Menu

Vaccine Exemptions for Kindergartners Still Rising

Oct. 18, 2019 — The rate of U.S. kindergartners with vaccine exemptions continues to inch upward, a federal government study says.

The exemption rate for one or more required vaccines was 2.5% in the 2018-19 school year, up from 2.3% in the previous year, and 2.1% in the 2016-17 school year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CNN reported Friday.

In 2018-19, state rates ranged from 0.1% in Mississippi to 7.7% in Idaho and Oregon.

Among vaccine-exempt kindergartners nationwide, only 0.3% had a medical exemption while 2.2% had a nonmedical exemption, according to the study published Thursday in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Measles outbreaks affecting school-age children across multiple states during the 2018-19 school year underscore the importance of both school vaccination requirements for preventing disease spread and school coverage assessments to identify pockets of undervaccination,” the study authors wrote.

“Although the overall percentage of children with an exemption increased slightly for the second consecutive school year, children with exemptions still represent a small proportion of kindergartners nationally and in most states,” they noted.

“More importantly, in 25 states, the number of nonexempt undervaccinated kindergartners exceeded the number of those with exemptions,” the authors added.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

‘); } else { // If we match both our test Topic Ids and Buisness Ref we want to place the ad in the middle of page 1 if($ .inArray(window.s_topic, moveAdTopicIds) > -1 && $ .inArray(window.s_business_reference, moveAdBuisRef) > -1){ // The logic below reads count all nodes in page 1. Exclude the footer,ol,ul and table elements. Use the varible // moveAdAfter to know which node to place the Ad container after. window.placeAd = function(pn) { var nodeTags = [‘p’, ‘h3′,’aside’, ‘ul’], nodes, target; nodes = $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(‘ + pn + ‘)’).find(nodeTags.join()).not(‘p:empty’).not(‘footer *’).not(‘ol *, ul *, table *’); //target = nodes.eq(Math.floor(nodes.length / 2)); target = nodes.eq(moveAdAfter); $ (”).insertAfter(target); } // Currently passing in 1 to move the Ad in to page 1 window.placeAd(1); } else { // This is the default location on the bottom of page 1 $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(1)’).append(”); } } })(); $ (function(){ // Create a new conatiner where we will make our lazy load Ad call if the reach the footer section of the article $ (‘.main-container-3’).prepend(”); });
WebMD Health

Sweetened Drinks Still Top Sellers to Kids

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Drinks marketed to children often contain loads of unhealthy sugars and sweeteners, and they come in packages that deliver too-large servings, a new report finds.

None of 34 sweetened drinks aimed at the youth market meet nutrition recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), according to University of Connecticut researchers.

“Sweetened drinks are about two-thirds of children’s drink sales, compared to 100% juice-and-water blends,” said lead researcher Jennifer Harris, director of marketing initiatives for the university’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity in Hartford. “Parents may be surprised to know that pediatricians, dentists and other nutrition experts recommend against serving any of these drinks to children.”

Sweetened drinks have been identified as a major source of excess calories for kids.

Added sugars account for 17% of the total caloric intake of children and teens, and sugary beverages contribute almost half of those added sugars, according to AAP.

For this study, Harris and her team looked only at products marketed for children, ignoring sodas, sports drinks and iced teas that are promoted for a wider audience.

They identified 67 products from 23 drink brands. About half contained added sweeteners; the others didn’t.

The sweetened drinks made up 62% of the $ 2.2 billion in children’s drink sales in 2018, researchers said. Pure juice or juice/water blends accounted for 38% of sales.

One serving of many of the highest-selling fruit drink brands — Capri Sun, Hawaiian Punch, Sunny D and Minute Maid Lemonade — had more than 50% of the recommended amount of daily added sugars for kids, researchers said.

Two-thirds of sweetened fruit drinks and flavored waters contained no fruit juice at all, the report said. Most that did have some fruit juice contained just 5%.

Even ostensibly healthier 100% fruit juice came in packaging that made the drink potentially unhealthy to kids, researchers found.

The AAP has recommended that 1- to 3-year-olds have at most 4 ounces of pure fruit juice per day, and older preschoolers, no more than 6 ounces.

Continued

“They don’t need juice, but if they’re going to drink it, they should drink it in limited amounts,” Harris said.

But most single-serving 100% juice boxes and pouches contain more than 4 ounces, exceeding the recommended daily amount for toddlers, researchers found.

And some juice boxes and pouches even exceeded the 6-ounce serving recommended for preschoolers.

“We found a very small number of products that would be appropriate for a child under 3,” Harris said. “Most of the juice boxes and pouches are bigger than a toddler should be drinking.”

Experts recommend that children over a year old drink only plain water or milk, she said.

“They don’t need any other kind of drinks,” Harris said. “If you’re going to give them juice, look for 100% juice in small servings.”

Packaging often confuses rather than enlightens. Brands offering both sweetened drinks and drinks without added sweeteners often used similar-looking packages, flavor names and fruit images, researchers said.

For example, about 85% of sweetened drinks contained images of fruit on their packaging, but only 35% contained any juice at all, researchers said.

Parents have to look closely to figure out exactly what a drink contains, Harris said.

“You can’t trust the front of the packages to know what’s inside the drinks,” she said. “You have to look at the Nutrition Facts panel to see what ingredients are in there.”

Sweetened drinks are marketed heavily to children, the researchers also found.

Children between 2 and 11 see more than twice as many ads for sweetened drinks as for healthier alternatives, researchers said. These kids also see four times as many ads for sweetened drinks than their parents do.

The American Beverage Association (ABA) responded to the study in a statement.

“America’s beverage companies agree that it’s important for families to moderate sugar consumption to ensure a balanced, healthy lifestyle, and this is especially true for young children,” the statement said.

“Our companies strictly follow guidelines established by independent monitors that limit the marketing of beverages to children to 100% juice, water or dairy-based beverages and monitor TV, radio and digital advertising to confirm compliance,” the ABA added.

Continued

Kristi King, a national spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, also reacted to the report.

It “may not be what we wanted to see, but it definitely is useful in that we can take this report and hopefully come up with a plan that helps the health of the children,” she said.

Health care and industry will need to work together to help reduce kids’ access to excess sugar, said King, a senior dietitian at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

“I don’t think this is something that health care can do on its own by working with parents,” she said.

The Rudd Center report, released Oct. 16, recommends several steps to reduce kids’ consumption of sweetened drinks, including:

  • Packaging that clearly indicates on the front whether a product contains added sugars, as well as the percentage of juice inside,
  • State taxes on sugary drinks,
  • A ban on direct advertisements to children for drinks containing added sugars.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Jennifer Harris, Ph.D., M.B.A., director, marketing initiatives, Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, University of Connecticut, Hartford; Kristi King, M.P.H., R.D.N., senior dietitian, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston; statement, American Beverage Association;Children’s Drink Facts 2019, report, Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, University of Connecticut, Oct. 16, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

‘); } else { // If we match both our test Topic Ids and Buisness Ref we want to place the ad in the middle of page 1 if($ .inArray(window.s_topic, moveAdTopicIds) > -1 && $ .inArray(window.s_business_reference, moveAdBuisRef) > -1){ // The logic below reads count all nodes in page 1. Exclude the footer,ol,ul and table elements. Use the varible // moveAdAfter to know which node to place the Ad container after. window.placeAd = function(pn) { var nodeTags = [‘p’, ‘h3′,’aside’, ‘ul’], nodes, target; nodes = $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(‘ + pn + ‘)’).find(nodeTags.join()).not(‘p:empty’).not(‘footer *’).not(‘ol *, ul *, table *’); //target = nodes.eq(Math.floor(nodes.length / 2)); target = nodes.eq(moveAdAfter); $ (”).insertAfter(target); } // Currently passing in 1 to move the Ad in to page 1 window.placeAd(1); } else { // This is the default location on the bottom of page 1 $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(1)’).append(”); } } })(); $ (function(){ // Create a new conatiner where we will make our lazy load Ad call if the reach the footer section of the article $ (‘.main-container-3’).prepend(”); });

Pagination

WebMD Health

Americans Are Still Eating Too Many ‘Bad’ Carbs

By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Sept. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Decades into the obesity epidemic, Americans are still eating far too much sugar, starch and saturated fat, a new report claims.

Since 1999, Americans have cut down a bit on “low-quality” carbs, like heavily processed grains and snack foods with added sugar. But that amounts to only a 3% drop overall, the researchers found.

And Americans have made little headway in boosting their intake of “high-quality” carbohydrates — like beans, fiber-rich whole grains, fruit and vegetables other than potatoes: Consumption rose by only 1% between 1999 and 2016.

Meanwhile, total fat intake rose by the same amount, but half was from saturated fat — which comes mainly from meat and full-fat dairy products. Americans today typically get 12% of their daily calories from saturated fat, the study found. That’s above the 10% recommended limit.

The study cannot answer any “why” questions, according to senior researcher Dr. Fang Fang Zhang, an associate professor at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, in Boston.

But Americans’ reliance on processed foods and take-out is a likely culprit.

“Our study shows that Americans are eating a lot of low-quality carbohydrates from refined grains and added sugars — 42 percent [of daily calories],” Zhang said.

“That’s a lot of calories without many nutrients,” she added. “It’s reasonable to say that’s partially related to convenience foods.”

The findings, reported in the Sept. 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, are based on a long-running government nutrition survey. Between 1999 and 2016, nearly 44,000 Americans were interviewed about their eating habits.

Over those years, Zhang’s team found, people reduced their total carb intake from an average of 52.5% of daily calories, to 50.5%. At the same time, protein and fat intake inched up.

But there was not much improvement in the national appetite for healthy carbs. And consumption of plant proteins — like nuts and beans — barely budged, from about 5.4% of calories, to 5.8%, the findings showed.

On balance, Americans still seem to love their meat and potatoes.

Continued

Linda Van Horn, who heads the nutrition division at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, co-authored an editorial published with the study.

She agreed that convenience is a powerful force in the national diet, as is advertising.

“Access to snacks, desserts, sugary beverages, pizza, sandwiches and other grab-and-go foods is far greater and more highly marketed than fruits, vegetables, whole-grain foods, and unsalted nuts and seeds,” Van Horn said.

So the responsibility for eating healthy goes beyond an individual’s “will,” Zhang said — particularly since disadvantaged Americans still have poorer diets than those who are wealthier and more educated.

For example, the study found that people living below the poverty line trimmed their intake of low-quality carbs by around 2%, versus nearly 4% among higher-income people.

That points to a need to make healthier choices more affordable and accessible, according to Zhang.

For now, she pointed to simple changes people can try: “Mind the quality of your carbohydrates. Instead of French fries, go for a piece of fruit. Instead of white bread, go for whole-grain bread with nuts or seeds. Read nutrition labels for added sugars, and select products with more fiber and less sugar.”

