WBEZ | nutrition http://www.wbez.org/tags/nutrition Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: Open office space can threaten more than your privacy http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-07-26/morning-shift-open-office-space-can-threaten-more <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Office-Flickr- Phillie Casablanca.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Do offices need walls? One study shows that more privacy could mean more productivity at work. And, is it fair to blame Huma Abedin for supporting her husband Anthony Weiner during his latest scandal? Our panel and you weigh in.</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-anthony-weiner-scandal-moves-blame-t.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-anthony-weiner-scandal-moves-blame-t" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Open office space can threaten more than your privacy" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Fri, 26 Jul 2013 08:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-07-26/morning-shift-open-office-space-can-threaten-more Coalition recommends first-ever nutrition and exercise standards for after school programs http://www.wbez.org/story/coalition-recommends-first-ever-nutrition-and-exercise-standards-after-school-programs-90346 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-10/Kid at playground_Flickr_Phalinn Ooi.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A coalition of groups, including the Chicago-based national YMCA, has issued the first-ever comprehensive national nutritonal and physical activity guidelines for camps and after school programs.&nbsp;</p><p>The standards were issued Tuesday by the Healthy Out-of-School Time Coalition and coordinated by the YMCA, the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College.</p><p>They include a common sense-approach including serving fruits and vegetables instead of more sugary, fatty treats; and offering water rather than juices or soda.&nbsp; Half-day programs should offer at least half an hour of physical activity; full-day programs should offer at least an hour.</p><p>“Energy balance and appropriate physical activity are critical to good health and preventing childhood obesity, which is reaching record numbers in this country,” says project co-leader Ellen S. Gannett, director of the National Institute on Out-of-School Time. “If out-of-school programs can influence smart choices for children when they’re away from home and out of the classroom, they will be an important component in the campaign to fight childhood obesity.”</p><p>The new standards have already been adopted by the National Afterschool Association (NAA), and local YMCA's will begin the process of adopting the standards this year.</p><p>According to the coalition, more than eight million children nationwide participate in out-of-school programs for at least three hours a day.</p></p> Wed, 10 Aug 2011 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/coalition-recommends-first-ever-nutrition-and-exercise-standards-after-school-programs-90346 Food industry and health experts face off over food package labeling http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-22/food-industry-and-health-experts-face-over-food-package-labeling-88212 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-22/cereal_pops.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>For some of us, the regular trudge to the grocery store is a trial all by itself. But consumers trying to make healthier choices are often left scratching their heads in wonder at the sheer volume of food products with claims about less fat and more whole grain.</p><p>When first mom and food maven Michelle Obama called for some clearer guidance last year, the food industry proposed a simple, front-of-package label called <a href="http://www.gmaonline.org/news-events/newsroom/food-and-beverage-industry-launches-nutrition-keys-front-of-pack-nutrition-/">Nutrition Keys</a>. It has boxes with information on saturated fat, salt, sugar and calories, plus two optional ones for industry to decide what nutrients they would like to promote — such as potassium or fiber.</p><p>But <a href="http://www.yale.edu/psychology/FacInfo/Brownell.html">Kelly Brownell</a>, who heads the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale, says the industry proposal makes things worse for consumers instead of better.</p><p></p><p>For starters, the timing of the industry proposal is suspect, he says. "They've completely preempted the White House, the Food and Drug Administration, and an Institute of Medicine committee report that are all working on coming up with an ideal front-of-package system."</p><p>In fact, the independent IOM is expected to release its <a href="http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2010/Examination-of-Front-of-Package-Nutrition-Rating-Systems-and-Symbols-Phase-1-Report.aspx">final recommendations</a> this fall. But the industry's Nutrition Keys program is already under way, and the hope is that it will soon reach 70 percent of packaged foods and beverages in the U.S.</p><p>Brownell isn't sure it will do much good. "If left to its own devices, it's pretty apparent that the industry will not come up with a system that works for consumers and will help guide healthy food choices," he says.