Publix GreenWise Market Magazine - August 2008
True or False?
Breast-feeding moms who eat their fruits and veggies can pass along a taste for these foods to their babies.
TRUE. Many flavors from a mom’s diet are transmitted to her baby, first through amniotic fluid and later through breast milk. Scientists say this nifty system helps instill a liking for foods that Mom eats on a regular basis, even before Baby has a first taste. The principle was demonstrated by a recent study (Pediatrics, December 2007) from the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. Breast-fed babies whose moms regularly ate fruit were quicker to accept peaches than formula-fed babies, who didn’t have the same head start in learning to love the taste.
Children are more likely to put on excess pounds during the school year than the summer.
FALSE. A recent study (American Journal of Public Health, April 2007) looked at 5,380 kindergarteners and first-graders from across the nation. The researchers found that the students’ body mass index (BMI), a measure of body fat, rose more than twice as fast when the kids were on summer break than when they were in school. Children who were already overweight benefited the most by being in school. During the school year, they gained weight no faster than other children. But during the summer months, they packed on the pounds more quickly.
The researchers say that one way school might help hold down weight gain is by limiting access to food. School also may teach children how to make healthier choices about diet and exercise. But the takeaway message for parents is clear: What students learn outside the classroom seems to have a major impact on childhood obesity.
Thirst is a good indicator of how much to drink on a hot summer day.
FALSE. Thirst is actually a late response of the body to being low on fluids. During hot weather, when you require extra fluids to make up for what’s lost through sweating, you might need to drink more than your thirst indicates. This is especially true for older adults, because the sense of thirst, like other senses, tends to become less acute with age. A better way to gauge if you’re drinking enough is by looking at your urine. Clear or light-colored urine indicates that you’re well-hydrated. In contrast, dark yellow or amber-colored urine is usually a sign of dehydration. Drink up, but steer clear of beverages containing alcohol or large amounts of sugar.
LEARN MORE: For more tips on beating the sweltering heat, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat.