USA Today – Price tag for childhood obesity: $19,000 per kid
Over a lifetime, the medical costs associated with childhood obesity total about $19,000 per child compared with those for a child of normal weight, a new analysis shows.
The costs are about $12,900 per person for children of normal weight who become overweight or obese in adulthood, according to the analysis by researchers at the Duke Global Health Institute and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore and published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

SWVA Today – Mount Rogers Health District marks National Public Health Week
The public health department is sometimes thought of as a service agency for indigents. Although that is far from the reality of what this agency provides, it does indeed offer health assistance for people of limited financial means while addressing the latest issues in public health and safety.

Wall Street Journal – Beijing’s bad-air days, finally counted
Thanks to the U.S. State Department, Beijing residents finally have the answer to one of the city’s greatest mysteries: How often is the air polluted?
Well, a lot, a resident would say. But how many is a lot? Heavy pollution levels can stretch for weeks, leaving locals to grouse over hot pot about how the smog seems to last forever. Then a crisp, blue-sky day comes with the western wind, and it’s all forgotten.

NPR Shots blog – Scientists publish recipe for making bird flu more contagious
The Dutch virologist accused of engineering a dangerous superflu a few years ago is back with more contentious research.
In 2011, Ron Fouchier and his team at Erasmus Medical Center took the H5N1 flu virus and made it more contagious. Now the team has published another study with more details on the exact genetic changes needed to do the trick.
The H5N1 bird flu is known to have sickened 650 people worldwide, and of those, 386 died. So far the virus hasn’t been contagious in people.

The Washington Post – Va. Republicans aren’t blinking in showdown over Medicaid expansion
Virginia Republicans were supposed to be squirming by now. For months, their opposition to expanding Medi­caid under the Affordable Care Act has put them at odds with some traditional allies in the business world.
Hospitals, the state chamber of commerce and corporate leaders have been calling, writing, visiting and buttonholing, pushing what they call “the business case” for expanding coverage to thousands of uninsured under the health-care law, with the federal government promising to pay most of the cost. Gov. Terry McAuliffe and other Democrats who favor expansion have been betting on that pressure to sway Republicans, particularly in rural areas where hospitals are often the largest employer and are ­eager for the financial girding that the coverage expansion would provide.

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