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US Makes Strides In Tackling National Child Poverty Problem

The New York Times reports America’s high child poverty rate set it apart from other rich nations but that efforts to expand safety nets have driven a 59% drop in child poverty since 1993. Also: the baby formula shortage, stress in pregnancy, news on nutrition, and more.

The New York Times:
Expanded Safety Net Drives Sharp Drop In Child Poverty

For a generation or more, America’s high levels of child poverty set it apart from other rich nations, leaving millions of young people lacking support as basic as food and shelter amid mounting evidence that early hardship leaves children poorer, sicker and less educated as adults. But with little public notice and accelerating speed, America’s children have become much less poor. A comprehensive new analysis shows that child poverty has fallen 59 percent since 1993, with need receding on nearly every front. (DeParle, 9/11)

In other pediatric news —

The New York Times:
Store Shelves Are No Longer Bare, But Baby Formula Remains In Short Supply 

More than six months after one of the largest infant formula manufacturing plants in the United States issued a recall and was then shut down because of contamination concerns, a newborn staple remains in short supply. In parts of the country, parents and their families are scrambling to locate precious containers of formula for their babies and many large retailers remain out of stock of popular brands. Some companies like Walmart and Target are limiting the number of containers that can be purchased at one time. (Creswell and Corkery, 9/12)

USA Today:
Pregnancy Stress Linked To Negative Baby Emotions, Crying: Study

The researchers asked questions such as, “Over the past hour, did you feel you could not control important things?” and scored the maternal stress levels. They looked at three patterns of stress: baseline levels, stress levels over a 14-week period, and how much these stress levels changed or fluctuated. (Martin, 9/10)

In nutrition news —

NBC News:
Weight Loss After 40: Doctors Recommended To Give Weight Counseling

The recommendations, published in August in the Annals of Internal Medicine, were developed by the Women’s Preventive Services Initiative, a national coalition of health professionals and patient representatives. The group, which advises the federal government, said midlife women gain an average of about 1.5 pounds a year due to factors such as aging, becoming more sedentary and the hormonal changes of menopause. (Stenson, 9/11)

NBC News:
A Big Breakfast And Light Dinner Doesn’t Burn More Calories: Study

The common notion that eating a big breakfast and light dinner helps people burn more calories may be misguided. New research published Friday in the journal Cell Metabolism found that eating the bulk of one’s calories in the morning doesn’t help people lose weight any more than eating those calories at night. (Bendix, 9/10)

In other health and wellness news —

The Washington Post:
The Army Is Creating An Exoskeleton Suit For Soldier Back Pain

The new suit, which weighs just three pounds, is a soft harness that soldiers strap around their shoulders and legs. Soldiers can press a button on the suit by their left shoulder, which activates the straps running along their back to help ease the burden when lifting heavy objects like artillery rounds, boxes or guns. Its name is a mouthful, dubbed the Soldier Assistive Bionic Exosuit for Resupply, or SABER. It is developed by the U.S. Army and Vanderbilt University, and slated to be deployed in the field in 2023. (Verma, 9/10)

Donating Late Son’s Medical Equipment Brings Mother Solace

After Itza Pantoja’s severely disabled son died at age 16, she made it her mission to ensure that the wheelchairs, beds and other equipment and supplies that had helped him would get to others in need. Pantoja’s lengthy struggle to find an organization that would take the large donation ended when she got word that a group in Chicago was interested. So she and her family packed up a U-Haul and drove the 1,240 miles from San Antonio to drop it off. … The mother’s effort highlighted not only how hard it can be to get such equipment — even with insurance — but also the difficulty that can be encountered when trying to donate it. (Stengle, 9/10)

While Inflation Takes A Toll On Seniors, Billions Of Dollars In Benefits Go Unused 

Millions of older adults are having trouble making ends meet, especially during these inflationary times. Yet many don’t realize help is available, and some notable programs that offer financial assistance are underused. A few examples: Nearly 14 million adults age 60 or older qualify for aid from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (also known as food stamps) but haven’t signed up, according to recent estimates. Also, more than 3 million adults 65 or older are eligible but not enrolled in Medicare Savings Programs, which pay for Medicare premiums and cost sharing. And 30% to 45% of seniors may be missing out on help from the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy program, which covers plan premiums and cost sharing and lowers the cost of prescription drugs. (Graham, 9/12)

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