Champaign County United Way short of goal by 9 percent

CHAMPAIGN — Contributions to the United Way of Champaign County are running behind, with less than three months left to meet the agency’s $3.3 million goal.

As of Tuesday, the United Way had raised a bit over $3.03 million, about 9 percent behind where fundraising was at this time last year, says United Way President and CEO Sue Grey.

'Traffic' symbols help with calorie labels on menus

CHAMPAIGN — Mushroom and swiss burger, 820 calories: Stop.

Crab cake sandwich, 350 calories: Go.

Adding traffic symbols like stop, caution and go signs — along with calorie labels — to restaurant menus can reach a broader group of diners than just calorie labels alone, a recent study suggests.

Prosperity Gardens program gets grant

CHAMPAIGN — The American Cancer Society has awarded the Prosperity Gardens program in Champaign an $8,850 grant to expand its work with students in an alternative education program.

The grant was one of 30 youth obesity prevention community grants totaling $360,000 to nonprofit organizations across the state.

Few businesses join program on breast-feeding

CHAMPAIGN — A local public health program aimed at helping breast-feeding moms feel more comfortable at work and other public places is getting a less-than-enthusiastic response.

Scientists seek help in learning about digestive microbes

Wonder what sort of effect that leftover turkey, gravy, sausage stuffing and cranberry sauce sandwich followed by a slice of pumpkin pie lathered in whipped cream had on your gastrointestinal tract?

What about the half-finished turkey leg you slipped to the dog under the table? What did that do to Fido's digestive health?

School lunch changes praised, but not universally embraced

Schools are trying to answer a tough question: What can they serve that students will eat, while still meeting U.S. guidelines?

In the school cafeteria these days, if you're trying to skate through the line without a fruit or a vegetable, watch out.

Report foresees half of Illinoisans becoming obese

UPDATED 9:20 p.m. Tuesday

CHAMPAIGN — More than half of Illinois residents could be obese by 2030 if current trends continue, a new report Tuesday projects.

As school year nears, seminar focuses on food allergies

URBANA — How do you keep your child safe from a food allergy at school?

Parents are being invited to a free seminar focusing on kids going back to school with food allergies to be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9 at The Forum at Carle, 611 W. Park St., U.

Program aims to teach good nutrition

CHAMPAIGN — A sweet potato or a bagful of fries? Sugary cereal or an egg?

Good health involves making good food choices, but not everyone really knows how.

"The message they got was from fast food corporations: Healthy food is expensive. Come eat here, we have a dollar menu," says Julie Munoz-Najar, a nutrition educator with the University of Illinois Extension.

Support from family, workplace determines breastfeeding success

CHAMPAIGN — Linda Steinberg knows it can be a challenge for new moms to continue breastfeeding when they go back to work.

She also knows it's worth the effort, she says.