The Pump HandleAmid minimum-wage votes and Walmart strikes, APHA OHS section honors workplace-safety champions
At the 141st meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA) held last week in Boston, the organization’s Occupational Health & Safety section honored the achievements of some extraordinarily dedicated individuals and organizations whose efforts have been advancing workplace safety. While these awards are typically most meaningful to others in the field, events taking place elsewhere around the country – among them the largest Walmart workers’ strike to date and voter approval of the country’s highest yet minimum wage – highlight the importance of this year’s award winners’ work and why their efforts matter to people who may never have heard of the APHA.

ReutersDiabetes battle ‘being lost’ as cases hit record 382 million
The world is losing the battle against diabetes as the number of people estimated to be living with the disease soars to a new record of 382 million this year, medical experts said on Thursday. The vast majority have type 2 diabetes – the kind linked to obesity and lack of exercise – and the epidemic is spreading as more people in the developing world adopt Western, urban lifestyles. The latest estimate from the International Diabetes Federation is equivalent to a global prevalence rate of 8.4 percent of the adult population and compares to 371 million cases in 2012.

BBC News‘Unpredictable pandemics’ warning
The world needs to be prepared for “unpredictable pandemics” from viruses making the leap from animals to people, scientists in Taiwan say. Their warning follows the first reported case of a common bird flu, H6N1, being detected in a woman, earlier this year. The patient recovered and no other cases have been detected. But the Lancet Respiratory Medicine report said “intensive” monitoring of bird flu was needed. In May 2013, the first human case of an H6N1 bird flu was detected in a woman in Taiwan. One of her neighbours bred ducks, geese and chickens – although the precise source of the infection has not been detected.

NBC NewsI don’t want to be on a drug: Confusion over new cholesterol guidelines
Athlete and gym rat Nick Ragone doesn’t seem like the type of guy whose cholesterol is out of whack. He even likes vegetables. But a few months ago, routine blood work showed a total cholesterol reading of 288, far above the gold-standard reading of 200 or below. Plus, his so-called “good” cholesterol or HDL, and “bad” cholesterol, or LDL, readings were also less than optimal. Now, Ragone, 42, is eating lots of fish and whole grains, and upping his cardio workout — all in hopes of staying off medication.