diet and health

Bed wetting may be related to dairy intake

Bed-wetting, or enuresis affects an estimated 7 million children over the age of five. There is a strong correlation with bed wetting and milk consumption.

View extensive links on the subject

Group calls for health warnings on soft drinks

A consumer group Wednesday called for cigarette-style warnings on soft drinks to alert consumers that too much of the sugary beverages can make them fat and cause other health problems.

New Study Warns New Moms to avoid Fries and Chips

Pregnant women and nursing mothers should sharply limit--or even cease--eating French fries, potato chips or other foods that contain the chemical acrylamide, according to study released Tuesday by German researchers. -Reuters

Prevention of Iron Deficiency Anemia in Infants and Toddlers

A recent report from American Family Physicians states that the number one reason for iron deficiency in infants is a diet supplemented with cow's milk. They recommend children in the first year of life do not get cow's milk at all.

Breastfeeding is the ideal feeding practice for many well-documented reasons, including lowering the risk of iron deficiency anemia. Although breast milk is low in iron content, about 50 percent of the iron is bioavailable to the infant. Exclusive breatfeeding beyond 4-6 months may no longer provide adequate iron intake and a diet which includes adequate sources of iron and vitamin c (which enhances iron absorption) is recommended.

Infants started on formula at birth and those switched from breast milk to formula should receive iron-fortified formula. If a child is fed iron-fortified formula, the AFP states that parents should not give their children vitamin drops with iron. This combination provides too much iron and is not healthy.

Toddlers (12 to 24 months of age) who drink a lot of cow's milk, have a diet low in iron, or already had iron deficiency as an infant are at risk.

After a child is 12 months old, if the mother stops breastfeeding or using iron-fortified formula, they suggest parents feed their toddlers foods rich in iron such as: meat, chicken, fish, whole grains, enriched bread and cereal, dark green vegetables, and beans. Foods high in vitamin c remain important because it helps the body absorb iron.

Finally, the authors recommend that parents keep all products with iron stored out of the reach of children because they can be poisonous if taken in very large amounts.

I.C.P.A.'s editor's comment: Two ways to reduce iron deficiency in infants can be addressed pre and perinatally:
1- Encourage the mother to up her intake of iron rich foods throughtout pregnacy and while breastfeeding. Dark greens are the best and easiest source of iron consumption and products like chlorella, spirulina and other powder greens make daily consumption easy. (1)
2- Avoid early umbilical cord clamping in the newborn: "Higher red blood cell flow to vital organs in the first week was noted & term infants had less anemia at 2 months" (2)

Kid Bit on-line references:

Understanding soft drink consumption among female adolescents using the Theory of Planned Behavior

This study identified factors that influence regular soda consumption among 707 female students, aged 13-18 years, attending North Los Angeles County public high schools. Participants completed a group-administered Theory of Planned Behavior-based questionnaire. Almost all of the participants, 96.3%, reported that they currently drink soda; 50.1% reported drinking 2 glasses of soda or more per day during the past year. Students reported drinking regular soda more than diet soda and reported drinking phosphoric acid-containing soda more than non-phosphoric acid-containing soda. Attitude, subjective norm and perceived behavioral control had statistically significant positive associations with intention, and were each significant predictors of intention to drink regular soda and together explained 64% of its variance. The strongest predictor was attitude, followed by perceived behavioral control and subjective norm. Our results suggest that efforts to reduce soda consumption among female adolescents should include parents and friends. It is also important that soda should not be excessively available at home or widely accessible to teenagers at schools. Healthy eating messages for adolescents need to be developed and incorporated into existing and future campaigns to reinforce the perception that there are other healthier drinks that quench thirst and that taste good as well.

Department of Health Promotion and Education, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA

Study Says Cows Milk & Childhood Diabetes Linked

A Finnish study suggests that certain children may be vulnerable to diabetes later in life after exposure to cow's milk while very young. The study suggested that children exposed to the insulin naturally be contained in cow's milk may develop antibodies to insulin. The study looked at infants who had been either given cow's milk since birth, or given a combination of breast feeding and non cow's milk formula. At 3 months old, those given cow's milk had immune systems which reacted far more strongly to cow insulin. The levels of immune system antibodies to human insulin and cow  insulin tended to be higher in the group of infants fed only cow's milk.

The researchers wrote: "It is possible that in some genetically susceptible children, a continuous, even small-dose early exposure to bovine insulin in cow's milk may lead to loss of tolerance to insulin."

