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The Best of Our Knowledge
Mon June 5, 2006
The Best of Our Knowledge # 820
Albany, NY – CALORIES IN, CALORIES OUT: FOOD AND EXERCISE IN PUBLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS , Pt. 1 of 2 -
The U.S. Department of Education has just completed its first ever study
to focus on food and exercise in public elementary schools. The report
wants to emphasize an energy balance approach - calories consumed,
versus calories expended - to support healthy eating and an active lifestyle.
The report says because of the amount of time students spend at school
each day, schools can play an important role in promoting good nutrition, physical activity, and healthy weight. The study is broken into three parts:
food available in schools, opportunities for physical activity, and school
weigh-ins. This week, we concentrate on the types of food available to
students in school. Next week, we'll look at exercise programs. TBOOK microphones were in Washington, D.C. a few days ago for the study's
release by Commissioner Mark Schneider, from the National Center for Education Statistics, the research arm of the U.S. Dept. Of Education.
Glenn Busby reports. (4:25)
**(Attention Program Directors. For listener who would like to learn
more about the study, go online to: www.nces.ed.gov)**
SCOTLAND'S CHILD OBESITY EPIDEMIC HAS SIMILARITIES -
International research agrees with the need for school health programs.
A report finds reductions in childhood obesity levels after the introduction
of comprehensive programs that involve parents and teachers. These
include initiatives such as health instruction, food service, extracurricular activities and physical education. Yet another recent study, this one in
Scotland, sounds distinctly similar to studies in North America. It found
that one-third of 12-year olds in that country are overweight. And more
than one in five are clinically obese. Authorities are calling it an obesity epidemic, and a public health time bomb. Scotland's deputy health minister
says the situation is truly frightening. This report comes from Glasgow.
Ian Willoughby reports courtesy of Network Europe. (5:03)
EDUCATION HEADLINES AND UPDATES -
- The newly elected Conservative government in Canada has presented
its first budget in 13 years. Claire Morris, President of the Association
for Universities and Colleges of Canada, says she's pleased that the
government wants to set up a billion-dollar trust for higher education infrastructure. It would be used for urgent repairs and upgrades of
classrooms, labs, and libraries. The proposed budget would also
make all student scholarships and fellowships tax free. That budget
still requires parliamentary approval.
- In our update segment, former U.S. computer engineering professor,
Sami Al-Arian's three years behind bars were thought to be over. But
a federal judge stepped in at the last moment and extended his sentence
18-months. Then Al-Arian will be deported. The professor was charged
with conspiring with Palestinian terrorists.
- The investigation of Ethnic Studies Professor, Ward Churchill, has finally concluded. A University of Colorado spokesman says a five-person
investigative committee found serious cases of misconduct in his academic research, including plagiarism and fabrications. One committee member recommended firing Professor Churchill. The other four recommended suspensions of between two and five years without pay. Churchill called
the report a travesty.
- Smith College in Massachusetts has joined Brown University in Rhode
Island and a growing list of other colleges and universities around the world when their Boards of Trustees voted to ban investment in companies directly
or indirectly supporting the Sudanese government. The protest is caused by Sudan's genocide campaign in the Darfur region.
Dr. Karen Hitchcock reports. (2:00)
ORIGINS OF LIFE/SCIENCE RESEARCH IN EDUCATION SERIES
ATMOSPHERIC AEROSOLS AS PREBIOTIC CHEMICAL
REACTORS , Pt. 2 of 2 -
Dr. Veronica Vaida is Chair of the Department of Chemistry and
Biochemistry, and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Colorado
at Boulder. Dr. Vaida is studying Earth's climate and chemistry by
measuring aerosols in the atmosphere. Last week, we discussed her breakthrough research and why it's important. She described these
aerosols as being made up of liquids or solid particles, but so small,
they're not visible to the naked eye. She says about the same size as
bacteria. Dr. Vaida says these aerosols are prevalent everywhere, but
primarily over sources of water. This week, we hear how her research
could contribute knowledge to questions of climate and global warming.
And findings may also contribute to the theory that Earth could indeed
be alone in the universe.
Glenn Busby reports. (5:38)
The preceding material is supported by the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration.
**(Attention Program Directors. For listeners interested in more
information about this story, or any of the other more than 120
stories featured in this exclusive radio series, or would like to hear
them again via their computer, the website mentioned at the end
of the above segment is: www.origins.rpi.edu, then click on