Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Allegheny County health director taking on obesity problem in schools
The Allegheny County Health Department’s new anti-obesity offensive has started to gather data that confirm a plus-size problem in schools, and compilation of more precise information will eventually help it target new programs and initiatives aimed at slimming the silhouette of county residents.

USA Today – Study: As cost of sugary drinks go up, sales go down
Raising the cost of high-calorie beverages by a few cents — and highlighting calorie content in places where they are sold — decreases sales, a new study shows.
This research comes after much discussion in recent years about trying to combat the nation’s obesity crisis by adding extra taxes to the cost of sugar-sweetened beverages, sometimes called a “soda tax.”

Congressional Quarterly – FDA-CDC collaboration clears path for European vaccine in Princeton meningitis outbreak (requires login)
Princeton University said Monday that it will make arrangements to provide a vaccine, now licensed only in Europe and Australia, to its students as part of an effort to combat an outbreak of an unusual form of meningitis in the United States.
The treatment, Novartis AG’s Bexsero, is an option for Princeton students only because of a special collaboration between the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…
“It’s a real example of how we can strengthen the capacity to get our hands on new drugs” in times of crisis, said Georges C. Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, of the CDC-FDA collaboration on the European meningitis vaccine.

Boston Globe – New obesity treatment guideline released
A new guideline for obesity treatment, released last week by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, provides a solid road map for doctors challenged with helping overweight patients achieve a healthier weight.
Insurance coverage for weight-related counseling, such as helping patients plan new menus with fewer calories or outline a realistic fitness program, could improve under this new recommendation. More importantly, the panel of physicians and weight researchers outlined which interventions are the most effective based on clinical trials.

Chicago Tribune – Albuquerque, N.M., voters to decide on municipal abortion limits
Voters in Albuquerque on Tuesday will decide on an initiative to outlaw most late-term abortions in New Mexico’s largest city, marking the first such measure placed on a municipal ballot.
The measure would prohibit doctors within city limits from performing abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, allowing for few of the exemptions provided for in most of the late-term abortion bans enacted statewide elsewhere in recent years.

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