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.gmaonline.org">Grocery Manufacturers Association</a> tells Shots that Nutrition Keys is "aligned with the <a href="http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12957#toc">IOM's 2010 nutrition labeling findings</a>" about which ingredients should be highlighted on packages. The GMA also argues that the results of <a href="http://www.gmaonline.org/file-manager/Health_Nutrition/nutritionkeys-consumerresearch.pdf">its own testing</a> show that consumers like the icons in part because they're simple.</p><p>But case in point, Brownell says, is the industry's previous effort at creating a simple labeling system. It allowed things like Froot Loops and Cocoa Krispies to be considered "<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/05/business/05smart.html">Smart Choices</a>" because they contain certain vitamins, nevermind the sugar. It was later discontinued after much criticism.</p><p>Another problem Brownell notes is that the industry would have a lot of leeway under its proposal to decide what nutrients to include — potentially causing another round of back-and-forth between industry and regulators. And besides that, on one package of Cocoa Krispies he picked up at the store, the Nutrition Keys only took up 1.5 percent of the surface area of the front of the box, he says.</p><p>"My guess is that consumers will be lucky if they even notice it, much less make use of it," he says.</p><p>Brownell and <a href="http://whsc.emory.edu/home/about/leadership/bio-jeffrey-koplan.html">Jeffrey Koplan</a>,vice president for Global Health at Emory University, published a <a href="http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1101033">perspective piece</a> in the <em>New England Journal of Medicine</em> today suggesting that so much is at stake on food labeling, the food industry should just wait for the IOM report.</p><p>The editorial says more research is needed, and it proposes labels that are simpler, colorful and less numbers driven — like the U.K.'s "<a href="http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/food-labelling.aspx#Tr">traffic light</a>" color-coded symbols.</p><p>That way, consumers could figure out with a glance what foods are a go, a go slow, or a stop. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. <img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1308779828?&gn=Food+Industry+And+Health+Experts+Face+Off+Over+Food+Package+Labeling&ev=event2&ch=103537970&h1=Your+Health,Shots+-+Health+Blog,Health,Food,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=137344357&c7=1128&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1128&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110622&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=126567525,103537970&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Wed, 22 Jun 2011 16:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-22/food-industry-and-health-experts-face-over-food-package-labeling-88212 Junk food fight: Should ads stop targeting teens? http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-21/junk-food-fight-should-ads-stop-targeting-teens-88170 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-22/doritos.gif" alt="" /><p><p>The government says junk food marketers shouldn't advertise to kids. Not just on TV, but also online, in schools and in stores.</p><p>The guidelines being proposed are voluntary; food companies can opt out. Still, with four powerful agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration, throwing their weight behind the proposal, the food industry is taking the measure seriously.</p><p>One of the most contentious issues is whether the marketing limits should be applied to older kids, aged 12 to 17 — like 13-year-old Reed Weisenberger.</p><p>"I always want pizza whenever I see a pizza commercial," he says during a recent visit to Washington, D.C.'s Union Station with his mom Cindy and a group of his friends.</p><p>Cindy Weisenberger dodges such requests regularly. Earlier, it was for giant caffeinated energy drinks.</p><p>"These guys on the way here wanted to buy Monster drinks," she says. "And I said, 'I'm not taking any kids that are drinking Monster drinks.'"</p><p>To those who want to limit kids' exposure to billions of dollars worth of food ads, the stakes are much higher than one parent's ongoing battle. About a third of U.S. adolescents are obese, and many blame successful marketing campaigns for contributing to the problem.</p><p>The agencies drafting the guidelines call themselves the Interagency Working Group. In addition to the FTC and FDA, the group includes the Agriculture Department and the Centers for Disease Control.</p><p><strong>'Horrifying' Tactics</strong></p><p>This group broke from the past by seeking to include 12- to 17-year-olds in its guidelines. Traditionally, limits on marketing focused on the very young. But the government sought to expand them to older children, in part because they are heavy consumers of social media, cell phone messages and online games — the new frontier for ads.</p><p>"What we're talking about are very complicated and very subtle forms of marketing that aren't always clear as such," says Kathryn Montgomery, a professor of communications at American University and an advocate for limiting food ads to teens.</p><p>As an example, she cites <a href="http://www.myawardshows.com/2010/OneShowEntertainment/asylum626/">an online ad</a> sponsored by Doritos that mimics a horror movie, and which draws in users' friends using Facebook or Twitter.