Archives for : September 2013


American Teens’ Health Habits Are Improving

We often hear people bemoaning the emergence of a new generation of couch potatoes.  Most adults – parents and nonparents – seem to agree that our kids are spending too much time online or playing video games, not enough time outside, and are eating waaaay too much junk.  There may be hope – a study released last week in the journal Pediatrics shows a moderate improvement in both diet and the amount of physical activity of adolescents between ages 11 and 16, and seems to agree with other studies that show a plateau in childhood obesity rates.

From the study:

Across the quadrennial surveys, significant increases were identified in number of days with at least 60 minutes of [physical activity], daily consumption of fruits and vegetables, eating breakfast on weekdays and weekends, and BMI. Television viewing and consumption of sweets and sweetened beverages decreased across this same period. These same patterns were seen in all racial/ethnic groups.

Now, the improvements may not be dramatic, but they definitely seem to be trending in the right direction.  Read more here


Can Nutritional Supplementation Decrease the Length (and Cost) of Hospital Stays?

A study published in the February 2013 edition of the American Journal of Managed Care concludes that use of oral nutritional supplements “decreases length of stay, episode cost, and 30-day readmission risk in the inpatient population.”

The study, of inpatient episodes from 2000-2010 showed that patients taking oral nutritional supplements had an average length of hospital stay which was shorter by 2.3 days than patients who were not taking supplements (average 8.6 vs 10.9 days respectively), resulting in a $4734 / 21.6% lower average cost of stay ($17216  vs $21950)

Additionally, readmission rates (within 30 days) for patients taking these supplements was 6.7% lower than for those who weren’t.

Read more here.