Reporting on health and quality of life in South LA

Poll suggests disconnect between parents' perception and reality of their children's weight

Children's Hospital Class Aims To Help Youth With Obesity Issues

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A new poll suggests that parents are less likely to consider their children overweight or obese. Parents also say that many of their children tend to snack on foods that are unhealthy between 3 p.m. and bedtime.

There's a gap between child obesity rates and how parents perceive their children's weight.

A new poll shows that only 15 percent of parents consider their children "a little" or "very" overweight, even though about a third of the nation's children and teenagers are overweight or obese.

The poll (full results here) was conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Public Radio and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Researchers also found that among the households they surveyed, only one in five had an adult present who was concerned her or his child would be overweight as an adult. But with 69 percent of U.S. adults qualifying as overweight – and 36 percent falling into the obese category – pollsters said the other 80 percent may be underestimating their children's risk of being overweight later in life.

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What poor sleep habits can do and primary care discrimination: In health news today

sleep, insomnia

Robert Terrell/Flickr Creative Commons

A streak of poor sleep can have a dramatic effect on the inner workings of the human body, say researchers, even if it only lasts a week.

In today's health news:

For a study appearing in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers called the offices of primary care doctors and read off one of four scripts: One indicating they were wealthy and another indicating they were low-income; and one indicating they had a chronic health problem and another indicating they didn't. They found that patients who were wealthy and patients who reported chronic health problems were more likely to get appointments than their counterparts.

Another study on primary care doctors found that they often miss diagnoses, reports HealthDay. Of 190 cases of diagnostic error, researchers found that 68 of them went under the doctor's radar completely – these are conditions like pneumonia, congestive heart failure and even cancer. Eighty percent of the errors, the study noted, were due to breakdowns in communications between patient and doctor.

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Prescription drugs during pregnancy and movie theater snacks: In health news today

Mercer 7938

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An increasing number of pregnant women are taking prescription pills during their first trimester.

Mediterranean diets have long been lauded for being full of "good fats" and beneficial for your skin. But now, Bloomberg reports that a new study shows a diet rich in olive oil or mixed nuts can also help reduce the risk of a first heart attack, stroke and death by almost 30 percent in less than five years. Research has shown that a Mediterranean diet can help ward off diseases such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes, but this study is the first to show a diet can actually prevent heart disease.

On the day after the Oscars, what better way to celebrate the biggest night in Hollywood then a list of the best -- and worst -- movie theater foods for your health. CNN released a list of popular theater snacks that includes their serving sizes and nutritional information. If you're going to eat popcorn, your best option is to go with a small and limit your toppings. But even a small popcorn at Regal Cinema contains 670 calories and 34 grams of saturated fat. The list named Sour Patch Kids as the healthiest sour candy at a movie theater and Sno-Caps as the healthiest chocolate option.

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Health care reform doubts and what obesity could mean for asthma: In health news today

FDA Considering Ban Of Non-Prescription Asthma Inhalers

David McNew/Getty Images

An inhaler. Obesity in Latino and black children appeared to play a role in poor lung function, according to a new study. This wasn't the case among white children, researchers said.

In today's health news:

Public health officials are working to contain an outbreak of tuberculosis in downtown's Skid Row, reports the Los Angeles Times, and say more than 4,500 people may have been exposed to the potentially lethal infection. Federal health experts have been sent to L.A. to help with the investigation.

It's been a while – thankfully – since TB's been in the news, so if you need to brush up, KPCC has a FAQ with everything you need to know. One factoid: Coughing up sputum, a mixture of saliva and mucus, is a sign of infection.

Obesity is associated with plenty of adverse health outcomes, and HealthDay reports on one more: A new study says overweight Latino and black children – even those who have just a few extra pounds – may be at risk for poorer lung function. Researchers said this wasn't the case in white children, and added that may have to do with the distribution of body fat in these minority groups. The findings could help explain the greater prevalence of asthma among black and Latino children.

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Charles Drew University, partners open South LA's newest farmers market with help from federal grant

Winter Carrots, Farmers Market

José Martinez/KPCC

Winter carrots atop farmer Pa Thao's table at the Vermont Village CDC, Heritage Education Group and Charles Drew University Farmers Market.

Farmers Market, Pa Thao

José Martinez/KPCC

Pa Thao (left) plans to make the four-hour commute from Fresno to South Los Angeles every week for the new Vermont Village CDC, Heritage Education Group and Charles Drew University Farmers Market.


South L.A.'s newest farmers market officially opened its doors Friday morning in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the parking lot of Crenshaw Christian Center.

The market – the official name of which is the Vermont Village CDC, Heritage Education Group and Charles Drew University Farmers Market – will take place there every Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To celebrate its first day, the new farmers market gave free food to the first 200 customers, and also offered free HIV testing, diabetes screening and flu shots.

But none of it would have happened if Charles Drew University professor Cynthia Davis hadn't taught some of her students a grantwriting course.

Establishing the market

Davis has worked at Drew for more than 28 years, and has taught in their public health program since 2008. Last January, her grad students decided they wanted their capstone project to be the development of a farmers market in South Los Angeles.

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