Putting fruit juice in chocolate may make for a healthier treat, according to study; FDA selects strains for 2012-2013 flu vaccines with help from CDC and other public health organizations; and two-thirds of people want to know if Alzheimer’s is in their future. Read these and other stories headlining public health news for Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012.

CNN — Ruling shows ‘big tobacco can be taken on and beaten,’ Australia says
In a decision announced Wednesday, Australia’s high court upheld the plain packaging act, which says that tobacco products must be in plain packaging without logos and bear graphic health warnings as of December 1. The government immediately hailed the ruling, calling it a “watershed moment for tobacco control around the world.” “The message to the rest of the world is big tobacco can be taken on and beaten,” Attorney General Nicola Roxon said in a statement. “Without brave governments willing to take the fight up to big tobacco, they’d still have us believing that tobacco is neither harmful nor addictive.”

Medical News Today — Heart attack test gives diagnosis in one hour
A more sensitive test for heart attack may cut the diagnosis time to one hour, removing the need for prolonged monitoring in 3 out of 4 patients who present to the Emergency Department (ED) with chest pains, according to a new US study published this week. Writing about their work in a paper published online on 13 August in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the researchers suggest the test, which screens more sensitively for changes in a standard biochemical marker for myocardial infarction (heart attack), may help move patients more quickly through the ED, thus reducing congestion and saving time and money.

Times of India — Fruit juice can replace fat content in chocolate
We all love chocolate but many of us try to avoid it in the fear of gaining weight. Now, scientists have found a way to replace up to 50 per cent of fat content in chocolate with fruit juice. University of Warwick chemists have taken out much of the cocoa butter and milk fats that go into chocolate bars, substituting them with tiny droplets of juice measuring under 30 microns in diameter.

FDA — FDA approves vaccines for the 2012-2013 influenza season
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that it has approved the 2012-2013 influenza (flu) vaccine formulation for all six manufacturers licensed to produce and distribute the vaccines in the United States. Each year experts from the FDA, the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other public health experts study influenza virus samples and global disease patterns to identify virus strains likely to cause the most illness during the upcoming flu season.

Kaiser Health News — Many people would like to know their risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease can’t be prevented or cured, and it ranks second only to cancer among diseases that people fear. Still, a study last year found that about two-thirds of respondents would want to know if they were destined to get the disease. Although there are no definitive tests that predict whether most people will get the disease, people sometimes want such information for legal and financial planning purposes or to help weigh the need for long-term-care insurance.

Washington Post — Cal Ripken Jr, baseball’s Iron Man, is nearly 52 years old but still working hard
Cal Ripken Jr. will always be known as the Iron Man for the record-setting 2,632 consecutive games he played for the Orioles. He started his career on an Orioles farm team at 19 and retired from the Baltimore Orioles 21 years later. In baseball terms, he was an old guy. Yet today, on the cusp of 52, Ripken is as focused as ever. He runs three minor league teams, the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, the Ripken Stadium and the Ripken Youth Baseball Academy in Aberdeen, Md. He also writes books about baseball. Of his life so far, “I see myself as extremely lucky,” he said.