Bamboozled by misleading product marketing and labeling, parents have failed to get the message that sugary drinks — beyond soda — are not healthy for kids. That’s the conclusion of a new study from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at University of Connecticut, published today in Public Health Nutrition, reports USA Today. As soda sales decline, beverage makers are increasingly turning to waters, flavored waters, juices, sports drinks and even milk products as options.
A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that steep decline in air pollution in Southern California since the mid-1990s is strongly associated with “statistically and clinically significant improvements” in children’s lung function and growth. The study provides the strongest evidence yet that years of government regulations to reduce air pollution in California and across the nation are paying off with measurable improvements in children’s health.
Two new reports released by Alcohol Research UK examine alcohol problems and policy in the United Kingdom. The first, Understanding the Alcohol Harm Paradox , why people with low individual or neighborhood socioeconomic status show a greater susceptibility to the harmful effects of alcohol. The second, A Measure of Change, finds that the devolution of public health responsibilities to local authorities had led to significant cuts in spending on alcohol services.
A Dauphin County (Pennsylvania) judge has ordered Harrisburg to stop enforcing three of its gun-control ordinances, reports The Burg, a community magazine in Harrisburg. Judge Andrew H. Dowling found that the three ordinances—prohibiting gun possession in a park, by a minor and in a mayor-declared state of emergency—violate the state’s Uniform Firearms Act, which forbids municipalities from regulating the “lawful ownership, possession, transfer or transportation” of guns and ammunition for purposes that are not considered illegal under state law.
In a blow to advocates who want to import medicines, a federal judge has invalidated a controversial Maine law that allows residents to buy prescription drugs from some foreign pharmacies, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Maine Pharmacy Act was enacted two years ago in response to the growing cost of prescription medicines.
After two years of imposing increasingly stiff penalties on automakers that overstate their fuel economy ratings, federal regulators on Monday said they would tighten guidelines used in determining the mileage advertised to consumers, reports the New York Times. Next year, automakers will face stricter rules for testing fuel economy and higher potential penalties. The rules for the test had not been updated in over 10 years.
The sugar on our collective breakfast tables is piling up at an alarming rate, reports The Guardian. Despite a barrage of health warnings on the white stuff, a report last month from Action on Sugar showed that one in five cereals now contains more sugar than three years ago, and some are 18% sweeter. And there’s a bitter new chapter to this sorry tale. As we collectively spend less on cereals a new generation of on-the-run alternatives – breakfast drinks and biscuits – is taking sugary snacks to new levels.
Thanks to tobacco industry regulations and marketing restrictions in the US, smoking rates have dropped dramatically. On HBO’s Last Week Tonight, former Daily Show comedian John Oliver explains how tobacco companies are keeping their business strong overseas.
A group of United Kingdom health charities surveyed more than 800 pupils at primary schools in England and Scotland, reports the BBC, and found many children recognized beer brands, particularly if they were associated with major sporting events. A survey of 800 primary school pupils showed many were more familiar with brands of beer than with leading brands of biscuits, crisps and ice-cream.
The Global Health Impact Index, developed by a professor at Binghamton University, ranks the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies according to their impact on global diseases. The index assesses the companies on the need and effectiveness of their drugs, and the number of people who can access the drugs.