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Health Updates 26 August 2011

  • Study finds vaccines are safe and dangers are rare: “The independent panel considered adverse effects from eight common childhood vaccines, and found that in many cases there wasn’t enough evidence to say if there was a problem.  But the committee came out loud and clear on the controversial question which drove the report.  Do vaccines – such as the one against measles, mumps and rubella – cause autism? Nope.” (NPR)
  • Chocolate milk gets a makeover: “Is chocolate milk a healthful choice for schoolchildren?….Starting in September, chocolate milk will have fewer calories and less sugar.  The eight-ounce cartons of fat-free and low-fat chocolate milk served in schools will have 38 percent less added sugar and just 31 more calories than regular white milk, said the Milk Processor Education Program, or MilkPEP, the industry group that runs the national ‘Got Milk?‘ campaign”.  Chocolate milk is the most popular milk choice in schools, so efforts are being made to see that it stays on menus, as its benefits and vital nutrients are too important to lose.  Children skip drinking milk altogether when it is not offered.  (Anahad O’Connor, NY Times)
  • Obesity rate projected to soar: “The current trajectory, according to a two-decade trend of steady weight gain, would see 65 million more obese adults, raising the national total to 164 million.  Roughly one-third of the US population is currently obese.  The rise in obesity would lead to 7.8 million more cases of diabetes, 6.8 million cases of heart disease and stroke, and more than half a million extra cancer cases in the US – all of which would balloon health care costs by $66 billion a year, according to the report.” (ABC News)
  • Are farm subsidies making Americans fat?  “The US Department of Agriculture distributes $10 billion to $30 billion a year in subsidies to farmers.  More than 90 percent of those subsidies go to growers of five crops: corn, wheat, rice, soybeans and cotton.  Less than 1 percent goes to fruits and vegetables – precisely the foods the federal government says we need to eat more.  Corn, which reaps nearly 40 percent of the subsidies, and wheat are the most heavily subsidized.  They are also staples in a variety of common, fattening, nutrition-deficient foods”. (Orlando Sentinel)
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