Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 276

Posts Tagged ‘parents’

Nutrition advice aimed at children also improves parents’ diets

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 22 luglio 2017


Sophia Antipolis. Nutrition advice aimed at children also improves parents’ diets, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. “Diets high in unsaturated fat and low in saturated fat have been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular events and death in adults,” said lead author Dr Johanna Jaakkola, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Turku, Finland. “Very little is known about the long-term effects of nutrition advice for children on the diets and health of parents.” The longitudinal randomised Special Turku Coronary Risk Factor Intervention Project (STRIP) decreased the saturated fat intake and improved the cardiovascular health of children by recommending foods rich in unsaturated, instead of saturated, fat.The current study examined whether the long-term dietary intervention focused on children was also associated with parental dietary intake and cardiometabolic risk factors over two decades of follow-up.The primary results of the STRIP study have been previously reported.2,3 Briefly, the study included 1 107 infants and their parents who were recruited from well baby clinics in Turku, Finland, between 1989 and 1992. Families were randomly assigned to the dietary intervention (562) or control (545) groups.The intervention group received dietary counselling at least once a year by a nutritionist from the child’s age of eight months to the age of 20 years. Counselling was first given only to the parents, and from the age of seven years, the children were also met alone. The main focus of the dietary intervention was to reduce the child’s intake of saturated fat and concomitantly increase the child’s unsaturated fat intake.As previously reported, the repeated dietary counselling led to decreased saturated fat intake in the intervention children, and lower serum low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentration from infancy until 19 years of age. For the current study, parental dietary intake was assessed by a one-day food record biennially from the child’s age of nine to 19 years. Weight, height, blood pressure, serum lipids, glucose and insulin of the parents were measured repeatedly from the child’s age of seven months until 20 years.The investigators found that the child-oriented dietary counselling increased the intake of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats and decreased the saturated fat intake of intervention mothers and fathers compared to control parents between the child’s ages of nine and 19 years.In addition, the child-oriented dietary counselling tended to decrease serum total and LDL concentrations in intervention mothers compared to control mothers. There was a similar trend in fathers but it was not statistically significant.Dr Jaakkola said: “The child-oriented dietary intervention contributed advantageously to the parental diet in the long-term and tended to reflect lipid concentrations, particularly in mothers. Presumably all family members eat the same foods and thus child-oriented dietary counselling also affects parents’ diets.”“Dietary intake may have been more strongly associated with maternal than paternal serum lipids because mothers might have more actively participated in the study and complied better with the diet,” she continued. “There is also the possibility that the improvement in the fathers’ diets was not strong enough to cause a statistically significant difference in serum lipids.”Dr Jaakkola concluded: “Our study emphasises that long-term dietary counselling directed at children may be an efficient way to also improve the diets of parents. These findings could be used to plan public health counselling programmes.”

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Number of children emerging as cardiovascular risk factor for both parents

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 5 febbraio 2017

cardiologiaSophia Antipolis Number of children is emerging as a novel factor that influences the risk for some cardiovascular diseases (CVD), and in some societies in both parents, according to Professor Vera Regitz-Zagrosek, chairperson of the European Society of Cardiology “management of CVD During Pregnancy” guidelines task force.Her comments come as new research published in Circulation found that experiencing multiple pregnancies increases a woman’s risk of developing atrial fibrillation (AF) later in life.1. “The authors describe a linear increase in AF with increasing number of children” said Professor Regitz-Zagrosek. “This is interesting by itself and an explanation could be given by biological and sociocultural factors.” A study of 0.5 million Chinese people found a statistically significant J-shaped relationship between number of children and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.2 “It means that the risk decreases with one child, then increases with two or more children,” she said. “In the AF study, a J-shaped relationship was not statistically significant, but this may be because it was in around 34 000 women and relatively small in comparison with the Chinese study.” “The striking thing was that the Chinese study showed the same association for women and men,” said Professor Regitz-Zagrosek. “In a further study, they demonstrated the same J-shaped association between number of children and risk of diabetes in women and men.” “The authors believe that socioeconomic factors are the explanation,” she continued. “Having one child is protective because parents have social support in older age. But if they have a large number of children this benefit goes away because it increases the economic and social pressure on the parents.” “Number of children should be considered a new factor that may influence the risk for some cardiovascular diseases for women and men and included in research databases to be further investigated as a health indicator,” she added.
Professor Regitz-Zagrosek said further research should investigate biological and socioeconomic mechanisms to explain the relationship between number of children and cardiovascular risk. “There is evidence that pregnancy leads to alterations that change the body’s reaction to additional cardiovascular stressors,” she said, “And this may happen by epigenetic mechanisms. But the findings in Chinese men favour the socioeconomic explanation.” A separate study in Circulation found that delivering a premature baby may be associated with later cardiovascular disease, regardless of other risk factors.4 Researchers reviewed data on 70 182 women in the Nurses’ Health Study II and found that women who deliver a premature baby before 37 weeks gestation in their first birth have a 40% greater risk of later CVD compared to women who deliver at term, and those who deliver before 32 weeks are at twice the risk compared to full-term deliveries.Professor Regitz-Zagrosek said: “I fully agree that preterm delivery is a cardiovascular risk factor for women, just like preeclampsia or gestational diabetes. This study confirms the results of previous research and adds new findings: the increased risk from preterm delivery is not explained by previous lifestyle or coronary artery disease risk factors, and it’s also not accounted for by the development of risk factors after delivery.” “The paper’s weakness is that the only socioeconomic parameter it includes is parental education and we are not told if it is referring to the mother or father,” she added. “Again, socioeconomic mechanisms may be really important in this field.”