Van Horn made another point: Healthy eating is not only about weight control; it can help people avoid chronic disease and disability, and the drugs used to treat those conditions.

Ideally, she noted, everyone should pay attention to diet from the beginning — with pregnant women eating healthfully and parents passing good habits onto their kids.

“Establishing the recommended dietary patterns and lifestyle behaviors early in life is the very best strategy to preserve healthy growth and development in our kids — and reverse the escalating obesity epidemic in our country,” Van Horn said.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Fang Fang Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston; Linda Van Horn, Ph.D., R.D., professor, preventive medicine, and chief, nutrition division, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago; Sept. 24, 2019,Journal of the American Medical Association

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

‘); } else { // If we match both our test Topic Ids and Buisness Ref we want to place the ad in the middle of page 1 if($ .inArray(window.s_topic, moveAdTopicIds) > -1 && $ .inArray(window.s_business_reference, moveAdBuisRef) > -1){ // The logic below reads count all nodes in page 1. Exclude the footer,ol,ul and table elements. Use the varible // moveAdAfter to know which node to place the Ad container after. window.placeAd = function(pn) { var nodeTags = [‘p’, ‘h3′,’aside’, ‘ul’], nodes, target; nodes = $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(‘ + pn + ‘)’).find(nodeTags.join()).not(‘p:empty’).not(‘footer *’).not(‘ol *, ul *, table *’); //target = nodes.eq(Math.floor(nodes.length / 2)); target = nodes.eq(moveAdAfter); $ (”).insertAfter(target); } // Currently passing in 1 to move the Ad in to page 1 window.placeAd(1); } else { // This is the default location on the bottom of page 1 $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(1)’).append(”); } } })(); $ (function(){ // Create a new conatiner where we will make our lazy load Ad call if the reach the footer section of the article $ (‘.main-container-3’).prepend(”); });

Pagination

WebMD Health

Pregnancy-Related Deaths Still Higher With Some Minorities

THURSDAY, Sept. 5, 2019 — Pregnancy is a far riskier undertaking for many minority women than it is for white women in the United States, a new government study shows.

The chances of dying from pregnancy complications is two to three times higher for black, American Indian and Alaska Native women than it is for white women.

“These disparities are devastating for families and communities, and we must work to eliminate them,” said lead author Dr. Emily Petersen, medical officer in the Division of Reproductive Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“There is an urgent need to identify and evaluate the complex factors contributing to these disparities and to design interventions that will reduce preventable pregnancy-related deaths,” Petersen said in a CDC news release.

Her team analyzed national data from 2007-2016 and found that the overall rate of pregnancy-related deaths rose from 15 to 17 per 100,000 births during that time.

By racial/ethnic group, rates were 40.8 per 100,000 births for blacks, 29.7 for American Indians/Alaska Natives, 13.5 for Asian/Pacific Islanders, 12.7 for whites, and 11.5 for Hispanics.

The gap between blacks and American Indians/Alaska Natives and other racial and ethnic groups widened with age. Among women older than 30, rates among blacks and American Indians/Alaska Natives were four to five times higher than among whites.

The study also found that the rate among blacks with at least a college degree was just over five times higher than among whites with at least a college degree.

Cardiomyopathy, pulmonary embolism, and high blood pressure disorders of pregnancy were factors in more pregnancy-related deaths among blacks than among whites. Hemorrhage and high blood pressure disorders of pregnancy were factors in more pregnancy-related deaths among American Indians/Alaska Natives than among whites.

There was little change in racial/ethnic disparities between 2007 and 2016, according to the study published Sept. 6 in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Most pregnancy-related deaths are preventable, according to the agency.

The CDC defines a pregnancy-related death as “the death of a woman during pregnancy or within one year of the end of pregnancy from a pregnancy complication; a chain of events initiated by pregnancy; or the aggravation of an unrelated condition by the physiologic effects of pregnancy.”

A CDC report from May that analyzed data from 13 states concluded that each pregnancy-related death was associated with several contributing factors. These included lack of access to appropriate and high-quality care, missed or delayed diagnoses, and lack of knowledge among patients and health care providers about warning signs.

The data suggested that 60% or more of pregnancy-related deaths could have been prevented by correcting these issues.

“There are many complex drivers of [pregnancy-related death]. This [new study] shows the critical need to accelerate efforts and to identify the initiatives that will be most effective,” said Dr. Wanda Barfield, director of the CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health.

More information

The U.S. Office on Women’s Health has more about pregnancy complications.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: September 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Still Too Much Processed Meat, Too Little Fish in U.S. Diet

By Robert Preidt

       

         HealthDay Reporter        

FRIDAY, June 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Americans are eating as much processed meat as they did two decades ago, and have not increased the amount of fish they consume.

       

That’s the bad news from new research on dietary data, which also found one-quarter of U.S. adults eat more than the recommended amount of unprocessed red meat, and less than 15% eat recommended amounts of fish/shellfish.

       

The good news comes from another finding: Americans are eating a bit less beef and more chicken than they used to, and for the first time, consumption of poultry exceeded that of unprocessed red meat.

       

“Despite strong evidence linking processed meat with cancer risk, consumption of processed meat among U.S. adults didn’t change over the study period [1999-2016],” noted lead investigator Dr. Fang Fang Zhang, from Tufts University’s School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston.

       

“While factors other than health [e.g., social, cultural and economic] can influence Americans’ food choices, the lack of widespread awareness of health risks associated with processed meat may have contributed to the lack of consumption change,” she added in a news release from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

       

The researchers analyzed data gathered between 1999 and 2016 on the eating habits of U.S. adults, 20 and older.

