How family meals deter obesity

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The News Story - Study: standing desks could help cut childhood obesity rates

With childhood obesity rates still soaring, researchers at Texas A&M believe they’ve hit on at least one potential solution: a new type of desk that requires children to stand in class.
The desks, reports CBS Philly, “are positioned higher than a regular desk and come equipped with a stool for when children want to sit.”  In a study of 500 schoolchildren in the College Station, Texas, school district, researchers followed the students’ step counts and energy expenditure over a period of five days.  The researchers reported that those students who used the standing desks burned an average of 15 calories per minute more than their peers at traditional desks.  Obese children burned 25% more calories than peers at traditional desks.  “The hope,” reports CBS, “is that standing desks could help to cut… click here to read whole article and make comments



Teaching your kids to be happy

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Let’s face it – kids are meant to be happy and full of life, but all too often these days we come across little ones that are sulky, moody, and just keen to get back on their mum’s iPad. Not ideal! So when I came across this Time article about happiness, I thought it had some good ideas that could be worth taking on and instilling in your children. There are the usual ones like learning to give, but here are a few more:


Teaching your kids to say a simple “thank you” might just seem like teaching manners, but you’re actually teaching happiness. Why? Because people who are grateful and appreciative are a lot happier – they see the good in life, it’ll help to improve their relationships, and they learn to make life better for the people around them.

Play to your strengths

Doing what you’re good at… click here to read whole article and make comments



Setting a wage for homemaking

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HOUSEWIFEHousewife in her mobile home in Minnesota. Photo: Horatio Villalobos / Wikimedia


Should the state – one way or another – pay home-makers for housework? Nothing new in that question. Family campaigners have said so for years. But it is potentially of note that the idea is now being advocated – I use the word advisedly m’lud – by two prominent lawyers.

Both have arrived at their conclusions independently and, interestingly, the points they advance in favour of reimbursement, are really quite different.

One of these attorneys is Noah Zatz, a professor at the University of California School of Law who joined a debate on the subject at the New York Times last week. Part of his critique of the domestic status quo is legalistic – that it involves a diminution of the rights enjoyed by other productive citizens.

He is concerned that:… click here to read whole article and make comments



Married at First Sight

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The News Story - 'Married at First Sight' and our attitude towards marriage

Today’s depressingly high divorce rate prompts more queries than ever before on what makes a marriage stick.  More money?  More education?  A bigger wedding?  Cable’s FYI Network has speculated on just this question in its new hit reality series, “Married at First Sight,” in which three couples who have been matched based on compatibility tests meet on their wedding day, then spend the next month figuring out if they want to stay married.
This week’s conclusion led to more media chatter on making marriage work.  Stacia L. Brown of the Washington Post speculates that the show’s success is due to its appeal to a deeper societal loneliness.  “[A]s you root for the couples to work through their issues and ‘beat the odds,’” she writes, “you become increasingly aware that the experience isn’t really about them. It’s about… click here to read whole article and make comments



The link between divorce and mortality

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The News Story - Famous Wedding Resort to Offer "Divorce Packages"

An upstate New York hotel famous for its lavish weddings is about to get into a new side of the marriage business—divorce.
Reports the New York Post, “For a flat $5,000 fee, the divorcing parties are put up in separate rooms at Saratoga Springs’ Gideon Putnam Resort for a weekend and work with a mediator to finalize the details into a signed agreement.” Some of the divorcing parties will even broadcast their negotiations via a reality television show.  Rob Sgarlata, a spokesperson for the hotel, does not believe that providing a venue for both weddings and divorce proceedings in the same weekend will “tarnish the hotel’s reputation as a wedding venue.”  According to Sgarlata, the organizers of these divorces “want people to get into an environment that minimizes the stress of the situation and that’s… click here to read whole article and make comments



Working mothers: to everything, a season

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mum and babyMyles Grant - Flickr via Wikimedia


The much celebrated rise of women in education and the workforce has given rise to the much debated second shift syndrome, in which mothers who work full time come home to do most of the childcare and other domestic work (cooking, shopping, laundry…), and to why women can’t have it all tracts from high-powered career women who want to see more of their children. However, Neil Gilbert at Family Studies notes a recent trend that may see more mothers and couples finding a better work-life balance.