Paronen J, Knip M, Savilahti E, Virtanen SM, Ilonen J, Akerblom HK, Vaarala O. Effect of cow's milk exposure and maternal type 1 diabetes on cellular and humoral immunization to dietary insulin in infants at genetic risk for type 1 diabetes. Finnish trial to reduce IDDM in the genetically at risk study group.  Diabetes. 2000;49(10):1657-65

Drinking Cow's Milk Triggers Childhood Constipation

Intolerance to cow's milk is associated with constipation in children. Investigators split 65 children with chronic constipation into two groups. All subjects were aged 11-72 months, and had been previously unsuccessfully treated with laxatives.

The first stage of the trial involved half the children drinking cow's milk and the other half drinking soy milk, in stage 2 the groups were reversed. Each stage lasted 2 weeks. None of the children experienced a resolution of symptoms while receiving cow's milk. In contrast, symptoms of constipation improved in 68% of the children while receiving soy milk. This response was confirmed by a double blind cow's milk challenge.

Children not Eating Enough Veggies

Preschoolers aren't eating enough fruits and vegetables. Of the 168 children who took part in the week long study,  none ate the recommended 5 servings per day of fruits and vegetables. The majority of children investigated consumed 2 servings of fruit, and less than half a serving of vegetables each day- or approximately 80% of recommended fruit servings per day and 25% of recommended vegetable servings. However, most of the fruit intake was in the form of juice (an inferior source compared to whole fruit say the authors)

Journal of the American College of Nutrition 1998 (Aug);   17:   371-378

Seizures Decrease Rapidly Ketogenic Diet

The atonic or myoclonic seizures decreased in these children by more than 50% immediately. Using a 24-hour ambulatory electroencephalogram, we documented that the seizures reported by a parent represent only a fraction of the electro clinical events; the technique could be used to measure the profound decrease in electrically documented seizures.

Freeman JM, Vining EPG.  Seizures decrease rapidly after fasting: preliminary studies of the ketogenic diet   Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 1999 (Sep);   153 (9):   946-949

Most Veggie Intake is Junk Food

For many kids, "eat your veggies" means dig into a bag of potato chips or a container of french fries, according to a study presented last week at EmoryUniversity and sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. These two "junk foods" account for a large proportion of children's vegetable intake, says the study's author, Dr. Catherine Champagne of LouisianaState University in Baton Rouge.

Champagne and colleagues poured over food-intake data from the US Department of Agriculture. They computed that children under the age of 7 received 27.3% of their vegetables from fries and chips. This figure jumped to 28.9% in children aged 7 to 12, and to 31.2% in children aged 13 to 18. African American children aged 13 to 18 got 40% of their total vegetable intake from chips and fries.

Champagne CM, Allen HR,   French fried potatoes and potato chips as vegetable servings: How much do they contribute to the intakes of children in the United States? Champagne Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University - International Conference Series on Health Promotion Conference on Childhood Obesity: Partnerships for Research & Prevention.  Atlanta, Georgia, May 3-5,1999

Infants Vitamin D Intake Effects Bane Mineral Density Later in Life

Babies who receive vitamin D supplements may be at a reduced risk of osteoporosis later in life, researchers report.  Investigators looked at 106 healthy Caucasian females, aged 7 to 9 years. Of this group, 91 girls received vitamin D supplements during their first year of life. Bone area and mineral content was measured at six skeletal sites using dual energy x-ray absorptiometry.

The findings revealed that girls who received vitamin D supplements as infants had higher bone mineral density at the radial metaphysis, femoral neck and femoral trochanter. However, no significant difference in bone mineral density was found in the lumbar spine.

Zamora SA, Rizzoli R, Belli DC, Slosman DO, Bonjour JP.  Vitamin D supplementation during infancy is associated with higher bone mineral mass in prepubertal girls   J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1999 (Dec);   84 (12):   4541-4544

Soft Drinks Hurt Bones

Girls who drink carbonated beverages have a heightened risk of fracture,  according to a report in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine by Dr. Grace Wyshak.  The study tracked 460, 9th- and 10th-grade girls. Subjects completed questionnaires detailing physical activity, behavioral habits, carbonated beverage consumption and history of bone fracture.  Findings revealed that girls who drank carbonated beverages had 3.14 times the risk of fracture, compared with their peers who did not drink soda. These results were especially pronounced among physically active girls who drank cola. Specifically, drinking cola boosted the risk of fracture by nearly five-fold in active girls. Experts speculate that the abundance of phosphorus in cola inhibits calcium metabolism, in turn weakening bones and predisposing them to fracture.

Wyshak G.  Teenaged girls, carbonated beverage consumption, and bone fractures   Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2000 (Jun);   154 (6):   610-613