Associated Press – The true cost of opioid epidemic tops $500 billion, White House says

The White House says the true cost of the opioid drug epidemic in 2015 was $504 billion, or roughly half a trillion dollars. In an analysis to be released Monday, the Council of Economic Advisers says the figure is more than six times larger than the most recent estimate. The council said a 2016 private study estimated that prescription opioid overdoes, abuse and dependence in the U.S. in 2013 cost $78.5 billion. Most of that was attributed to health care and criminal justice spending, along with lost productivity.

New York Times – Bird flu is spreading in Asia, experts (quietly) warn

While trying to avoid alarmism, global health agencies are steadily ratcheting up concern about bird flu in Asia. Bird viruses that can infect humans — particularly those of the H7N9 strain — continue to spread to new cities there. Since October 2016, China has seen a “fifth wave” of H7N9 infections. Nearly 1,600 people have tested positive, almost 40 percent of whom have died.

TIME – More than 90% of Americans don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables

The vast majority of Americans are not eating enough fruits and vegetables, according to a new report from the CDC. The most recent edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults consume 1.5 to two cups of fruit per day, and two to three cups of vegetables per day. According to the CDC’s data, however, just 12.2% of American adults are meeting the standard for fruit, and 9.3% are meeting the standard for vegetables.

STAT – Motorcycle crashes are alarmingly common — and incredibly costly

Motorcycle crashes are alarmingly common — and incredibly costly, according to a new study. Researchers pulled data from adults treated for motorcycle and car crash injuries at hospitals in Ontario, Canada, between 2007 and 2013. The toll: nearly 282,000 adults injured in car accidents and nearly 27,000 in motorcycle crashes during that time frame.

NPR – Odds are, they’re taking your blood pressure all wrong

When was the last time you were asked to sit without saying a word for five minutes before your blood pressure was measured? If your answer was “I never remember doing that,” you’re in good company. Yet that is one of the many rules that medical professionals are supposed to follow when measuring your blood pressure.