President Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney speak candidly on Affordable Care Act; public health prevention is more effective than heart disease cure, according to one study; and is even once a week too much fast food? Those stories and more topping public health headlines today, Friday, July 6, 2012.

Medical XpressPrevention is better than cure for killer cardiovascular disease
European experts in cardiovascular medicine will today gather at a two day symposium to address the national agenda on cardiovascular disease prevention, held at Imperial College London and sponsored by leading independent academic and professional publisher SAGE.

Fox NewsFDA to look into companies that market unapproved painkillers
The Food and Drug Administration is investigating companies that market unapproved painkillers. The FDA says it will begin cracking down on companies that market versions of the painkiller oxycodone which have not undergone federal review. Oxycodone is a powerful pain reliever with the potential for addiction, abuse and death, when used inappropriately. The drug is marketed legally by companies like Purdue Pharma, which sells the time-release pill OxyContin. FDA reviews these drugs to make sure they are safe and effective.

Duluth News TribuneStudy examines health effects of eating fast food
Eating fast food can lead to a fast exit, University of Minnesota researchers contend. And it’s as true in the East as it is in the West. School of Public Health researchers found that people who consume fast food even once a week increase their risk of dying from coronary heart disease by 20 percent in comparison to people who avoid fast food, a news release from the university’s Academic Health Center said. The risk increases by 50 percent for those who eat fast food two to three times each week and by 80 percent for those who eat fast food four times or more per week.

Kaiser NewsKentucky public health expert says diabetes epidemic ‘really requires community action and support’
An epidemic more deadly than coal dust is sweeping through the dogwood-dappled hollows of eastern Kentucky. The new threat: diabetes.  In Kentucky and across the broad Appalachian region, a third of the population is estimated by health officials to have diabetes, double the rate for the country as a whole.

Los Angeles TimesObama takes the offensive on his healthcare law
A week after the Supreme Court upheld most of President Obama‘s signature domestic policy achievement, the politics of healthcare held center stage in the presidential campaign, shoving aside the economic debate that has dominated most of the last several months. In a notable shift of tactics after months of talking only minimally about healthcare in public, Obama went on the offensive Thursday and emphasized the law during a campaign bus trip through the crucial swing state of Ohio.

New York TimesRomney sees ‘political consideration’ in Chief Justice’s health care vote
Mitt Romney seemed to challenge the motivation behind the decisive vote by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. to uphold the Affordable Care Act, saying reports that the justice switched his vote suggested that the ruling was based on a “political consideration” rather than a legal judgment. “It gives the impression that the decision was made not based upon constitutional foundation, but instead political consideration about the relationship between the branches of government,” Mr. Romney said in an interview with CBS that was broadcast on Thursday morning.