       

Over those 18 years, consumption of processed meats stayed about the same, 182 grams/week in 1999 and 187 grams/week in 2016.

       

The top five types of processed meats consumed in 2015-2016 were: luncheon meat (39%), sausage (24%), hot dogs (9%), ham (9%) and bacon (5%).

       

Consumption of unprocessed red meat during the study period fell from 340 grams/week to 284 grams/week, primarily due to a decline in beef consumption.

       

Poultry consumption rose from 256 grams/week to 303 grams/week, primarily due to a 34-grams/week increase in consumption of chicken.

       

Fish and seafood consumption remained about the same, 115 grams/week compared with 116 grams/week, according to the study.

       

The researchers noted that the low consumption of fish and shellfish could be a result of high retail prices, lack of awareness of the health benefits, and concerns about mercury contamination in certain fish. But, they added, scientific evidence suggests that the benefits of fish intake exceed the potential risks for most people.

       

“Our findings support further actions to increase the public awareness of the health risks associated with high processed meat consumption in the U.S.,” Zhang said.

       

The study was published June 21 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCE:Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, news release, June 21, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

‘); } else { // If we match both our test Topic Ids and Buisness Ref we want to place the ad in the middle of page 1 if($ .inArray(window.s_topic, moveAdTopicIds) > -1 && $ .inArray(window.s_business_reference, moveAdBuisRef) > -1){ // The logic below reads count all nodes in page 1. Exclude the footer,ol,ul and table elements. Use the varible // moveAdAfter to know which node to place the Ad container after. window.placeAd = function(pn) { var nodeTags = [‘p’, ‘h3′,’aside’, ‘ul’], nodes, target; nodes = $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(‘ + pn + ‘)’).find(nodeTags.join()).not(‘p:empty’).not(‘footer *’).not(‘ol *, ul *, table *’); //target = nodes.eq(Math.floor(nodes.length / 2)); target = nodes.eq(moveAdAfter); $ (”).insertAfter(target); } // Currently passing in 1 to move the Ad in to page 1 window.placeAd(1); } else { // This is the default location on the bottom of page 1 $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(1)’).append(”); } } })(); $ (function(){ // Create a new conatiner where we will make our lazy load Ad call if the reach the footer section of the article $ (‘.main-container-3’).prepend(”); });
WebMD Health

DDT Still In Lakes 50 Years After Ban

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Although DDT was banned in the 1970s, the toxic pesticide still lurks in the sediment of lakes in New Brunswick, Canada, researchers report.

To control insects, airplanes sprayed nearly 6,300 tons of DDT onto New Brunswick forests between 1952 and 1968.

Sprayed DDT can enter lakes and rivers, and find its way into the food chain, researchers say.

To see if DDT had an effect on these Canadian lakes, the researchers collected sediment samples from five lakes in New Brunswick.

The sediment reflected conditions from about 1890 to 2016. Analysis showed that DDT levels peaked in the 1970s and 1980s.

But in the current layer of sediment, concentrations of DDT were still higher than considered safe for fish, frogs and other aquatic life, the investigators found.

Joshua Kurek, of the department of geography and environment at Mount Allison University, in Sackville, New Brunswick, led the study.

His team also found that starting in the 1950s, life in the lakes shifted to favor species more tolerant to contaminants. DDT is banned in most countries.

The report was published June 12 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCE: American Chemical Society, news release, June 12, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

‘); } else { // If we match both our test Topic Ids and Buisness Ref we want to place the ad in the middle of page 1 if($ .inArray(window.s_topic, moveAdTopicIds) > -1 && $ .inArray(window.s_business_reference, moveAdBuisRef) > -1){ // The logic below reads count all nodes in page 1. Exclude the footer,ol,ul and table elements. Use the varible // moveAdAfter to know which node to place the Ad container after. window.placeAd = function(pn) { var nodeTags = [‘p’, ‘h3′,’aside’, ‘ul’], nodes, target; nodes = $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(‘ + pn + ‘)’).find(nodeTags.join()).not(‘p:empty’).not(‘footer *’).not(‘ol *, ul *, table *’); //target = nodes.eq(Math.floor(nodes.length / 2)); target = nodes.eq(moveAdAfter); $ (”).insertAfter(target); } // Currently passing in 1 to move the Ad in to page 1 window.placeAd(1); } else { // This is the default location on the bottom of page 1 $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(1)’).append(”); } } })(); $ (function(){ // Create a new conatiner where we will make our lazy load Ad call if the reach the footer section of the article $ (‘.main-container-3’).prepend(”); });
WebMD Health

Sugary Sodas Still Popular, But Warnings, Taxes Can Curb Uptake

SUNDAY, June 9, 2019 — Eight of every 10 American households buys sodas and other sugary drinks each week, adding up to 2,000 calories per household per week, new research shows.

To put that in perspective, 2,000 calories is equal to the recommended average caloric intake for an adult for an entire day.

With the obesity epidemic continuing for Americans young and old, it’s still tough to get the message out that sugary drinks may prove lethal over time, one expert said.

“It startles me how many patients of mine state that they ‘understand that soda is not good’ — however, they continue to drink for the pleasure principle,” said Sharon Zarabi. She directs the bariatric program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

However, Zarabi added, “when you actually sit down and spend time explaining the contribution of excess calories, inflammatory markers, elevated triglycerides, addictive properties, weight gain, etc., you paint a different picture.”

The new study was led by Stephen Onufrak, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report — and a number of related studies — were to be presented Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Nutrition, in Baltimore.

