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School Health & Wellness News Roundup: Week of Jan. 1, 2013

January 4, 2013

From this week’s news:

  • Motor Skills May Predict Success in School
    NYTimes Well blog:
    Poor motor function in childhood may be an important factor in predicting poor academic achievement in adolescence. In a study published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers wrote that poor motor function may be an underlying factor in obesity and physical inactivity, both of which contribute to underachievement in school.
  • BMI Can Predict Health Risks
    NYTimes Well blog:
    Some scientists believe that body mass index, a calculation involving the ratio of height to weight, is an inaccurate measure of obesity-related risks because it does not account for body shape, fat mass and lean mass. But a new study finds that B.M.I. works at least as well as other body measurements, and better than some, to predict certain health problems.
  • Keep recess in play, pediatricians urge
    USA Today:
    Recess is good for a child’s body and mind, and withholding these regular breaks in the school day may be counterproductive to healthy child development, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ first policy statement on the issue.
  • The case for creating trauma-sensitive schools
    Oxford University Press blog:
    In the wake of another national tragedy, it is more apparent than ever that our schools must embrace a stronger role in supporting the mental health of our youth by developing trauma-sensitive schools. The mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that killed several staff and 20 elementary school students came less than two months after Hurricane Sandy, a storm that brought devastation and displacement to tens of thousands of people in the Northeast. Both events offer stark reminders of the acute stress our students may face when experiencing cataclysmic events. However, even in the absence of such tragedies, many of our nation’s children are in chronic distress.
  • Kindness Boosts Student Popularity, Study Shows
    EdWeek Inside School Research blog:
    Mean girls and bullies may sit at the top of the classroom pecking order in Hollywood, but a new study suggests in real life, kindness is linked to popularity among middle schoolers.
  • For Many Kids, Winter Break Means Hungry Holidays
    Holidays are typically a festive time, with breaks from the routine, meals with loved ones, maybe even some gifts. But for many families across the U.S., the season comes with intense stress: Roughly 1 in 5 families with children are not getting enough food. For some, free or reduced-price school meals have become a major source of basic nutrition. When schools close for the holidays, many of those families struggle to fill the gap.
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