New Jersey Assembly approves bill that would require water companies to add fluoride to the public water supply; in Chicago, food deserts pose challenge for diabetes patients; plus, learn about the health consequences of “built environment.” Those stories and more topping public health headlines today, Tuesday, January 31, 2012.
Washington Post – Virginia legislators seeking to include health impacts in regulatory review of power plants
Two Democratic state legislators are sponsoring legislation that would require Virginia regulators to weigh the public health impacts of new or modified electricity-generating power plants.
New York Times – Well Blog – Communities Learn the Good Life Can Be a Killer
Developers in the last half-century called it progress when they built homes and shopping malls far from city centers throughout the country, sounding the death knell for many downtowns. But now an alarmed cadre of public health experts say these expanded metropolitan areas have had a far more serious impact on the people who live there by creating vehicle-dependent environments that foster obesity, poor health, social isolation, excessive stress and depression.
The Star-Ledger – N.J. Assembly panel passes bill to add fluoride to public water supply
Water companies in New Jersey would be required to add fluoride to the water supply under a bill approved Monday by an Assembly panel at the urging of dentists and public health professionals — despite objections from environmentalists and utility officials.
Chicago Tribune – For diabetes patients, oases in the food desert
Rhonda Moore has her health back. Diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2009, Moore, 58, has reduced her blood glucose levels significantly through healthy eating and daily exercise. But a lack of supermarkets in her North Chicago neighborhood makes it difficult to maintain a nutritious diet — a crucial ingredient in controlling the disease.
The Star Democrat – Maryland praised for smoke-free air
Not one state across the nation received “straight ‘A’s'” in the American Lung Association’s recently released State of Tobacco Control 2012 report, which consists of four categories smokefree air, tobacco prevention, cigarette tax and cessation.
Albany Times Union – Push, pull over the pill
Many Catholic colleges decline to prescribe or cover birth control, citing religious reasons. Now they are under pressure to change. This month the Obama administration, citing the medical case for birth control, made a politically charged decision that the new health care law requires insurance plans at Catholic institutions to cover birth control without co-payments for employees, and that may be extended to students. But Catholic organizations are resisting the rule, saying it would force them to violate their beliefs and finance behavior that betrays Catholic teachings.
The Argus Leader – School clinic to serve families with kids in need
A $500,000 federal grant will build a public health clinic at Hayward Elementary School to help low-income families whose children would otherwise be unable to see a doctor.