In the soda consumption study, the CDC team looked at data from a government survey of the weekly grocery-buying habits of nearly 5,000 U.S. households, compiled in 2012.

The findings showed that on any given week, 77% of households bought sodas, sweetened juices, sports drinks or other sugary beverages. In about half of cases (47%), these drinks were bought for consumption at home.

On average, households consumed more than 2,000 calories’ worth of sugary drinks each week — about 1,200 calories while at home and nearly 760 calories outside the home, the CDC team said. Sodas were by far the leading calorie source, with 678 calories’ worth consumed at home and another 472 calories taken in outside the home.

And as the number of people living in a home increased, so did the uptake of high-calorie, sugary drinks, the report found.

Healthy warnings

What can and should be done to help lower these numbers? Two innovations — bold health warnings on drink labels and “soda taxes” — do seem to help, other studies presented at the same meeting showed.

In one study, researchers led by Anna Grummon, of the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, gave 400 soda-loving adults $ 10 and asked them to spend it in a mock convenience store.

One group of shoppers were sent to a store where the sodas had prominent health warnings emblazoned on their labels; while the other group went shopping in a store where sodas didn’t have such labeling.

The result? Folks sent to the “warning labels” store bought an average of about 110 calories’ worth of sugary beverages, compared to 143 calories among shoppers sent to the store without such warnings.

The researchers concluded that implementing policies that require sugar-sweetened beverages to carry health warnings could discourage sugar-sweetened beverage consumption.

In another study, Grummon’s group conducted a computer-simulation study on how putting health warnings on sugary beverage labels might affect the obesity epidemic. Her team estimated that such a move “could reduce average sugar-sweetened beverage intake by about 25 calories per day and total calorie intake by about 30 calories per day.”

Over five years, that would be “equivalent to losing about 4 pounds for the average adult,” the UNC team said.

Taxing calories away

Finally, there’s the notion — already legislated in Philadelphia, Berkeley, Calif., and other U.S. cities — of the “soda tax.”

In another computer-modeling study, a team led by Christina Griecci of Tufts University in Boston estimated that a 1 cent tax per ounce on every sugar-sweetened beverage could prevent around 17,000 new obesity-associated cancer cases and 10,000 cancer deaths.

The tax would also save an estimated $ 2.4 billion in lifetime expenditures for cancer care nationwide, Griecci’s group reported.

Another Tufts computer-modeling study, this time led by researcher Yujin Lee, found that a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages would work best if the amount of tax went up along with the amount of sugar added.

The researchers estimated that this kind of tiered tax “could prevent 460,000 cardiovascular events and 60,000 cases of diabetes, and save $ 28 billion in health care costs” over a decade.

Zarabi agreed that taxes and label warnings are what’s needed.

“Sodas have absolutely no nutritional value and imposing a tax may have people thinking twice about their health,” she said.

But another nutrition expert disagreed.

“The idea that sugar taxes will be the solution is not only short-sighted, but places the largest financial burden on low-income people, as well as discounts the multifaceted reasons for our poor eating behaviors,” said registered dietitian Michelle Milgrim, who manages employee wellness at Northwell Health in Lake Success, N.Y.

“Stress, emotions, family and cultural influences, cost and convenience are among just some of the reasons why people eat the way they do,” Milgrim believes. So, better food labeling, plus education on nutrition that is “early and ongoing” are the real keys to solving the obesity problem, she said.

Because all of these studies were presented at a medical meeting, their findings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The American Heart Association has advice on cutting dietary sugar.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: June 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Opioids Still Often Prescribed to Teens, Young Adults

By Amy Norton

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Even amid an epidemic of abuse, opioid painkillers are still commonly prescribed to teenagers and young adults for conditions like tooth and back pain, a new study finds.

Researchers found that between 2005 and 2015, opioids were prescribed to teens and college-age adults at nearly 57 million visits to doctors’ offices and emergency departments in the United States.

It was particularly common in the ER: 15% of those visits ended with an opioid prescription — with only a small decline over the 10-year study period.

The reasons for the prescriptions ranged from bone fractures and sprained ankles to dental problems and low back pain, the study authors said.

It’s not clear how often those prescriptions were appropriate or inappropriate, said Dr. Todd Callahan of Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.

“What we can say is that opioids are still commonly prescribed to adolescents and young adults,” he said. “And this study gives us some clear signals about which diagnoses are most related to those prescriptions.”

Callahan wrote an editorial published with the study in the June issue of Pediatrics.

Dr. Joel Hudgins, lead researcher on the study, agreed that it’s not clear what the prescription rates “should be.”

“But for some of these conditions, the rates are too high,” said Hudgins, who practices emergency medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital.

For problems like dental pain and aching backs, it’s recommended that non-opioid pain relievers be tried first, Hudgins said.

Yet, the study found, about 60% of emergency visits for “dental disorders” ended with an opioid prescription. And among young adults, the drugs were prescribed at 38% of emergency visits for low back pain.

That’s concerning because teens and young adults are at increased risk of abusing opioids after receiving a legitimate prescription, according to Hudgins.

“This is a high-risk population,” he said, “so we should be particularly thoughtful when making the decision to prescribe an opioid.”

More than 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, according to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Illegal opioids, like heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, have become the biggest concern in recent years. Still, prescription opioids — like OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet — were involved in 35% of opioid overdose deaths in 2017, government figures show.

Continued

And most heroin abusers started out with prescription opioids, according to the NIDA.

