CSPI – Americans guzzling too much soda, despite declines
Despite what we know today about how sugar drinks, which include regular soda, fruit drinks, sweet tea, and sports or energy drinks, contribute to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and tooth decay, too many Americans are still guzzling too many sodas too frequently. We can thank the industry’s marketing for that, whether it’s Pepsi’s Super Bowl extravaganza or Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke campaign or millions of soda vending machines. In a report released today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that survey data from 23 states and the District of Columbia showed that 30.1 percent of adults reported consuming one or more sugar drinks a day, ranging from 47.5 percent in Mississippi down to 18 percent in Vermont. Importantly, given the industry’s marketing practices in communities of color and the health disparities in those communities, the data also showed prevalence of daily intake was 1.5 times higher among blacks than whites, and 1.4 times higher among Hispanics than whites.

ASPPH – More of Kentucky’s low-income adults enrolled in health coverage under the Affordable Care Act
A University of Louisville study published in Health Affairs, found low-income Kentuckians without health insurance declined by 68 percent from 35 percent uninsured at the end of 2013 to 11 percent in late 2014. Completed prior to Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin’s announcement to dismantle the state’s health exchange, kynect, the data supports trends of similar studies published nationally showing a drop in the number of uninsured Americans. Study findings also revealed declines in the number of people lacking a regular source of health care and those with unmet medical needs.

Washington Post – Keeping mentally active doesn’t stave off Alzheimer’s disease — only its symptoms
The prevailing wisdom about dementia is simple: Keep your mind active as you age to lower the risk of cognitive decline. But is the same true for Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common form of dementia? New research suggests that the answer is no. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic have found that while keeping active can protect against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, it doesn’t stave off the underlying disease itself. Their new study, which was published in Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurologists, finds that even when symptoms are not apparent, the biological markers of Alzheimer’s seem to march forward despite intellectual enrichment.

UPI – Ebola survivors feel long-term effects of virus
The Ebola virus remains in the bodies of survivors at low levels after recovery, causing symptoms and leaving open the possibility of spreading it, according to three recent studies of survivors in West Africa. Post-Ebola syndrome continues to affect some of the approximately 17,000 people who survived the virus as many have eye, musculoskeletal or neurological symptoms, researchers have found in recent months.