How eating more fruits and vegetables promotes tobacco-free lives; CDC finds teens less likely to smoke but more likely to commit suicide; texting behind the wheel also prevalent in teens; and can HIV really be cured? These stories and more topping public health headlines today, June 8, 2012.
U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg – Lautenberg introduces sugary beverages amendment to Farm Bill
U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today introduced an amendment to the Farm Bill requiring the federal government to study the possible link between sugary beverages and obesity in the United States. The study would also investigate how public health proposals that affect the cost and size of sugary beverages would impact obesity. “We know that soda is a major source of bad calories for Americans, and it’s time for the federal government to determine whether these beverages are contributing to our nation’s obesity problem,” Lautenberg said.
Wall Street Journal – CDC survey shows U.S high school smoking rate fell to new low in 2011
The Youth Risk Behavior Survey, released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shows that the U.S. has cut high school smoking by more than half since rates peaked in 1997, with the smoking rate reaching a new low of 18.1 percent in 2011. The high school smoking rate (the percentage who smoked cigarettes in the past month) has fallen from a high of 36.4 percent in 1997 and from 19.5 percent in 2009, although the CDC indicated the decline from 2009 to 2011 does not reach statistically significant levels.
Fox News – CDC: Teen suicides on the rise
Scary statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released Thursday revealed that the number of attempted suicides among teenagers had increased from 6.3 percent in 2009 to 7.8 percent in 2011. The information comes from the CDC’s 2011 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), a report designed to find health-risk behaviors among youth and young adults related to injury and violence, sexual behaviors, alcohol, and drugs. Along with the increase in attempted suicides, the survey also showed an increase in teens texting behind the wheel along with an increase in marijuana use. According to the CDC, suicide accounts for 13 percent of all deaths among youth and young adults aged 10 to 24 and is the third leading cause of death for that age group.
Bioscience Technology – Trying to quit smoking? Try eating more fruits and vegetables
If you’re trying to quit smoking, eating more fruits and vegetables may help you quit and stay tobacco-free for longer, according to a new study published online by University at Buffalo public health researchers. The paper, in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research, is the first longitudinal study on the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and smoking cessation. The authors, from UB’s School of Public Health and Health Professions, surveyed 1,000 smokers aged 25 and older from around the country, using random-digit dialing telephone interviews.
ABC – Man cured of AIDS: ‘I feel good’
The fact that Timothy Brown is a reasonably healthy 46-year-old is no small thing. Only a few years ago, he had AIDS. “I feel good,” Brown told ABC News. “I haven’t had any major illnesses, just occasional colds like normal people.” Brown is the only person in the world to be cured of AIDS, the result of a transplant of blood stem cells he received to treat leukemia. “My case is the proof in concept that HIV can be cured,” he said.
Boston Globe – Teen texting behind the wheel common, study finds
Forty-two percent of Massachusetts high school students who drive admit they text while behind the wheel, according to a state survey to be released Friday. The report, from the state’s Department of Public Health, also finds that texting while driving is most common among high school seniors, with 61 percent of drivers admitting to the behavior, more than three times the percentage for sophomore drivers.6111 Montrose Road Rockville, MD 20852
The Times of India – Urban kids more prone to food allergies
Children living in cities tend to have more food allergies than their rural counterparts, says a new study. “We have found for the first time that higher population density corresponds with a greater likelihood of food allergies in children,” said Ruchi Gupta, assistant professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, who led the study.
Los Angeles Times – 6.6 million young adults on parents’ health plan, survey says
President Obama’s healthcare law helped as many as 6.6 million young adults stay on or get on their parents’ health plans in the first year and a half after the law was signed, a new survey indicates. That number, found in the survey by the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund, is far higher than earlier estimates. And at a time when public wariness about the Affordable Care Act remains high, it underscores the popularity of a provision that requires insurers to allow parents to enroll their children up to age 26 on their own plans.