What We’re Reading – 4/13/16

Photo credits: (flickr/ramsey beyer)

Photo credits: (flickr/ramsey beyer)

San Francisco Approves Fully Paid Parental Leave

On Tuesday, April 5th 2016, San Francisco became the first city in the United States to approve six weeks of fully paid parental leave. All new parents are included: mothers, fathers, and same-sex couples who bear or adopt a child. Though California law already guarantees a six-week leave at 55% pay, San Francisco’s new law mandates full pay starting January 1st, 2017.

There are many reasons to support this decision, and in particular, we’re excited to see that San Franciscan parents will have the time and support necessary to breastfeed their babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends mothers breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of their baby’s life, but this is nearly impossible when working parents are not guaranteed their income after welcoming a new additions to their families. Congratulations from across the bay, San Francisco!

Fruit juice isn’t much better for you than soda. Let’s stop pretending otherwise.

Sales of sugary, carbonated beverages have been steadily declining in the United States for years, but unfortunately it seems we’ve been getting our added-sugar fix elsewhere. According to the Harvard School of Public Health/Nutrition Source, a typical 12 ounce cranberry juice cocktail has 12 teaspoons of sugar and provides 200 calories! And according to a study published in BMJ Open, the average American’s two main sources of added sugars are soft drinks (17%) and juice drinks (14%). Even pure fruit juices with no added sugars should be consumed sparingly if at all, especially for toddlers, as these drinks still contain a large dose of sugar.

This article summarizes our opinions on juice succinctly: “We should think of juice as soda without the fizz.”

Restaurant kids’ meals make nutrition strides, but leave room for improvement

A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior has found that despite voluntary changes to kids’ menus, many of the restaurant meals marketed as being “for kids” are still alarmingly high in fat and sodium. Researchers examined both quick- and full-service restaurants that offer children’s menus and compared them to national dietary recommendations. The results show that less than one-third of children’s meal combinations at quick service restaurants and one-quarter at full service restaurants met the national recommendations for fat, saturated fat, sodium, and calories. The study’s lead author Dr. Sarah Sliwa reports that she and her team are encouraging restaurants to “look holistically at the nutritional value of their children’s meals, and to market healthier options in ways that emphasize taste and appeal to parents and children alike.”

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