Friday, October 23, 2009

These busybody ignoramuses will be ignored, fortunately

"Evidence-based", my foot! There is certain to be plenty of epidemiological speculation but I know of NO double blind studies in support of any of the crap below. It is all just the popular "wisdom" of the day, wisdom that can be and often is dangerously wrong. Look at the official backflip over peanuts, where the official advice of the past produced an epidemic of peanut allergies. And I don't suppose I should mention the joint problems (hip and knee) now being suffered by devotees of the '80s jogging craze

CHILDREN should not be forced to clear their plates at meal times under new parenting guidelines released by the Federal Government. The Get Up And Grow guides, available free to every parent and childcare centre, recommends toddlers under two be banned from watching TV or using computers altogether, The Daily Telegraph reports. And children aged between two and five should spend less than an hour a day in front of the television and computer and get at least three hours exercise a day.

The booklet advises parents about correct daily portion sizes of healthy food that should be fed to children, a serve of milk for a child aged under five is just 100ml, a serve of cheese is just 15g and a meat portion should be just 45g. "If your child refuses to eat at any meal or snack do not force them to eat," parents are advised.

The guide provides healthy eating and exercise prescriptions for babies and children aged up to five developed by experts at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute and the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. "New parents are bombarded with information and knowing what advice to take can often be difficult and stressful," Health Minister Nicola Roxon said yesterday. "These guidelines are an evidence-based, easy to read resource parents can rely on when raising baby."

Children aged five and under need three meals and two snacks per day and should eat chocolate, fruit juice, soft drinks, flavoured milk and takeaway very rarely. Babies should be exercised and from the age of one should do at least three hours of active play a day. Restraining children for more than one hour at a time in car seats, prams or high chairs is also frowned on because it limits a child's development and learning time.

The Australian Communication and Media Authority said four-month-old babies watch an average of 44 minutes of TV daily, while under-fours spend at least three hours a day in front of the screen. But the new government guidelines state this is too much. "Screen time is not recommended for babies and children less than two years of age, because it may reduce the amount of time they have for active play, social contact with others and chances for language development."


Obese mother's baby taken off her by British do-gooders

More evil fallout from a false gospel. Since obesity is basically genetic, the kid will end up fat anyway

A newborn girl was taken into care because it was feared she would pile on excessive weight in the care of her obese parents. The child was removed from her mother within hours of being born earlier this week and has been placed with a foster family. Her parents, who are both clinically obese, have already had two children taken into care amid concerns about the youngsters' weight. They have been warned they risk losing their remaining four children if they too fail to shed pounds.

Before she became pregnant, the mother weighed 23st. [322 lb.] At that time one of her children, a toddler, weighed 4st and her 13-year-old son weighed 16st. [224lb.]

Social workers in Dundee confirmed they took the baby because of fears the infant's weight would balloon. Her devastated mother, who is 40, discharged herself from hospital on Tuesday, a day after the birth. She and her husband, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were warned last year to bring their children's weight down.

Last night a Dundee council spokesman said the decision to take the girl was given 'careful consideration'. She added: 'It is never taken lightly and always at the forefront is what is the best course of action for the welfare and safety of the child or children.'


Vitamin supplements could do more harm than good

At last the word is getting out

People taking high-dose vitamin and mineral supplements may be doing more harm than good, an expert has warned. Professor Martin Wiseman, medical and scientific adviser for the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), said it was difficult to predict the impact vitamin supplements had on the chances of cutting cancer.

While low dose supplements can be a "valuable safety net", high doses could be harmful. Research over the last few years has suggested some vitamins can actually increase the risk of some cancers. Beta carotene for example can increase the risk of lung cancer in those who already smoke.

"Many people think they can reduce their cancer risk by taking supplements, but the evidence does not support this," Prof Wiseman said. "Just because a dietary pattern that provides a relatively high level of a particular nutrient might protect against cancer, it does not mean that taking it in tablet form will have the same effect. "In fact, at high doses the effect of these micronutrients is unpredictable and can be harmful to health.

"Although there are some studies that have shown a reduction in cancer risk from high-dose supplements, others have not, and these supplements have normally only been tested on a select group of people.

"This means we simply do not know enough about what the effect will be for the general population to confidently predict the balance of risks and benefits. Some people may be doing themselves more harm than good.

"There are also studies that show high doses of some supplements can increase risk of some cancers.''

Prof Wiseman said multivitamins would not contain all the good nutrients found in food, such as fibre adding that the best advice was to have a "health, plant-based diet with lots of fruits and vegetables".

Prof Wiseman's comments echo similar sentiment from Professor Brian Ratcliffe, a leading nutritionist, who last month said Britain's "worried well" were wasting their money and possibly risking their health by taking supplements.

Prof Ratcliffe said multivitamin and mineral supplements were "completely pointless" for the majority of people with a healthy diet and that topping up on vitamins could potentially be dangerous.


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