BBC – Many children ‘slower runners than their parents were’
Experts say the work – being presented at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting – suggests children’s fitness levels may be declining.
Researchers analysed data spanning 46 years and involving more than 25 million children in 28 countries.
On average, children today run a mile 90 seconds slower than did their counterparts 30 years ago, they said.
USA Today – Princeton meningitis outbreak ‘unlikely’ to spread
Health officials say it is “highly unlikely” that the recent meningitis outbreak at Princeton University in Princeton, N.J., will spread during students’ holiday travels, but recommend students get vaccinated as soon as possible.
After a seventh person contracted the disease on campus last week, university officials announced Monday that the school planned to offer a new vaccine not yet approved for use in the USA in an attempt to fight the rare strain of the disease.
CBS News – World Toilet Day highlights the importance of basic sanitation
About one-third of the global population doesn’t have access to basic, clean sanitation, according to the United Nations and other organizations.
The U.N., Unilever and the charity WaterAid issued a report on Tuesday with troubling statistics about sanitation, titled “We Can’t Wait.” The research coincides with World Toilet Day, which has been held on Nov. 19 since 2001. World Toilet Day hopes to increase awareness about the need for basic sanitation and to teach people about better practices.
Huffington Post – Flame-retardant chemicals endanger firefighters, gymnasts
Flame-retardant chemicals permeate the world, and the bodies of nearly every person. But a new film and a new scientific study point to two groups of people whose risks of exposure may be particularly high: firefighters who venture into burning buildings and gymnasts who tumble into pits of foam blocks.
“Thinking about average exposure is not good enough,” Renee Sharp, director of research at the non-profit Environmental Working Group, told The Huffington Post after a Seattle screening of the new documentary, “Toxic Hot Seat.” “There are vulnerable populations, and they are often not who you expect.”
Politico – NYC to ban tobacco sales to anyone under age 21
Mayor Michael Bloomberg planned to sign landmark legislation Tuesday banning the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21, making New York the first large city or state in the country to prohibit sales to young adults.
City health officials hope that raising the legal purchase age from 18 to 21 will lead to a big decline in smoking rates in a critical age group. A majority of smokers get addicted to cigarettes before age 21, and then have trouble quitting, even if they want to do so.