</p><p>Montgomery says such ads work subliminally and use friends to influence other friends.</p><p>But efforts to restrict ads to teens draw lots of opposition from the food and advertising industries. The industries say the overlap between teen and adult audiences makes the proposed restrictions impractical.</p><p><strong>Is It Feasible?</strong></p><p>Elaine Kolish directs an industry-funded program called the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. For the past five years this initiative sponsored its own voluntary standards that focus only on the 12-and-under set.</p><p>"You know, we let kids drive and we let them hold jobs when they're 16. They can get married in some states, and they can join the military with permission, and they can be held criminally responsible for their actions in a number of situations," she says. "So I think that the notion that you'd have to have nutrition standards that say you can't let a kid see an ad for a french fry but you can let them join the military doesn't really make a lot of sense."</p><p>Advocates say whether the guidelines will include limits on teen marketing depends largely on how hard the government is willing to fight the industry.</p><p>Mary Engle, a director of advertising practices at the FTC, seems to suggest the government doesn't think it can win that fight.</p><p>"I think the application of the principles to teenagers was definitely a point of contention," she says. "And the working group has already signaled that by asking questions about limiting it to children under age 12, that we recognize that it may not be really feasible."</p><p>The deadline for public comments to the working group is July 14. The final guidelines are expected by the end of the year. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio.</p> Tue, 21 Jun 2011 23:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-21/junk-food-fight-should-ads-stop-targeting-teens-88170 Unhealthy lunches? Some schools bet on salad bars. http://www.wbez.org/content/unhealthy-lunches-some-schools-bet-salad-bars <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-10/salad bar.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/24929941?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=b30000" frameborder="0" height="338" width="601"></iframe></p><p>As parents, policy makers and educators in Chicago debate such issues as improving teacher quality and lengthening public school days, another battle has been brewing over what’s on students’ cafeteria plates.</p><p>Those battles have included debates over implementing <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/local&amp;id=8034969">a new free breakfast in the classroom program</a> and <a href="http://www.cps.edu/About_CPS/The_Board_of_Education/Documents/BoardActions/2010_04/10-0428-PR9.pdf">last year’s decision</a> to renew the district’s $61 million food service contract with Chartwells/Thompson.</p><p>Nationally, the Obama administration is placing greater emphasis on improving the nutrition of school lunches.&nbsp; The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which manages school nutrition guidelines, wants more American schools to offer orange vegetables in their school lunches 3 or more days during the week. They also want to see more dark leafy greens on students’ plates, but are <a href="../../story/2011-06-07/lobbyists-want-fries-and-pizza-stay-school-87535">fending off advances from lobbyists</a> who want to keep items like pizza and fries in school cafeterias.</p><p>Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard and USDA officials were on hand Tuesday to honor Walsh Elementary School in Pilsen and 18 other Chicago schools for improving healthy food options and nutrition education in the classroom, and for providing more opportunities for its students to be physically active.&nbsp;The awards were given as part of the Go for the Gold program, a local version of the national <a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/healthierus/index.html">HealthierUS Schools Challenge</a>.</p><p>In April of 2010, CPS adopted voluntary guidelines for school nutrition that were stricter than those mandated at the national level. These changes included serving a different vegetable every day, limiting starchy vegetables like potatoes, increasing whole grains, reducing sodium and eliminating overly sweet breakfast items.</p><div id="slideshow"><div class="cycle"><div class="slideshow-photo photo1"><span class="story-photo"><img alt="" class="imagecache imagecache-story_image_medium imagecache-default imagecache-story_image_medium_default" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/story_image_medium/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-10/salad%20bar.jpg" title="(WBEZ/Robin Amer)" height="195" width="280"></span><p class="slideshow-photo-credit">(WBEZ/Robin Amer)</p><p class="slideshow-photo-description">Nutrition specialist Melody Hendricks, 46, prepares the salad bar at Walsh Elementary School in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood.