Lead prevention programs facing budget cuts; trans fat lurking in many foods; plus, 1-cent soda tax could save 26,000 lives. Those stories and more topping our public health headlines today, Wednesday, January 11, 2012.
CNN (blog) – Diabetes affects drop out rate, lifetime earnings
Diabetes is contributing to high school dropout rates and reducing lifetime earnings for young people, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Health Affairs.
Mashable – Twitter Revealed Epidemic Two Weeks Before Health Officials [STUDY]
Health providers have suspected for some time that social media might be an early indicator of an epidemic. Now they have proof. In particular, a new report shows that Twitter provided an early account of the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti. According to the study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Internet news and social media were faster transmitters of information in tracking the cholera epidemic in Haiti than health officials. The tweets provided information that health officials wouldn’t report until two weeks later.
WebMD – CDC: 1 in 6 U.S. Adults Is a Binge Drinker
About 1 in 6 U.S. adults binge drinks, according to a new CDC report. That’s 38 million people who overindulge. They do so an average of about four times a month, sometimes downing eight drinks at a sitting.
LATimes – Soda tax could prevent 26,000 premature deaths, study finds
The soda tax is back on the table, and this time proponents say that a tax of a penny per ounce of sugar-sweetened beverage would not only raise $13 billion a year but also save $17 billion in medical costs by reducing the incidence of heart disease and diabetes.
Greenwire – Programs to screen, treat lead poisoning in children face budget ax
Fifteen years ago, Liz Colon was shocked when she got the call from her pediatrician. Her 1-year-old son had tested positive for lead poisoning.
California Watch – Study: Bay Area’s urban planning must address public health
West Oakland also has been identified as a priority development area under a 2008 state law that requires regional agencies to draft urban plans aimed at reducing greenhouse gases. Public meetings are being held in the Bay Area this year to draft its plan, which could be finalized by 2013.
UPI – Grocery chains adopt healthy food ratings
A growing number of U.S. supermarkets are contracting with food ratings firms to assist in evaluating and ranking food for nutritional content, officials say.
UPI – Artificial trans fat still in many food
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration required trans fat to be listed on food labels, but many foods still contain trans fats, a food advocacy group says.