Nutrition Facts Labels for Songs

nutrition-label-song

Before you download the next pop hit from iTunes, check whether it is hazardous to your health. A teen panel working with the Boston Public Health Commission has set up a “nutrition facts label” rating (like that seen on food items) for songs:

“Music, like food, can feed our brains and give us energy,” said Casey Corcoran, director of the Commission’s Start Strong Initiative. “But songs can affect our health and the health of our relationships.”

The tool, patterned after common food nutritional labels, invites consumers to become song lyric nutritionists by helping them identify relationship ingredients that make up a song. Using printed song lyrics as a guide, users can tally the number of healthy relationship themes, such as respect, equality, and trust, which are present in the song. And, like fattening calories, unhealthy relationship themes – possession, disrespect, and manipulation – are also counted. The number of times these themes are mentioned also factor into to the song’s total nutritional value. Corcoran recommends consuming lots of ‘healthy relationship’ ingredients for a balanced media diet.

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Alarming Trends in Childhood Obesity

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Two recent University of Rochester Medical Center studies don’t look good

Two recent studies point out alarming trends in childhood obesity – not only is the group of severely obese children getting larger, but parents don’t even see it. Between 1976 and 2004, the rate of severely obese children – those with BMIs at or above the 99th percentile – has tripled to a total of 2.7 million. A separate, smaller study shows that almost a third of parents underestimate their child’s weight.
The University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) researchers, along with colleagues at Wake Forest University and Baylor College of Medicine, used the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new definition of severe obesity and found that about 4 percent of children in the U.S. are morbidly obese. The most recent estimate of the rate of obesity among children is 17 percent of the population.
“We knew the rate of severely obese children was increasing, but we were surprised at how quickly the number is rising,” said Stephen Cook, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of Pediatrics at URMC’s Golisano Children’s Hospital and one of the authors of the study to be published this month in Academic Pediatrics. “These children have a higher prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors, even before they reach adulthood. We’re very concerned about the future as well as immediate health of these children.”
The study examined nationally representative data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 1976 to 2004 and found that the rate increased from 0.8 percent in the 1976-1980 survey to 3.8 percent in the 1999-2004 survey. Researchers also found that the greatest increases were seen among blacks, Mexican Americans and those living in poverty.
One third of the teens with severe obesity were classified as meeting the adult criteria for the metabolic syndrome, a clustering of risk factors that put them on the path toward heart disease and diabetes in adulthood, and ultimately, could lead to an early death. Nearly 4 percent, or 2.7 million children, have a BMI at or above the 99th percentile, the point at which bariatric surgery is first considered.
“Until a child reaches the point where bariatric surgery is an option, there are few treatment options for families. Insurance doesn’t typically cover the cost, and without that, most families cannot afford to pay,” Cook said. “Without coverage for non-surgical options, the treatment services lose money and have to close.”
Researchers said that their findings point to the environment (where they live, socio-economic level, etc.) as an important factor in whether a child develops obesity and something over which children have no control.
Another URMC study shows that parents often underestimate their children’s weight status and the health effects of the extra pounds. The study, to be published in Clinical Pediatrics, shows 31 percent of interviewed parents underestimated their children’s weight, including both children who are overweight and normal weight. And parents who believed their children to be underweight were more concerned about their health than parents who did not realize that their children were overweight. Considering parents, especially of young children, make most decisions about what children eat, how they spend their time and where they live, researchers are concerned parents aren’t taking the problem of childhood obesity seriously enough.
“Parents play an important role in lowering their child’s risk of obesity – they have the ability to encourage physical exercise and teach their children about a healthy diet beginning in early childhood,” said Jillian M. Tschamler, an author of the paper who was a student at the University of Rochester at the time it was written and is currently a graduate student in nursing at the University of Virginia. “Healthy habits that children learn at a young age will decrease their risk of becoming overweight in the future, and prevention is a crucial step in lowering the overall rate of obesity in children.”
Researchers interviewed parents of 193 children between 18 months and 9 years old at the outpatient clinic at URMC’s Golisano Children’s Hospital. More than 30 percent of the children were overweight (BMI greater than 85th percentile). Almost half of the parents of children who were overweight said they thought their children’s weight was “about right,” and 24 percent of parents of normal-weight children said they thought their children were a little or very underweight. Parents were less likely to underestimate the weight of their girls.
Provided by University of Rochester

Two recent studies point out alarming trends in childhood obesity – not only is the group of severely obese children getting larger, but parents don’t even see it. Between 1976 and 2004, the rate of severely obese children – those with BMIs at or above the 99th percentile – has tripled to a total of 2.7 million. A separate, smaller study shows that almost a third of parents underestimate their child’s weight. (w/video)

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Podcast Market Growing One Niche at a Time

 Podcast Market Growing One Niche at a Time

Podcasting is a growing form of media with loyal niche markets

Although there are a few highly-rated podcasts with more than 100,000 listeners/viewers, most podcasts have far smaller audiences, highly-focused on niche interests. 

According to long-tail theory, these targeted audiences should be especially valuable to advertisers and marketers. Although the audiences are small, each listener or viewer is very interested in the subject, and the audiences should therefore carry commensurately higher ad pricing.

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U-Haul Ranks Colorado 1st for Inbound Moves

U-Haul Ranks Colorado 1st for Inbound Moves

Colorado ranked as the top growth state for families last year, according to U-Haul International Inc., which compiles the list based on moves to and from states.

U-Haul said that for states with more than 20,000 families, Colorado had the highest percentage of growth, with 7.01 percent more families moving in than out of the state.

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