</p><span style="display: none;"><img alt="" class="imagecache imagecache-665x500" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/665x500/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-10/salad%20bar.jpg" title="" height="500" width="665"></span></div></div></div><p>Walsh and a handful of other Chicago schools have gone even a step further. In addition to collards and sweet potatoes, Tuesday's menu included fresh fruit and cartons of skim and low-fat milk. &nbsp;There's also a salad bar stocked with lettuce, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, available to the older students. The salad bar was installed in January. According to Mark Bishop from the Healthy Schools Campaign, there are 100 CPS schools with salad bars, 70 of which were installed during the 2010-2011 school year.</p><p>Still, there are complaints and challenges that CPS individual schools like Walsh still have to contend with. The district had originally said it wanted 100 of its 675 schools to earn the Go for the Gold award.&nbsp; Just 19 have met the criteria thus far.&nbsp;</p><p>Furthermore, like many Chicago schools, the hot food at Walsh is cooked off site and then warmed in the school's heating kitchen. And just because vegetables are served, it doesn’t necessarily mean kids will eat them. In fact, the students we spoke with said the favorite thing for lunch that day was the entrée: fried chicken.&nbsp;</p><p>You can see what some of Chicago’s youngest students are eating, and what they think of their lunches, in the video above.</p><p><em>Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the number of Chicago Public Schools with salad bars installed in their cafeterias.</em></p></p> Fri, 10 Jun 2011 16:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/unhealthy-lunches-some-schools-bet-salad-bars Lobbyists want fries and pizza to stay in school http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-07/lobbyists-want-fries-and-pizza-stay-school-87535 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-07/3450266.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Some student food favorites are under attack in Washington. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released new standards for school nutrition and has published them for public comment. Speaking right up are lobbyists for the food industry.</p><p>The standards, the first new version since 1994, would limit starchy vegetables to two servings a week. That guideline covers corn, peas, lima beans, and a hot item in the serving line — french fries. But the CEO of the National Potato Council, John Keeling, says not so fast.</p><p>"The products that are in schools today basically are not your daddy's french fries," Keeling told NPR.</p><p>Keeling has had the potato industry on full lobbyist alert ever since the Ag standards were proposed. Like other industry lobbyists, Keeling uses the yes-but argument. Yes, it's good to fight obesity. But "you won't solve obesity on the backs of a single vegetable," he says, "and you won't solve it on the diet in the schools."</p><p>The potato council reached out to members of Congress with this viewpoint, and helped them send pointed letters to the USDA.</p><p>Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) carried the message into a Capitol Hill hearing, along with a potato and a head of lettuce. She held a vegetable high in each hand.</p><p>"One medium white potato has nearly twice as much vitamin C as this entire head of iceberg lettuce," she said.</p><p>Potato advocates say today's fries are healthier than in the olden days with WAY less actual frying.</p><p>But the Center for Science in the Public Interest says fries still aren't healthy, and what's worse, they lure kids away from other vegetables.</p><p>The center's nutrition policy director Margo Wootan says, "When the kids are offered french fries versus carrots or green beans, too often the kids choose french fries.</p><p>And that's not the only dish up for debate. The USDA would downgrade another lunchroom staple — pizza.</p><p>It's like that old story about ketchup. Right now, the tomato sauce on a frozen pizza slice counts as a full serving of vegetables. The proposed new standards would end that.</p><p>Corey Henry of the American Frozen Food Institute has an ominous forecast: "You would likely see a dramatic reduction in the amount of frozen pizza, or pizza in general, that you're able to serve in school cafeterias."</p><p>That's a problem, he says. School nutritionists would have to find pizza substitutes that fit the guidelines, and that the kids will eat.</p><p>The proposals would bump up costs about 12 percent. The school meal program is about 90 percent federally funded.</p><p>Obviously, changing the school nutrition program would affect the food suppliers. Industry lobbyists aren't so eager to talk about that.</p><p>But Margo Wootan is. She says feeding school kids is a long-term marketing opportunity "so they're used to eating certain kinds of foods, so the kids will want those foods outside of school, and as they grow up."</p><p>More battles will be fought over this — battles that could take months, or even years. And children who were in first grade when USDA started working on this are now finishing up the 6th grade. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1307481136?