Research and environmental risks at center of new federal report on breast cancer prevention; reducing health costs through workplace wellness; Houston aims to curb childhood obesity by 2015. Those stories and more topping public health headlines today, Wednesday, February 13, 2013.
The Dallas Morning News – New federal report emphasizes prevention of breast cancer
The nation is critically shortchanging efforts to prevent new generations of Americans from getting breast cancer, including neglecting vital research into environmental factors, a major federal report released Tuesday said. The report, which Congress mandated in 2008, presents the clearest call yet for making prevention equal to treatment in the fight against breast cancer, which kills 44,000 Americans a year.

Baltimore Sun – Lawmakers seek steeper fines for sewage spills
Lawmakers and representatives of Maryland’s county and municipal governments sparred Tuesday over a pair of bills in Annapolis that would raise the fines for sewage spills which annually dump millions of gallons of untreated waste into local waters and the Chesapeake Bay. One measure, SB289, sponsored by Sen. Bryan W. Simonaire, an Anne Arundel County Republican, would boost the maximum administrative penalty for a water pollution violation from $5,000 to $10,000 per day.

US News and World Report – How Health-Related Disclaimers are Fooling You
If Skechers had included a disclosure in its advertising for Shape-ups and Resistance Runner shoes, it might have avoided a class action lawsuit last year—not to mention a $40 million settlement to provide customer refunds. Skechers was accused of making fitness claims that were poorly supported by the scientific research it cited. But current marketing research suggests that consumers might have been just as likely to buy the shoes even if the weight loss and glute-toning promises came with a disclaimer. In fact, we may have been even more likely to buy.

Wisconsin Rapids Tribune – Employers poised to embrace worksite wellness initiatives
Sammi Joanis, Wood County employee wellness coordinator, has an important role to play in championing worksite wellness initiates for county employees. Wood County spends more than 10 percent of its annual budget on its employee health fund. Joanis is helping the county take a progressive approach to combating these costs with worksite wellness programming that continues to gain momentum across the nation as an employee health care cost buster.

The Lima News – Lima schools join countywide healthy initiative
Lima schools is joining a county-wide effort to encourage residents to live healthier. The Lima school board approved a Memorandum of Understanding on Tuesday for the district to implement The Small Communities Transformation Grant.  Activate Allen County was one of 40 initiatives nationwide and the only in Ohio to receive funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Small Communities Transformation grant. The local initiative received $1.2 million.

KUHF-FM News – Nonprofits Take Aim At Schools To Tackle Childhood Obesity
More than one-third of children and adolescents nationwide were overweight or obese in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here in Houston, the CDC says, 14 percent of high school students were obese in 2011. Dr. Shreela Sharma at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston says childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions.