Social media makes life better for global health; Weight Watchers discusses military obesity on Capitol Hill ; bald men may be more susceptible to prostate cancer; and threats to the Prevention and Public Health Fund. These stories and more topping public health headlines today, Wednesday, May 23, 2012.

The Pump HandleTo be or not to be? The Prevention and Public Health Fund
“We will pay for this by taking money from one of the slush funds in the president’s health care law.”
That’s an April quote from U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on how Republicans plan to offset the cost of stopping scheduled hikes in student loan interest rates. And the “slush fund” in question? The Prevention and Public Health Fund, the historic $15 billion investment in prevention authorized via the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

POLITICOWeight Watchers summit on the Hill
How can Weight Watchers improve our national security? That very question will be touched on Wednesday on Capitol Hill. Weight Watchers International Inc. spearheads “a policy summit to examine the growing national security threat posed by a shrinking pool of Americans lean enough to serve in the military,” according to a release.

Huffington PostWHO Finds Social Media Indispensable in Managing Global Health Crisis
This month I was visiting the Strategic Health Operations Centre (SHOC), deep inside the World Heath Organization. WHO uses social media to manage global health crises, I asked Christine Feig, WHO’s head of communications? Yes, they are, and she recounted a tale of how social media have fundamentally changed WHO health surveillance in the age of Twitter and Facebook.

USA TodayAutism scientists search for help, for their own kids’ sakes.
Neuroscientist Kevin Pelphrey has earned a Ph.D., a long list of awards and million-dollar grants from the National Institutes of Health. None of that impresses his 6-year-old son, Kenneth. ” ‘Dad,’ he says, ‘why haven’t you cured autism yet?’” Pelphrey is one of a handful of leading autism scientists who also have children with the disorder. Autism-spectrum disorders, which cause impairments in communication and socializing, as well as repetitive behaviors, now strike one in 88 children, or more than 1 million in all, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

MedscapeFinal USPSTF Guidelines: No to Routine PSA Testing
It’s final. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) now officially recommends against routine prostate-specific antigen (PSA)–based prostate cancer screening for healthy men, regardless of age. Today the Task Force released its final recommendations for the screening after a period for public comment on a draft of the report. The new document is published online is May 22 in Annals of Internal Medicine. “The USPSTF concludes that there is moderate certainty that the benefits of PSA-based screening for prostate cancer do not outweigh the harms,” reads the final assessment.

The Sacramento BeeHeart disease and stroke deaths drop significantly for people with diabetes
Death rates
for people with diabetes dropped substantially from 1997 to 2006, especially deaths related to heart disease and stroke, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. Although adults with diabetes still are more likely to die younger than those who do not have the disease, the gap is narrowing.

New York TimesBand-Aids and Muppets Aim to Soothe Child’s Scrapes
Some leading brands of wound treatments were themselves bloodied by the economic slump, as consumers switched to cheaper store brands. Over the same period, the market share of Johnson & Johnson, with its Band-Aid brand adhesive strips and Johnson & Johnson brand gauze and tape, slipped 2.2 points, to 45 percent. Now the brand is introducing a marketing effort tied to Muppets characters and centered on that most charged of moments: when children have just skinned knees or elbows.

Fox NewsDo bald men face higher risk of prostate cancer?
Got hair? If you don’t, you might have a higher risk of prostate cancer, a preliminary study suggests. Researchers are reporting that bald men who underwent biopsies of the prostate were more likely to have cancer than were those with more hair on their heads.