&gn=Lobbyists+Want+Fries+and+Pizza+To+Stay+In+School&ev=event2&ch=1053&h1=Governing,Around+the+Nation,Food,Politics,Education,Business,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=137031053&c7=1053&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1053&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110607&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=2&v21=D%3Dc2&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Tue, 07 Jun 2011 10:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-07/lobbyists-want-fries-and-pizza-stay-school-87535 Hospital regulators let baby formula vie with breast milk http://www.wbez.org/content/hospital-regulators-let-formula-vie-breast-milk <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Vanessa3.JPG" style="margin: 4px 0px 0px; float: left; width: 266px; height: 199px;" title="Lactation consultant Vanessa Stokes says Cook County’s Stroger Hospital has a long way to go. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)" /></div><p>A new French study shows that breastfeeding may have lasting benefits for a child&rsquo;s metabolism. Other studies suggest breastfeeding helps prevent infections, chronic diseases and obesity. Evidence like this has moved the American Academy of Pediatrics to recommend giving babies no food or drink other than breast milk for their first six months. At many Chicago-area hospitals, though, breast milk competes with baby formula. At some of them, the real stuff usually loses. From our West Side bureau, we compare how the area&rsquo;s hospitals approach breastfeeding and see whether watchdog agencies are paying much attention.</p><p>MITCHELL: Certified lactation consultant Vanessa Stokes landed a job in December.</p><p>STOKES: I was excited just to get to that place to really make a difference.</p><p>MITCHELL: That place was the maternity ward of Cook County&rsquo;s Stroger Hospital. Stokes was there to encourage and train moms to breastfeed. But she noticed the hospital giving them signals it was OK to feed newborns formula.</p><p>STOKES: I saw bottles in the cribs.</p><p>MITCHELL: Then Stokes met one of the hospital&rsquo;s newest mothers. Like many patients on the ward, she was young and black. What was less usual was her file. It showed she&rsquo;d been planning to breastfeed.</p><p>STOKES: The baby was born and then, at night, she had some problems with latch-on, which happens. She said, &lsquo;The nurse told me to give the baby a bottle.&rsquo; That&rsquo;s what she told me.</p><p>MITCHELL: You believe her?</p><p>STOKES: Yes, I do. Most nurses, they just don&rsquo;t want to take the time to help moms. They have a million other things to do.</p><p>MITCHELL: And there was no breastfeeding peer counselor or lactation consultant on duty overnight?</p><p>STOKES: No.</p><p>MITCHELL: One of Stokes&rsquo; supervisors at Stroger confirms that the hospital keeps bottles in cribs and that the nurses sometimes give out formula without any medical reason. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/baby-formula/breast-feeding-disparities-sharp-chicago-area-hospitals">Birth-certificate data</a> show that less than 60 percent of infants born at Stroger get to breastfeed there. And there are more places like this. A dozen Chicago-area hospitals have even lower rates. The data show there&rsquo;s one on the South Side where just 10 percent of newborns start breastfeeding.</p><p>SOUND: Elevator door closes.</p><p>MITCHELL (on site): I&rsquo;m inside that hospital now. It&rsquo;s called Holy Cross. I&rsquo;m taking an elevator to the 6th floor to see Anita Allen-Karriem. She directs what Holy Cross calls its Family Birth Center.</p><p>SOUND: Elevator door opens. Intercom voice. Birth Center door opens.</p><p>MITCHELL: Allen-Karriem shows me around the ward.</p><p>ALLEN-KARRIEM: And, as you can see, this is our rooming-in. And our moms are here and they can have their baby here 24/7...</p><p>MITCHELL: She says Holy Cross initiates breastfeeding within an hour of birth.</p><p>ALLEN-KARRIEM: My nurses have the tools that they need to assist with breastfeeding the mom. And we encourage breastfeeding on demand.</p><p>MITCHELL (on site): How many lactation consultants do you have on staff?</p><p>ALLEN-KARRIEM: We don&rsquo;t have any. Our volume does not support that at this particular time.</p><p>MITCHELL (on site): Any peer counselors that come in as volunteers? Breastfeeding peer counselors?</p><p>ALLEN-KARRIEM: No, we don&rsquo;t have that at the present.</p><p>MITCHELL: Allen-Karriem says convincing her patients to breastfeed is not always easy. She says most have not received any prenatal care before showing up in labor. Even more than Stroger Hospital, Holy Cross lets breast milk compete with formula. Allen-Karriem says her hospital sends moms home with a few days worth of formula. The idea&rsquo;s to tide them over, until they get into a federal nutrition program that provides more.</p><p>ALLEN-KARRIEM: Is it the best method of nutrition? No, it is not. Breastfeeding is. However, it&rsquo;s the mom&rsquo;s choice. If she wants to exclusively breastfeed, we do not send her home with formula. However, because she has not chosen to breastfeed, would you send her outside your doors with no way to feed her infant and no way to buy any formula?</p><p>MITCHELL: Again, Holy Cross is at the bottom when it comes to breastfeeding rates in Chicago-area hospitals. Experts say that&rsquo;s not a big surprise since it doesn&rsquo;t have lactation consultants and gives out all that formula. But some hospitals are taking a different tack.</p><p>INTERCOM: Stroke alert for the Emergency Room...</p><p>MITCHELL: Like Stroger and Holy Cross, Mount Sinai on Chicago&rsquo;s West Side serves mostly low-income patients. Last year about half the babies born at the hospital were getting breastfed there. To lift that rate, Mount Sinai says it&rsquo;s planning to apply for a pro-breastfeeding designation from the United Nations called Baby Friendly.