Highlights of the October 2003 Journal of the American Dietetic Association

Couch potatoes or French fries?
Today, 99 percent of American adolescents have a television in their homes and 65 percent have televisions in their bedrooms. The rapid increase in kids' television watching has led researchers to factor in this habit when addressing the obesity epidemic especially among children. According to researchers at the University of Minnesota, television and video watching among both boys and girls is linked to increased consumption of soft drinks, fried foods and snacks. On the other hand, researchers found that time spent reading and doing homework is associated with increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. The researchers urged that nutrition education incorporate messages about the influence of the media and advertising on dietary behaviors.

"Physical activity can help increase their bone density, decrease their risk for certain diseases and develop family fun-time habits," said registered dietitian and ADA spokesperson Althea Zanecosky. "Get kids involved by finding activities the whole family can do walk, bike, roller-blade, or golf."

Like mother, like daughter and even granddaughter
Osteoporosis is a bone-weakening disease that affects millions of Americans each year, especially women. Osteoporosis involves a decrease in mineral content, a change in bone architecture and an increase in susceptibility to fractures. A study led by researchers at the University of Utah found that low levels of physical activity are related to femoral neck bone mineral density among not only women and their daughters, but their granddaughters as well. The researchers suggest that making physical activity part of a daily routine, in addition to an adequate intake of calcium and bone-related nutrients, should be an important goal for maintaining or improving bone health for women of all ages.

"To help prevent osteoporosis and low bone mineral density, wo

Contact: Kelly Liebbe
American Dietetic Association

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