Public Health News Roundup: September 14
A new report from the Census Bureau shows that about 1.5 million fewer Americans were covered by employer health plans in 2010, while 1.8 million more people joined government assistance plans such as Medicaid.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it is prohibiting the sale of raw beef to consumers that contain six serotypes of E. coli. The sale of raw beef containing one strain of E. coli is already prohibited. The bacteria can cause severe illness and death. The USDA will begin testing for the six serogroups and enforcing the new policy on March 5, 2012. The agency also announced the launch of Food Safe Families, a consumer education campaign created in partnership with the Ad Council, the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Department of Agriculture has announced $6.4 million in funding to help children develop positive nutrition and physical activity habits that can lead to healthier lifestyles. The grants will provide nutrition education materials, resources for children and parents, and technical assistance and training for school food service providers and communities participating in the National School Lunch and Child and Adult Care Food Programs.
A review of studies in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology finds that counseling alone does not help most pregnant smokers quit smoking. The authors say more research is needed on the use of nicotine replacement and other therapies during pregnancy.
More than nine million of all deaths in developing countries that are attributed to chronic diseases occur before the age of 60, according to a new report from the World Health Organization.