</p><p>SAIDEL: This is the room where the hearing screen is done...</p><p>MITCHELL: Lou-Ellen Saidel is one of two half-time lactation consultants on Mount Sinai&rsquo;s maternity ward. She says you can see the effect of the Baby Friendly program right in this room. Saidel says the nurses used to quiet down babies for hearing tests by giving them formula. Now, she points to a big sign at eye level.</p><p>SAIDEL: It says, &lsquo;Bottles should only be given for a documented medical reason.&rsquo; So now they don&rsquo;t use formula on breastfeeding babies anymore in here.</p><p>MITCHELL: Saidel says Mount Sinai puts almost every staffer who comes into contact with new mothers or infants through breastfeeding training...</p><p>SAIDEL: ...from registered nurse to secretary. This is a process of people acquiring skills that were not taught in nursing school and medical school.</p><p>MITCHELL: For the Baby Friendly designation, some Sinai staffers will need more training. The sessions won&rsquo;t cost the hospital much money but will eat up staff time. That could explain why no Chicago hospital has applied for the designation. But a lot of breastfeeding experts say the hospitals should give it a try.</p><p>ABRAMSON: Breastfeeding is one those priority areas that are life-and-death for their patients.</p><p>MITCHELL: Rachel Abramson is a former post-partum nurse who heads a Chicago nonprofit group called HealthConnect One.</p><p>ABRAMSON: Those of us who grew up thinking that formula feeding is the norm and perfectly adequate have a hard time shifting our vision to see the risks of illness in the first year of life, juvenile diabetes, of breast cancer for mother, of obesity and diabetes &mdash; lifelong &mdash; for mothers and babies.</p><p>MITCHELL: Abramson says the costs for treating these diseases often ends up on the shoulders of taxpayers. If that&rsquo;s the case, you might think the government and hospital oversight groups would push hard for better breastfeeding rates. But they don&rsquo;t push. They mostly nudge.</p><p>MITCHELL: One group with some accountability is the Oakbrook Terrace-based Joint Commission. It accredits hospitals. Ann Watt helps direct the commission&rsquo;s quality-evaluation division. Watt says about a year ago the commission published some standards for hospitals to measure whether newborns were breastfeeding.</p><p>WATT: Our medical experts have indicated to us that this is a best practice.</p><p>MITCHELL: But these commission standards are voluntary. In fact, just three Illinois hospitals have adopted them.</p><p>MITCHELL (on phone): Could a hospital be performing poorly by these measures and still get accreditation?</p><p>WATT: Yes.</p><p>MITCHELL: Another group with some say is the Illinois Hospital Association. I asked the group whether it would support more public oversight of hospital breastfeeding practices. A spokesman declined to answer on tape but sent a statement saying the rules should not be rigid. The statement says breastfeeding management should begin with prenatal care, not the mother&rsquo;s hospital stay. The hospital association also points out that the decision to breastfeed is personal.</p><p>MITCHELL: The folks with the most to say about hospitals breastfeeding rates are at the Illinois Department of Public Health. The department is in charge of enforcing the state&rsquo;s hospital-licensing code. The code requires hospitals to follow basic breastfeeding guidelines that two physician groups published in 2007. In a statement to WBEZ, the Illinois Department of Public Health says it investigates breastfeeding infection-control issues. Otherwise, though, the department says it does not enforce the guidelines. That leaves public policy on breastfeeding largely up to individual hospitals &mdash; places like Stroger, Mount Sinai and Holy Cross.</p><p><em>Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the status of Mount Sinai Hospital&rsquo;s Baby Friendly effort. Chicago officials announced in August 2010 that Mount Sinai was seeking the international designation. The hospital registered to begin that four-phase process in September 2011.</em></p></p> Thu, 05 May 2011 16:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/hospital-regulators-let-formula-vie-breast-milk Global Activism: Urban gardens provide source of good nutrition for people affected by HIV/AIDS http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-24/global-activism-urban-gardens-provide-source-good-nutrition-people-affec <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-March/2011-03-24/DIG photo.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Each Thursday we hear about an individual who&rsquo;s decided to work to make the world a better place. Sarah Koch is the co-founder of <a href="http://www.reaplifedig.org/Reap_Life/HOME.html" target="_blank">Development in Gardening</a>, known by its clever acronym DIG.&nbsp;They create urban gardens to provide nutritional foods to HIV/AIDS affected people. Several of their gardens are located in Africa. Sarah returns to give us an update on some of DIG&rsquo;s new projects, including a program they&rsquo;ve just started in Zambia.</p></p> Thu, 24 Mar 2011 17:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-24/global-activism-urban-gardens-provide-source-good-nutrition-people-affec