Public Health News Roundup: May 7
The Weight of the Nation Conference, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, begins today. The goal of the conference is to provide a forum to highlight progress in the prevention and control of obesity through policy and environmental strategies, and is framed around five intervention settings: early care and education; states, tribes and communities; medical care; schools; and workplaces. Several key resources on obesity are being released in connection with the conference:
- A new book, The Weight of the Nation: To Win We Have to Lose, co-authored by Judith Salerno, Executive Officer of the Institute of Medicine, which looks at the forces driving the obesity epidemic in the U.S. and offers practical tips on weight loss.
- The book is a companion to a new HBO documentary, The Weight of the Nation, on obesity in the US, which debuts May 14 and was produced in association with partners including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.
- On May 8 the IOM will release a report, Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention, at the Weight of the Nation conference, which will recommend ways society can support individuals by making healthy choices easier.
A study published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine found that 80 percent of people using bike share programs in Boston and Washington, DC, did not use helmets. According to the researchers, from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, helmet use is associated with decreased rates of head injury and mortality and decreases the risk of head and brain injury by 65 to 88 percent. Helmet use in the two bike share programs studied, as well as others, is not required in order to rent the bikes.
Blacks with HIV are much less likely to adhere to drug therapy than others with the disease, according to a University of Michigan study. Additionally, untreated depression may interfere with HIV/AIDS treatment for all low-income, HIV-infected patients, regardless of race. The one year study found that less than 30 percent of African-American HIV patients in the one-year study had optimal compliance with their drug therapy, compared with 40 percent of other HIV patients.
More than 66 percent of the 7,034 HIV-infected patients in the study were African-American and nearly half of them reported depression. However, the study also found that antidepressant treatment nearly doubled the odds of drug compliance among HIV patients of all races who reported depression. The study appeared in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.