When my first daughter was born ten years ago, I was a television reporter in North Carolina. My office was the passenger seat of the roving news van that I shared with a photographer. We were constantly on the move. So, when I returned to work from maternity leave I couldn't figure out when, how or WHERE I would pump breast milk during the day. Would I do it sitting in the back seat of our van? Or at some grimy gas station we found along the way? I gave up breastfeeding after just a few weeks back on the job. And millions of moms are in a similar boat, unable to find the time or the space to pump, so they quit nursing when they return to work.
The good news is that's about to change. The new health care reform law signed by President Obama requires any business with more than 50 employees to provide a reasonable break time and a private room for breastfeeding mothers. And the bathroom doesn't count!
What kid doesn't like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? It turns out a peanut allergy might develop sooner than thought. Researchers found babies with milk or egg allergies are likely to be allergic to peanuts too. Scientists say they didn't expect blood tests to show such high levels of antibodies to peanuts. They encourage parents to talk to a pediatrician before introducing peanuts to your child's diet. Here's a link to the study.
Federal health officials want to know what the Northwest is doing right! Our region has among the lowest rates of childhood obesity in the country, according to a new federal study. In fact, Oregon has the fewest number of obese children, around 10 percent.
Wyoming came in second and Washington state came in third. The Southeast has the largest number of overweight and obese children. Mississippi leads the nation with a child obesity rate of nearly 22 percent. Experts blame the rise in childhood obesity on fast food, neighborhoods without sidewalks, television, and video games.
And first lady Michelle Obama just renewed the call to curb childhood obesity. Tuesday she released recommendations from the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity. The plan includes:
- providing more access to healthy food in urban areas
- expanding P.E. in school
- serving more kids through the federal school lunch program
- encouraging doctors to check children's body mass index during regular check ups.
You can watch Northwest Families Wednesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. and Thursday mornings at 8:00 a.m. on Northwest Cable News.