Public Health News Roundup: May 31
The New York Times is reporting that New York City Mayor Bloomberg plans to ban sales of single serving sugared sodas larger than 16 ounces at restaurants, movie theatres and outdoor food carts. The ban could take effect next March.
Genetics can help determine whether a person is likely to quit smoking on his or her own or need medication to improve the chances of success, according to research published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health identified several nicotine receptor genes, which are known to contribute to nicotine dependence and heavy smoking.
A clinical trial showed that smokers with the high-risk genes were more likely to fail in their quit attempts compared to those with the low-risk genes when treated with placebo. Smokers with the highest risk had a three-fold increase in their odds of quitting at the end of treatment compared to placebo. “This study builds on our knowledge of genetic vulnerability to nicotine dependence, and will help us tailor smoking cessation strategies accordingly,” said Nora D. Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Read more tobacco news.
A new report from the National Academy of Sciences finds that the current academic focus of veterinary training on companion pets rather than farm animals is directing resources away from basic research, food production and public service. The report finds current training may be insufficient to protect and advance animal and human health, particularly in growing areas of concern such as food safety and infectious disease. Read more on food safety.