A new report says nearly one in six calories kids eat comes from added sugar. A federal judge ruled on the side of tobacco companies calling warning labels unconstitutional. Global health experts say offering a cheap syphilis test to pregnant women could save a million babies a year. Read more about these stories and other public health news for Thursday, March 1.

Reuters — Tobacco health labels unconstitutional: judge
A U.S. judge sided with tobacco companies on Wednesday, ruling that regulations requiring large graphic health warnings on cigarette packaging and advertising violate free-speech rights under the U.S. Constitution.

Houston Chronicle — Health care work force will be tested by reform
Much of the public discussion about health care reform has focused on whether various components of the Affordable Care Act are constitutional, and whether the act can be repealed. But an arguably more important question is whether our health care work force is large enough to handle the future needs of Americans – particularly if health insurance becomes available and affordable as envisioned in nearly all health care reform proposals.

Los Angeles Times — Kids eat and drink way too much added sugar, the CDC says
Children and teens are consuming too much added sugar in their diets, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly one in every six calories they eat and drink comes from some type of added sugar.

New York Times — Women’s health care at risk
A wave of mergers between Roman Catholic and secular hospitals is threatening to deprive women in many areas of the country of ready access to important reproductive services. Catholic hospitals that merge or form partnerships with secular hospitals often try to impose religious restrictions against abortions, contraception and sterilization on the whole system.

Associated Press — FDA approves first 4-in-1 flu vaccine
Federal health officials have approved the first vaccine that protects against four strains of the common flu, offering one additional layer of protection against the influenza virus that affects millions each year.

Huffington Post — Kathleen Sebelius decries ‘cynical attempt to roll back decades of progress in women’s health’
Minutes after former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney found himself tripped up over whether or not he supported a bill that would allow employers to deny health care coverage over religious or moral objections, the White House exhibited no such vagueness on the issue.

Reuters — Syphilis tests could save a million babies: experts
The lives of almost a million newborn babies could be saved every year if simple, cheap and rapid tests for syphilis were offered to pregnant women in poorer countries, global health experts said on Thursday.

Time — Why pediatricians say breast-feeding is about public health, not just lifestyle
In a quietly worded statement released this week, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recalibrated the national dialogue on breast-feeding, deeming it a “public health issue and not only a lifestyle choice.”

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