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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40 Years Later, Lucy Discoverer Don Johanson Adds to Human Origin Story

Paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson, Virginia M. Ullman Chair in Human Origins at Arizona State University and founding director of the Institute of Human Origins, delivered the second annual Patrusky Lecture on October 19, 2014 during New Horizons in Science, a program of research briefings presented annually by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. The way Johanson sees it, the nature of humanness is one of the biggest questions there is — not just for our past, but for our future as well.

“I’m convinced that understanding our evolutionary journey is going to play a role in our future, our future survival as well as the survival of all creatures on this planet,” he said. “We know we have a united past, we know that we are the same species, we know we have inherited the same capabilities. And I think hopefully this is going to lead to a world in which we’re more responsible to the natural world — the natural world that ultimately was our creator on this planet. …

“I think it’s time for this species, the most powerful, the most destructive and at the same time the most creative species on planet Earth — Homo sapiens — to stop acting as if there was some other place for us to move to.”

Read the NBC News article

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