practice, 43, 220-226.

The Nemours media room, the latest news. (n.d.). Retrieved November 3, 2006, from Are Today's Kids Too Busy? Web site: http://www.nemours.org/internet?url=no/releases/2006/060628

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Raw Milk-Friend or Foe to Health


milk bottlePodcast: Raw milk? A friend or a foe to your health?
Written by: Amy Simonne
Reviewed by Donna Davis and Suzanna Smith

Recently when my son came home from his regular exercise session, he told me that his trainer recommended he drink “raw milk” for additional health benefits. I’d never heard of raw milk, and it didn’t sound very appetizing – Not to mention, I was curious about its safety.

As it turns out, there are definitely risks involved. According to the U. S. Food and Drug Administration Department of Health and Human Services (US-FDA-DHHS), raw milk is inherently dangerous and may contain a long list of disease causing bacteria. Additionally, some of these bacteria can be deadly, especially for those who are very young, very old or those who have medical conditions limiting the body’s ability to fight infectious diseases.

Currently, 99% of fresh milk consumed in the US is pasteurized, the process created to prevent foodborne illnesses in raw milk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), since 1998, more than 39 foodborne illness outbreaks, including an estimated 831 individual cases of illness, were reported due to consumption of raw or un-pasteurized milk or cheese made from raw milk. The outbreaks have occurred in 22 states.

Despite the well-known association of raw milk and disease-causing organisms, including Salmonella and E-coli, some consumers continue to believe that raw milk is of better quality or has greater health benefit than pasteurized milk. However, before exposing yourself or your family members to potential contamination from raw milk, understand the risks involved.

Listening, learning and living together, it’s the science of life. “Family Album” is a co-production of University of Florida IFAS Extension, the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences and of WUFT-FM. If you’d like to learn more, please visit our website at familyalbumradio.org. Take the Family Album Radio Survey

Sources

On The Safety of Raw Milk (with a word about pasteurization)

Why is Raw Milk Dangerous?

FDA Warns Consumers to Avoid Drinking Raw Milk

The epidemiology of raw milk-associated foodborne disease outbreaks reported in the United States, 1973 through 1992

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