For the current study, the researchers used two national databases to track patterns of opioid prescriptions to patients aged 13 to 22.

Not surprisingly, young people were much more likely to get those prescriptions in the emergency department than at an office visit. About 15% of ER trips involved an opioid prescription, compared with less than 3% of outpatient clinic visits.

When teenagers were prescribed an opioid in the emergency department, it was most often for a dental problem, a fractured collarbone or a broken ankle. For young adults, the most common reasons were dental pain, low back pain and neck sprains.

Emergency department prescriptions for the drugs did dip between 2005 and 2015 — but only by 4%, the findings showed.

Hudgins said that “hopefully” the decline has continued in more recent years. It’s also possible, he said, that there have been changes in the duration of prescriptions — which this study couldn’t examine.

Experts now say that when opioids are prescribed, it should be at the lowest dose, and for the shortest time possible.

Callahan added, “We should be cautious about prescribing opioids and about prescribing the appropriate amount.”

Both he and Hudgins said that parents and young adults should ask questions any time an opioid is being recommended. Ask whether it’s necessary, and if it is, ask about how to dispose of any extra pills safely.

“Letting a prescription sit around in the medicine cabinet increases the chances it will be misused,” Callahan said.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Joel Hudgins, M.D., assistant in medicine, division of emergency medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, and instructor, pediatrics and emergency medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston; S. Todd Callahan, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of pediatrics, division of adolescent and young adult health, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tenn.; May 28, 2019,Pediatrics, online

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

‘); } else { // If we match both our test Topic Ids and Buisness Ref we want to place the ad in the middle of page 1 if($ .inArray(window.s_topic, moveAdTopicIds) > -1 && $ .inArray(window.s_business_reference, moveAdBuisRef) > -1){ // The logic below reads count all nodes in page 1. Exclude the footer,ol,ul and table elements. Use the varible // moveAdAfter to know which node to place the Ad container after. window.placeAd = function(pn) { var nodeTags = [‘p’, ‘h3′,’aside’, ‘ul’], nodes, target; nodes = $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(‘ + pn + ‘)’).find(nodeTags.join()).not(‘p:empty’).not(‘footer *’).not(‘ol *, ul *, table *’); //target = nodes.eq(Math.floor(nodes.length / 2)); target = nodes.eq(moveAdAfter); $ (”).insertAfter(target); } // Currently passing in 1 to move the Ad in to page 1 window.placeAd(1); } else { // This is the default location on the bottom of page 1 $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(1)’).append(”); } } })(); $ (function(){ // Create a new conatiner where we will make our lazy load Ad call if the reach the footer section of the article $ (‘.main-container-3’).prepend(”); });

Pagination

WebMD Health

Babies Still Dying Due to Unsafe Sleep Practices

By Serena Gordon

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, April 22, 2019 (HealthDay News) — The death of a baby is always tragic, but safe sleep practices could have prevented some recent suffocation deaths, new research claims.

The study found two factors appeared to be behind a majority of infant deaths by suffocation:

  • A baby not sleeping on his or her back.
  • A baby sleeping in an adult bed.

“Although this is a small proportion of sudden unexpected infant deaths, many suffocation deaths can be prevented,” said study author Alexa Erck Lambert. She is an epidemiologist at DB Consulting Group in Silver Spring, Md.

While the rates of accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed are low, they’re on the rise.

In 1999, six such deaths were recorded. In 2015, that number rose to 23 babies, according to background information in the study.

The authors noted that the rise in these deaths may be due to more precise definitions of causes-of-death. They added that current statistics may underestimate the problem.

For the new study, the researchers reviewed more than 1,800 infant deaths in a database of sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID) from 2011 to 2014. In all, 250 babies — 14% — died from suffocation.

The cause of 69% of these deaths was soft bedding. And almost all — 92% — of the babies who died from suffocation on soft bedding weren’t sleeping on their backs. They were found on their side or on their stomach. Nearly half were in adult beds when they died, according to the report.

Pillows, blankets and couch cushions were cited as types of soft bedding that contributed to these deaths, the researchers noted.

Nineteen percent of the suffocation deaths were due to “overlay.” That means someone was on top of the infant when the baby died. Most of the time it was a parent, but in 22% of overlay deaths, a sibling was on top of the baby.

The remaining 12% of infant suffocation deaths were attributed to “wedging.” This is when a baby gets wedged between a mattress and another surface. Half the time, the other surface was a wall. In roughly one-quarter of cases, it was the bedframe. Three-quarters of these deaths occurred in an adult bed. Nearly half occurred when a baby was sleeping with another person.

Continued

Dr. Maryann Buetti-Sgouros, chair of pediatrics at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y., wasn’t surprised by the findings, but she did express frustration.

“These are all deaths that were preventable; these were unnecessary deaths,” she said.

Some parents tell her they feel better if their baby is close so they can respond if he or she needs something. “Or, some parents feel their baby is advanced enough to be able to sleep on their stomach, because they saw the baby roll over once,” she added.

But the study found almost 90% of babies between 0 and 4 months of age, and nearly 70% of infants from 5 to 11 months who died of suffocation were found on their stomachs.

“It’s just not worth the risk,” Buetti-Sgouros said.

She urged parents to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) guidelines, which recommend babies be placed on their backs to sleep. AAP recommends that infants sleep in the same room with parents for the first 12 months of life — but not in the same bed. Buetti-Sgouros said it’s fine to have the baby’s crib in your room, so that the baby is still close.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (which provided funding for the study) also recommends that parents:

  • Put baby to sleep on a firm sleep surface.
  • Keep pillows, bumpers, blankets and soft toys out of the baby’s sleeping area.

