Author: Heather Gilligan

Institute of Medicine Convenes New Obesity Roundtable

By Fran Kritz Public health, obesity, school, business and community experts convened in Washington, D.C. last week at the inaugural workshop of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) new Roundtable on Obesity Solutions. The Roundtable will spend the next few years holding meetings, public workshops and innovation collaboratives and producing background papers with a goal of creating consensus on strategies to prevent and reduce obesity said

Court Orders Three Paint Firms to Pay for Lead Cleanup

By Fran Kritz A ruling by the California Superior Court requires three paint companies, Sherwin Williams, National Lead and ConAgra, to pay $1.15 billion into a fund to remove lead paint from homes in several California counties and cities. The communities that will receive the funds include the counties of Santa Clara, Alameda, Los Angeles, Monterey, San Mateo, Solano and Ventura, and the cities of

Health Care Providers Often Fail to Talk to Patients about Alcohol Consumption

By Fran Kritz  Only one in six adults and only one in four people who reported binge drinking say a health professional has ever discussed alcohol use with them, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the new CDC report, at least 38 million adults in the United States drink too much; consuming higher than safe levels

Tobacco Control Groups Mark 50th Anniversary of Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking

By Fran Kritz Several major tobacco control advocacy groups held a joint press conference in Washington, DC yesterday to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the 1964 Surgeon General’s report on Smoking and Health and issue a call to action in the U.S. to further reduce smoking rates and exposure to second hand smoke. The groups included the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Legacy, the American

Half of Black Males, 40 percent of White Males Are Arrested by Age 23

By Fran Kritz Nearly half of black males and almost 40 percent of white males in the U.S. are arrested by age 23, which can hurt their ability to find work, go to school and be active participants in their communities, according to a new study. Researchers from several universities looked at U.S, Department of Labor Survey data from 1997 to 2008 on the arrest

Majority of High School Seniors Do Not view Regular Marijuana Use as Harmful 

By Fran Kritz An annual survey on use of and attitudes toward illegal substances shows that the percentage of high school students who see great risk from being regular marijuana users has dropped significantly in the past decade. The survey is conducted among eighth-, 10th-, and 12th-graders across the U.S. This year’s survey shows that 39.5 percent of 12th graders view regular marijuana use as harmful,

Report: Many Uninsured African-Americans May be Eligible for Health Insurance Financial Assistance

By Fran Kritz  A new report finds that  six out of ten (4.2 million) uninsured African Americans who may be eligible for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace might qualify for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or tax credits to help with the cost of premiums.  According to the report, if all states took advantage of new opportunities to expand Medicaid many more

Taxing Sugary Beverages Could Result in Health Benefits for Hispanic and African-American Californians 

By Fran Kritz A new study by researchers at UC San Francisco and the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University suggests that taxing sugar-sweetened beverages could decrease consumption and result in lower rates of diabetes and heart disease, particularly among low-income Hispanic and African-American Californians. The results are especially significant right now; San Franciscans may get the chance to vote on at least

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