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Better guardianship key to better protection for child victims of trafficking

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 17 ottobre 2015

labour-migrationOf the several hundreds of thousands of people trafficked in the EU, one in six are children. Existing guardianship rules for such children, who are often without parental care, frequently leads to inadequate support and protection, finds the latest report from the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).“Children deprived of parental care are at heightened risk of trafficking. Guardianship can help to prevent trafficking, protect children and enable them to exercise their rights,” says EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, Dr Myria Vassiliadou, ahead of the events marking EU Anti-Trafficking Day on 18 October. “The European Commission is committed to ensuring all children are safe from trafficking.”“Thousands of unaccompanied children are trafficked into and throughout the EU. Many are being let down by the systems that should protect them,” says FRA Director a.i. Constantinos Manolopoulos. “Qualified guardians can, and should, be vital to the wellbeing of such vulnerable children. To better protect children from harm, Member States should urgently develop and implement quality standards that will strengthen guardianship across the EU.”Guardians are a key element of protection systems for children who cannot have their interests represented by their parents. This report, Guardianship systems for children deprived of parental care in the European Union, explores the key features of guardianship systems across all EU Member States that have been established to meet the needs of children without parental care. It includes those at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking or other forms of violence and exploitation.This comparative report complements the handbook on guardianship for children deprived of parental care that should soon be available in all official EU languages. It will help decision makers take measures to promote the effective protection of all children, in line with the EU’s anti-trafficking Directive and Strategy. It does this by explaining the strengths and weaknesses of national guardianship systems which vary greatly from country to country, even within countries. For example:Appointment procedures: The time taken to appoint guardians and the process itself vary considerably, lasting up to one year. This is despite laws that state that the process should be quick. Such variations can be even more pronounced when guardianship is managed regionally or locally. This is not in the best interests of the child as it leaves children uncared for and uncertain until arrangements are in place.Qualifications and skills: In most Member States guardians should be competent and qualified by law. However, requirements tend to be very general, and systematic training is lacking, particularly with respect to the needs of trafficked children.Duties and tasks: Laws tend to only define the duties and tasks of guardians in general terms, except for the duty to legally represent children. As a result how common tasks are performed, such as taking care of the child’s education and healthcare, varies. Some accompany children to doctors’ meetings, others do not; some never even meet the child.Systems for foreign or trafficked children: No Member State has a separate system for trafficked children. Generally children are legally protected no matter what their nationality or status is. However, in practice their migration and residence status often determines guardianship and representation arrangements.Legal representation and legal aid: Despite the importance of having specialised legal aid for child victims of trafficking, specialist lawyers are rare and are often unavailable.Accountability and monitoring: Although all Member States have systems for monitoring and supervising guardians, they are often poorly structured and inefficient. In addition, complaint mechanisms are missing.Overall, the lack of a uniform approach to guardianship, despite provisions in national and international law, often results in less than adequate support and protection for the children the systems were set up to protect. Migration and asylum law also often overrides child protection law.An integrated approach to child protection that looks to the best interests of the child is therefore clearly needed. Harmonising and strengthening guardianship systems is a vital component of protecting children from all forms of violence and exploitation.This report underlines the wide variation that currently exists across all Member States. To read the report, see: Guardianship systems for children deprived of parental care in the European Union

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