45,000 pounds of sugar dumped in Times Square

From USA Today:

Over 45,000 pounds of sugar dumped in Times Square illustrates alarming child health trend

Snack company KIND dumped 45,485 pounds of sugar in Times Square Tuesday to spark conversation about how much added sugar children consume.

The American Heart Association recommends children eat no more than 100 calories (about six teaspoons) of added sugars, also known as free sugars, daily. But, children are eating much more than that — over 270 calories according to data in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Most comes from sweetened drinks.

KIND estimates the average 9-year-old eats their weight in added sugar each year.

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Brain scans show potential to diagnose autism in infancy

Children with autism tend to be diagnosed around age 4, after a child begins to socialize and speak. But the earlier a child is diagnosed, the better. Early-intervention speech and behavioral therapy programs have shown promise at reducing symptoms. Now, new research shows such a diagnosis could be predicted as early as one year old — based on scans of infants’ brains.

Diagnosing autism very early in a child’s life might mean better interventions and outcomes. On average, children aren’t diagnosed with autism until they are four years old — once their brain has begun to expand, and once they begin behaving differently than neurotypical children — though some are diagnosed as early as their second birthday, Pletcher noted.

“Our findings are pre-symptomatic, certainly pre-consolidation of the diagnosis,” said Dr. Joseph Piven, who leads the eight-center Infant Brain Imaging Study Network, which did the research. “That’s a giant step in the field.”

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