Erck Lambert said it isn’t clear from this study why some parents continue to put babies to sleep on their stomachs, or let them sleep on soft surfaces. But she hopes the findings will help “better target prevention efforts.”

The findings were published online April 22 in Pediatrics.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Alexa Erck Lambert, M.P.H., program manager and epidemiologist, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, SUID and SDY case registry, DB Consulting Group, Silver Spring, Md.; Maryann Buetti-Sgouros, M.D., chair of pediatrics, Northern Westchester Hospital, Mount Kisco, N.Y.;  April 22, 2019,Pediatrics, online

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

‘); } else { // If we match both our test Topic Ids and Buisness Ref we want to place the ad in the middle of page 1 if($ .inArray(window.s_topic, moveAdTopicIds) > -1 && $ .inArray(window.s_business_reference, moveAdBuisRef) > -1){ // The logic below reads count all nodes in page 1. Exclude the footer,ol,ul and table elements. Use the varible // moveAdAfter to know which node to place the Ad container after. window.placeAd = function(pn) { var nodeTags = [‘p’, ‘h3′,’aside’, ‘ul’], nodes, target; nodes = $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(‘ + pn + ‘)’).find(nodeTags.join()).not(‘p:empty’).not(‘footer *’).not(‘ol *, ul *, table *’); //target = nodes.eq(Math.floor(nodes.length / 2)); target = nodes.eq(moveAdAfter); $ (”).insertAfter(target); } // Currently passing in 1 to move the Ad in to page 1 window.placeAd(1); } else { // This is the default location on the bottom of page 1 $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(1)’).append(”); } } })(); $ (function(){ // Create a new conatiner where we will make our lazy load Ad call if the reach the footer section of the article $ (‘.main-container-3’).prepend(”); });

Pagination

Subscribe to the Pregnancy & Child Development Newsletter.

Get essential updates about your growing baby and what to expect each week.

Sign Up

\n’ + ‘{preContent}’ + ‘

\n’ + ‘{preForm}’ + ‘\n’ + ‘{postForm}’ + ‘

\n’ + // .nls-content ‘{postContent}’ + ‘

WebMD Health

Babies Still Dying Due to Unsafe Sleep Practices

MONDAY, April 22, 2019 — The death of a baby is always tragic, but safe sleep practices could have prevented some recent suffocation deaths, new research claims.

The study found two factors appeared to be behind a majority of infant deaths by suffocation:

  • A baby not sleeping on his or her back.
  • A baby sleeping in an adult bed.

“Although this is a small proportion of sudden unexpected infant deaths, many suffocation deaths can be prevented,” said study author Alexa Erck Lambert. She is an epidemiologist at DB Consulting Group in Silver Spring, Md.

While the rates of accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed are low, they’re on the rise.

In 1999, six such deaths were recorded. In 2015, that number rose to 23 babies, according to background information in the study.

The authors noted that the rise in these deaths may be due to more precise definitions of causes-of-death. They added that current statistics may underestimate the problem.

For the new study, the researchers reviewed more than 1,800 infant deaths in a database of sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID) from 2011 to 2014. In all, 250 babies — 14% — died from suffocation.

The cause of 69% of these deaths was soft bedding. And almost all — 92% — of the babies who died from suffocation on soft bedding weren’t sleeping on their backs. They were found on their side or on their stomach. Nearly half were in adult beds when they died, according to the report.

Pillows, blankets and couch cushions were cited as types of soft bedding that contributed to these deaths, the researchers noted.

Nineteen percent of the suffocation deaths were due to “overlay.” That means someone was on top of the infant when the baby died. Most of the time it was a parent, but in 22% of overlay deaths, a sibling was on top of the baby.

The remaining 12% of infant suffocation deaths were attributed to “wedging.” This is when a baby gets wedged between a mattress and another surface. Half the time, the other surface was a wall. In roughly one-quarter of cases, it was the bedframe. Three-quarters of these deaths occurred in an adult bed. Nearly half occurred when a baby was sleeping with another person.

Dr. Maryann Buetti-Sgouros, chair of pediatrics at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y., wasn’t surprised by the findings, but she did express frustration.

“These are all deaths that were preventable; these were unnecessary deaths,” she said.

Some parents tell her they feel better if their baby is close so they can respond if he or she needs something. “Or, some parents feel their baby is advanced enough to be able to sleep on their stomach, because they saw the baby roll over once,” she added.

But the study found almost 90% of babies between 0 and 4 months of age, and nearly 70% of infants from 5 to 11 months who died of suffocation were found on their stomachs.

“It’s just not worth the risk,” Buetti-Sgouros said.

She urged parents to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) guidelines, which recommend babies be placed on their backs to sleep. AAP recommends that infants sleep in the same room with parents for the first 12 months of life — but not in the same bed. Buetti-Sgouros said it’s fine to have the baby’s crib in your room, so that the baby is still close.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (which provided funding for the study) also recommends that parents:

  • Put baby to sleep on a firm sleep surface.
  • Keep pillows, bumpers, blankets and soft toys out of the baby’s sleeping area.

Erck Lambert said it isn’t clear from this study why some parents continue to put babies to sleep on their stomachs, or let them sleep on soft surfaces. But she hopes the findings will help “better target prevention efforts.”

The findings were published online April 22 in Pediatrics.

