Just stop talking about weight with kids, says public health PhD grad

Research explores the impact of obesity-related stigma on young people – and how to end it

Just stop talking about weight with kids, says public health PhD grad“We should just keep weight out of everyday conversation with our kids.” That’s the conclusion Alexa Ferdinands came to after interviewing young people about their experiences with obesity-related stigma for her PhD in health promotion and socio-behavioural sciences in the University of Alberta’s School of Public Health. “When it comes to nutrition, there are so…

Infections from respiratory viruses follow predictable seasonal pattern

Infections peak in January to June – a pattern that could help the health-care system plan

Infections from respiratory viruses follow predictable seasonal patternResearchers have identified a clear-cut seasonal pattern of respiratory viruses that could help hospitals plan for waves of sick patients. Bouts of respiratory illness from six viruses that were analyzed all peak in January and hit a low in June, with the peaks worse every second year, according to lead researcher Michael Hawkes, a pediatrics…

Helping parents navigate the challenges of a sick child

Edmonton researchers provide the tools parents need to make informed decisions about their children’s health in a crisis

Helping parents navigate the challenges of a sick childIt’s midnight and your four-year-old child is congested and struggling to breathe, with a barky cough. Do you go to the nearest hospital? The children’s hospital across town? Do you wait and call your family doctor in the morning? Many parents experience situations like this, and it’s terrifying. Edmonton researchers Lisa Hartling and Shannon Scott…

COVID-19 underscores ‘invisible pandemic’ of diet-related diseases

Public policies can help support better individual choices

COVID-19 underscores ‘invisible pandemic’ of diet-related diseasesThe COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light both weaknesses and opportunities in the way public policies can support children’s long-term health, according to the seventh and final Alberta Nutrition Report Card on Food Environments for Children and Youth, released recently. “Kids eat what’s available to them, what’s affordable and readily accessible,” said principal investigator Kim…

How to help kids cope with back-to-school stress

A helpful guide to easing the transition

How to help kids cope with back-to-school stressKids anxious about heading back to school after a year of pandemic lockdown can best be helped by parents and teachers getting themselves grounded and present, says a University of Alberta education expert. Connecting with how their bodies respond to stress or fear can help adults deal with any stress or trauma children are experiencing,…

COVID-driven physical inactivity crisis hits school-age children

Active students have better grades, enhanced memory, lower absenteeism and better behaviour

COVID-driven physical inactivity crisis hits school-age childrenThe physical activity levels of our young people were already trending downward when COVID-19 hit. The pandemic made things worse. Kids around were stuck at home, forced to try to learn virtually. An online math class is one thing. A physical education class at home is nearly impossible. During the pandemic, physical education has been…

What’s the pandemic doing to my young child?

Spoiler alert: everyone’s going to be OK

What’s the pandemic doing to my young child?If you’re the parent or caregiver of a toddler or preschooler, you might be wondering how the past 16 months of relative isolation has affected them. For many kids, the pandemic shut down their opportunities to interact with peers and increased their screen time. It has also disrupted family routines, increased anxiety among many caregivers…

Canada has a baby-making problem

Missing marriages, empty baby carriages

Canada has a baby-making problemWedding industry vendors are reporting a boom in bookings – or at least south of the border according to the Associated Press. Couples who waited out the pandemic are booking their big day, as are those who married during the pandemic but are now planning celebrations with family and friends. The increased bookings are likely…

Have faith in our children to create a better world

Giving our children the tools to move the world forward is the most valuable investment we can make

Have faith in our children to create a better worldAmerican musician and songwriter Louis Armstrong wrote, “I hear babies cry. I watch them grow. They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.” As an educator, parent and adult functioning in our society, I can think of no higher ideal than this. It’s an empowering, humbling…

Can we afford $10-a-day childcare?

The simple answer is no

Can we afford $10-a-day childcare?Providing quality care for preschool children is a good thing. Children learn to socialize in groups beyond their family. They acquire the skills and readiness that will allow them to succeed in elementary school and later in life. With children well looked after, all parents are free to take jobs or pursue careers contributing to…