Trends in Consumption of Ultraprocessed Foods (not good news)

The calories that children and adolescents consumed from ultraprocessed foods jumped from 61% to 67% of total caloric intake from 1999 to 2018, according to a new study from researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University. Published August 10, 2021, in JAMA, the study analyzed dietary intake from 33,795 children and adolescents nationwide.

Tufts University. “Ultraprocessed foods now comprise 2/3 of calories in children and teen diets.” ScienceDaily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/08/210810110955.htm (accessed August 10, 2021).

The largest spike in calories came from such ready-to-eat or ready-to-heat dishes as takeout and frozen pizza and burgers: from 2.2% to 11.2% of calories. The second largest spike in calories came from packaged sweet snacks and desserts, the consumption of which grew from 10.6% to 12.9%.

Frozen pizza and burgers? Is this a problem?

Findings  In this serial cross-sectional study of nationally representative data from 33 795 US youths aged 2-19 years, the estimated percentage of total energy consumed from ultraprocessed foods increased from 61.4% to 67.0%, whereas the percentage of total energy consumed from unprocessed or minimally processed foods decreased from 28.8% to 23.5%.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2782866

We are doomed.

Covid-19 and Young Adults – You Are Not Invincible (a gentle reminder)

Whistler recorded 1,120 COVID-19 cases from the beginning of January to March 28, with 218 of them last week alone, driven by the P.1 variant most commonly associated with Brazil. The majority of cases – 83.2 per cent – are in people aged 20 to 39.

Variant that forced B.C. ski resort shut is rapidly spreading, sending more young people to hospital — https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-covid-19-variant-spreading-rapidly-in-bc/

Young adults age 18 to 34 years hospitalized with COVID-19 experienced substantial rates of adverse outcomes: 21% required intensive care, 10% required mechanical ventilation, and 2.7% died. This in-hospital mortality rate is lower than that reported for older adults with COVID-19, but approximately double that of young adults with acute myocardial infarction.4 Morbid obesity, hypertension, and diabetes were common and associated with greater risks of adverse events. Young adults with more than 1 of these conditions faced risks comparable with those observed in middle-aged adults without them. More than half of these patients requiring hospitalization were Black or Hispanic, consistent with prior findings of disproportionate illness severity in these demographic groups.5,6

Clinical Outcomes in Young US Adults Hospitalized With COVID-19 — https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2770542

Please get vaccinated as soon as you’re eligible. This is a gentle reminder before I start getting a bit harsher with my messaging.

Covid-19 and Young Adults – You Are Not Invincible

Nice map from WAPO. Dr. Gandhi’s bird app post caught my eye. But for all you youngsters reading this it ain’t just Michigan.

Young adults age 18 to 34 years hospitalized with COVID-19 experienced substantial rates of adverse outcomes: 21% required intensive care, 10% required mechanical ventilation, and 2.7% died. This in-hospital mortality rate is lower than that reported for older adults with COVID-19, but approximately double that of young adults with acute myocardial infarction.4 Morbid obesity, hypertension, and diabetes were common and associated with greater risks of adverse events. Young adults with more than 1 of these conditions faced risks comparable with those observed in middle-aged adults without them. More than half of these patients requiring hospitalization were Black or Hispanic, consistent with prior findings of disproportionate illness severity in these demographic groups.5,6

Clinical Outcomes in Young US Adults Hospitalized With COVID-19 — https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2770542

No politics. No religion. No conspiracies. No bullshit. Please get vaccinated as soon as you’re eligible.

First It Was Masks; Now Some Refuse Testing for SARS-CoV-2

Test avoidance appears to be a growing problem, at least anecdotally. Many of the same people who dismiss the need to test feel the same way about wearing a mask, in part because they think no one has the right to tell them to do either.

First It Was Masks; Now Some Refuse Testing for SARS-CoV-2 – JAMA. 2020;324(20):2015-2016. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.22003 – https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2772860

I am speechless.

Association Between Screen Time and Children’s Performance on a Developmental Screening Test

Results  Of the 2441 children included in the analysis, 1169 (47.9%) were boys. A random-intercepts, cross-lagged panel model revealed that higher levels of screen time at 24 and 36 months were significantly associated with poorer performance on developmental screening tests at 36 months (β, −0.08; 95% CI, −0.13 to −0.02) and 60 months (β, −0.06; 95% CI, −0.13 to −0.02), respectively. These within-person (time-varying) associations statistically controlled for between-person (stable) differences.

Conclusions and Relevance  The results of this study support the directional association between screen time and child development. Recommendations include encouraging family media plans, as well as managing screen time, to offset the potential consequences of excess use.

JAMA article here.