More information

Learn more about preventing sudden infant deaths and suffocation from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: April 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Pet Hedgehogs Still Spreading Salmonella, CDC Warns

FRIDAY, March 29, 2019 — They’re tiny, furry and cute, but hedgehogs as pets can bring salmonella dangers, U.S. health officials warned on Friday.

There have been 17 cases of the serious gastrointestinal infection across 11 states — all linked to contact with hedgehogs, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Hedgehogs can carry salmonella germs in their droppings while appearing healthy and clean,” the CDC warned in a statement. “Germs can easily spread to their bodies and anything in the area where they live.”

Salmonella is no joke, the agency added.

“Most people infected with salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours after being exposed to the bacteria,” the CDC said, and although most will recover, “the illness usually lasts four to seven days.”

Since the last update on hedgehog-linked salmonella cases, which was issued in late January, six new cases have been identified, bringing the total to 17. Two of the cases were so severe as to require hospitalization, although no deaths have been reported.

Of the 14 cases with information available to the CDC, six cases involved children under the age of 13.

That’s why the agency stressed that people — adults and kids alike — shouldn’t “kiss or snuggle hedgehogs, because this can spread salmonella germs to your face and mouth, and make you sick.”

And if you do handle a hedgehog, or clean out its cage, “always wash hands thoroughly with soap and water right after,” the agency said. “Adults should supervise handwashing for young children.”

States so far affected by the outbreak are Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wyoming.

The CDC said that no one supplier of pet hedgehogs has yet been identified as the source of the outbreak, and families affected got their pets from various sources, including online. New cases have been ongoing since October 2018.

In other tips, the CDC suggested that people with children under 5, or families with seniors or people who have weakened immune systems shouldn’t get a pet hedgehog, due to the salmonella danger.

And, certainly, don’t let your hedgehog “roam freely in areas where food is prepared or stored, such as kitchens,” the CDC said. It’s also probably best to clean the animal’s habitat and toys outside, away from the interior of the home, when possible.

More information

There’s more on salmonella at foodsafety.gov.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: March 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

U.S. Flu Season Ebbing, but Still Widespread: CDC

By Steven Reinberg

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, March 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Though flu season has probably peaked, beware: Influenza is still widespread in much of the United States, federal health officials said Friday.

“This week activity decreased a little bit, but flu is going to be around for a while,” said Lynnette Brammer, from the domestic influenza surveillance team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Making matters worse, the predominant strain is influenza A H3N2, the most serious type, and it’s putting older Americans in the hospital, she said.

How much longer flu season will last depends on how long the H3N2 virus sticks around, and if influenza B viruses start to spread, Brammer said. Right now, B viruses are causing only a small percentage of flu cases.

Though this year’s flu hasn’t been as bad as last year’s, it’s still been a severe season, not the mild one health officials had hoped for. It will still be weeks before flu drops to levels needed for the CDC to declare the season over.

In other words, there’s still time to get a flu shot if you haven’t done so already, Brammer said. “There’s still a benefit from getting vaccinated.”

That’s especially important if you’re in a high-risk group, such as the elderly, she said. Seniors are particularly susceptible to H3N2 and its complications, including pneumonia.

The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get vaccinated. There’s still plenty of vaccine available, Brammer said.

And remember: Even if you get the shot for this flu season, you’ll still need to get vaccinated in the fall, she said.

That’s important because next year’s vaccine is different from this year’s. Both influenza A strains — H3N2 and H1N1 — have mutated, and the new vaccine has been tweaked to address these changes, Brammer said.

Both strains were included this year’s vaccine, but the H3N2 protection has been less than hoped, according to the CDC.

An underrated benefit of the vaccine is that even if you get sick, your flu will be milder than if you haven’t been vaccinated. A milder case can prevent complications like pneumonia that can be deadly, especially to the very young and very old.

Continued

While CDC doesn’t track adult deaths from flu, it does keep tabs on kids. Last week, one more child died from flu, bringing the total nationwide to 77.

Flu remained widespread in 34 states and Puerto Rico, according to CDC. Fourteen states reported regional outbreaks, and the District of Columbia and two states had local flu activity.

If you do get the flu, antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu and Relenza can make your illness less severe. But if you’re sick, the CDC recommends that you stay home so you don’t infect others.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Lynnette Brammer, M.P.H., leader, CDC domestic influenza surveillance team

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

‘); } else { // If we match both our test Topic Ids and Buisness Ref we want to place the ad in the middle of page 1 if($ .inArray(window.s_topic, moveAdTopicIds) > -1 && $ .inArray(window.s_business_reference, moveAdBuisRef) > -1){ // The logic below reads count all nodes in page 1. Exclude the footer,ol,ul and table elements. Use the varible // moveAdAfter to know which node to place the Ad container after. window.placeAd = function(pn) { var nodeTags = [‘p’, ‘h3′,’aside’, ‘ul’], nodes, target; nodes = $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(‘ + pn + ‘)’).find(nodeTags.join()).not(‘p:empty’).not(‘footer *’).not(‘ol *, ul *, table *’); //target = nodes.eq(Math.floor(nodes.length / 2)); target = nodes.eq(moveAdAfter); $ (”).insertAfter(target); } // Currently passing in 1 to move the Ad in to page 1 window.placeAd(1); } else { // This is the default location on the bottom of page 1 $ (‘.article-page:nth-child(1)’).append(”); } } })(); $ (function(){ // Create a new conatiner where we will make our lazy load Ad call if the reach the footer section of the article $ (‘.main-container-3’).prepend(”); });

Pagination

WebMD Health

Staph Infections Drop, but Levels Still Worry U.S. Health Officials