Americans consume a whopping 11 percent of calories from fast food; new survey shows trich is the most common STI in the U.S.; should smokers pay higher health premiums? Those stories and more topping health headlines today, Thursday, February 21, 2014.

Washington Post – Health premiums for smokers should be tweaked
WHEN VENERABLE anti-tobacco groups such as the American Cancer Society and cigarette makers such as Altria align in opposition to a policy, it’s got to be pretty bad, right? But, when it comes to whether health-insurance companies can charge higher premiums from smokers, the fact that these mortal enemies oppose the idea doesn’t mean policymakers should throw it out.

Washington Post – Tough flu season taxes Va. lawmakers; doctor-legislators go to the aid of both parties
Splayed out on the couch in his Capitol Square office, Sen. William M. Stanley coughed and wheezed and gasped for breath as he tried to talk school reform with the governor’s top legislative lobbyist. The worried lobbyist whisked him to the hospital Friday night, where doctors diagnosed double pneumonia and prescribed two things: antibiotics and bed rest. Come Monday, Stanley (R-Franklin) was taking his medicine, but taking it at his desk in the Senate, afraid to miss a vote in the evenly divided chamber as the 45-day General Assembly session entered its last week.

American Sexual Health Association – Trich Is Most Common STD, Yet Most Women Unaware, New Survey Shows
Trichomoniasis is the most common curable sexually transmitted Infection (STI), yet only one in five (22%) women are familiar with it, according to a new survey commissioned by the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA). Women surveyed perceive trich as the least common STI, when in reality there are more new cases of trich annually in the U.S. (7-8 million) than syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea combined.

Associated Press via San Francisco Gate – Adults get 11 percent of calories from fast food
On an average day, U.S. adults get roughly 11 percent of their calories from fast food, a government study shows. That’s down slightly from the 13 percent reported the last time the government tried to pin down how much of the American diet is coming from fast food. Eating fast food too frequently has been seen as a driver of America’s obesity problem. For the research, about 11,000 adults were asked extensive questions about what they ate and drank over the previous 24 hours to come up with the results.

Reuters – Florida governor backs limited Medicaid expansion
Florida Governor Rick Scott backed a limited expansion of healthcare coverage for the poor on Wednesday, joining six other Republican governors who have agreed to the measure under President Barack Obama’s landmark reform law. Scott, a wealthy former healthcare executive and vocal critic of the law known as Obamacare, had balked previously at expanding Medicaid.