Health Updates 13 April 2011

  • Government proposes program to cut down on hospital infections: “The proposal builds on existing rules for Medicare hospital payments, which impose financial  penalties against hospitals for patients who experience preventable complications.  Among the types of complications hospitals will be asked to examine are those associated with adverse drug reactions, bed sores, childbirth and surgical site infections”. (NPR)
  • Is Sugar consumption the primary cause of obesity and diabetes among Americans?: Gary Taubes, author of “Why We Get Fat: And What To Do About It” takes on sugar in this week’s NY Times magazine.  He writes about the views of Robert Lustig, an obesity expert of the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine.  “If Lustig is right, then our excessive consumption of sugar is the primary reason that the numbers of obese and diabetic Americans have skyrocketed in the past 30 years.  But his argument implies more than that…it would mean that sugar is also the likely dietary cause of several other chronic ailments widely considered to be diseases of Western lifestyles – heart disease, hypertension and many common cancers among them”.  (Tara Parker-Pope, NY Times)
  • Details of federal budget agreement show health care programs got the axe: “The previously undisclosed reductions stunned advocates for community health centers, foreign aid and climate change research.  Among the cuts is a $500-million reduction in funding for the federal health and nutrition program for women, infants and children, known as WIC…Community health centers will lose $600 million, depriving 5 million low-income Americans of access to basic health services and prompting them to use more costly emergency rooms, advocates said”.  (LA Times)
  • House GOP expected to pass Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, doing an about-face: “In a post election reversal, House Republicans are supporting nearly $450 billion in Medicare cuts that they criticized vigorously last fall when Democrats and President Barak Obama passed them as part of their controversial health care law”. (Associated Press)
  • Here is a link to the US Dietary Guidelines, released 1/31/2011:

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