EurekAlert — UMD study shows that Affordable Care Act has reduced racial/ethnic health disparities
The Affordable Care Act has significantly improved insurance coverage and use of health care for African Americans and Latinos, according to a new study led by researchers in the University of Maryland School of Public Health. “Since the ACA took effect in 2014, the rates of uninsured African Americans and Latinos were reduced by 7 percent, as compared to 3 percent for whites,” explains Jie Chen, PhD, MA, assistant professor in the Department of Health Services Administration at Maryland. “We also found that these groups were more likely to visit a primary care doctor and receive timely health care than before the ACA coverage began.”

The New York Times — UN: 420,000 People Die Annually From Tainted Food
The World Health Organization says some 420,000 people die each year from foodborne diseases, with young children accounting for more than a quarter of all deaths. The UN health agency says it estimates that about 600 million people fall ill annually after consuming tainted food. It says children under 5 are particularly vulnerable to serious illness, resulting in 125,000 deaths a year. The agency said Thursday that a comprehensive review of diseases caused by 31 types of bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins or chemicals found the highest burden in Africa and Southeast Asia.

NPR — Too Much TV And Chill Could Reduce Brain Power Over Time
When I kick back to watch a show, I tell myself I’m just going to watch one episode. But 45 minutes later, I’m watching another. And then another. For the rest of the day. And all that TV and chilling might be hurting my brain functions. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco checked in with 3,247 people for 25 years, starting when they were young adults. Every five years, they asked participants to estimate how much TV they watched daily. Every two to five years, the researchers looked at how much physical exercise people got. At the end of the 25 years, when the participants were in their 40s and 50s, they all took three tests that measured their memory, focus and mental and physical quickness.

Huffington Post — Public Health Gains Will Follow When Countries Take Steps to Cut Carbon
Healthy workers are generally more productive than unhealthy ones, so it follows that healthy populations are more likely to support economic growth. The evidence for this is strong. In 2001, the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health showed that not only is higher income associated with better health but also that improved health and nutrition are linked to economic growth. A 10 percent increase in life expectancy is associated with economic growth increases of 0.3-0.4 percent per year. Between 2000 and 2011, almost one quarter of full income growth in low and middle-income countries resulted from improved health outcomes overall.