According to the Pew Research Centre, for three decades starting around 1967, the proportion of stay-at-home mothers in the United States fell steeply – from 49 percent to 23 percent in 1999. That includes both married women with a working husband… click here to read whole article and make comments



The first divorce selfie

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This divorce selfie might not actually be the first, but at any rate it has happened. And that’s certainly enough to sadden the heart. Here’s what gets me about this photo:

It normalises divorce

Once again, our society is managing to normalise something that shouldn’t be normal. It’s making a huge, life-changing and heartbreaking choice look like an everyday, run-of-the-mill event. Sadly, people already go into marriage with the option of divorce in the back of their head – selfies like this are only going to fuel that attitude.

It makes divorce look pain-free

As happy as they might look in this selfie, divorce is not a happy business. Couples might convince themselves that everything has ended in a peaceful and amicable manner, and yet there are layers of hurt underneath. You can’t just commit your life to a person and then let it go with a smile and a happy… click here to read whole article and make comments



The rules of engagement

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Yes, I know, I’ve only been engaged for two weeks. Two weeks and four days, actually, and yes, I am counting. But amidst all the happiness and excitement, I feel like I’ve already leant a few lessons that I plan on keeping in mind until the wedding. Let me tell you about them:

Make sure you focus on the marriage, not just the wedding day

There’s nothing wrong with being excited about the wedding day. But I’m trying to focus on the fact that the most important thing is the marriage, and the world won’t end if my dress is a little less puffy than expected or the wedding singer hits a bad note – being aware of this is probably the difference between a psycho bridezilla and a calm, happy bride-to-be. It also prevents me from getting caught up in materialism, since I know that the wedding is a celebration of our… click here to read whole article and make comments



Non-married mums are less likely to breastfeed

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The News Story - 22 candid photos that show how beautiful breastfeeding really is

August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, and news sources have brimmed with cheerful stories on the positive effects of breastfeeding.  In addition to providing baby with the best nutrition, breastfeeding cuts the risk of post-partum depression, helps reduce the risk of breast cancer, and has a host of other good health effects for both mom and baby.
Over at the Huffington Post, Caroline Bologna spotlights photographer and mother Leilani Rogers in her “Public Breastfeeding Awareness Project.”  “Inspired by her reluctance to nurse in public,” reports the story, Rogers is “seeking to normalize the sight of breastfeeding and show support for other nursing moms.”  Many other photographers have joined the project, which is now global.  Kayla Gonzales told the Huffington Post, “I do feel strongly that breastfeeding is the standard for… click here to read whole article and make comments



Married parents vs cohabiting parents

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The News Story - More unmarried moms are living with partners
A new study by the National Center for Health Statistics reveals "a baby frenzy happening among unmarried couples who live together."
According to the report, 58% of all unmarried births now occur to cohabiting couples, compared to 41% in 2002.  Reports NBC, "Although some studies show that living together may be less stable than traditional marriage, the new report shows that half of births to non-married, cohabitating women were planned."  "We don't feel the need to rush to the altar," one such mother told NBC--though she also says that the couple does in fact plan to marry when they feel more financially prepared.
Finances, it seems, often play a crucial role in such decisions to forego marriage, even while welcoming children.  Child Trend senior research Elizabeth Wildsmith comments that the desire for marriage continues, but… click here to read whole article and make comments


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Family Edge looks at news and trends affecting the family in the light of human dignity. Our focus is the inspiring, creative, humorous, annoying, ridiculous, and dangerous ideas in the evening news. Send tips and brainwaves to the editor, Tamara Rajakariar, at tamara.rajakariar@

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