The Independent – State’s health improving, but …
Obesity is one area where inequity in social class, race or ethnicity and gender is very relevant, said Linda Rae Murray, chief medical officer for the Cook County, Ill., Department of Public Health. As president of the American Public Health Association, she also spoke at the conference Thursday.

USA Today – Congress funnels deficit-cutting ideas to ‘supercommittee’
When it set up a “supercommittee” to find $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction, Congress also asked other committees to weigh in with advice about what spending to cut. Today is the deadline for those recommendations. And much of the advice so far is about what not to cut.

New York Times – Looking to Save Money, More Places Decide to Stop Fluoridating the Water
A growing number of communities are choosing to stop adding fluoride to their water systems, even though the federal government and federal health officials maintain their full support for a measure they say provides a 25 percent reduction in tooth decay nationwide.

Boston Globe – State launching childhood obesity prevention programs in New Bedford, Fitchburg
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has been awarded a $1.7 million federal grant to launch pilot programs in New Bedford and Fitchburg to fight obesity in children ages 2 to 12. The four-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is aimed at combining proven clinical and community-based obesity programs for the greatest effect on children’s health.

Minnesota Public Radio – New federal grants could mean more primary doctors in MN’s underserved areas
The federal government says it’s providing $6.6 million in incentive dollars to Minnesota doctors and nurses to increase the number of primary care providers in the state.

Washington Post – House approves abortion-funding measure
The House on Thursday approved a bill that would prohibit federal funds from going toward any health care plan that covers abortion services, marking the chamber’s passage of its first major abortion-rights measure since May.