Jun 28 2012
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Public Health News Roundup: June 28

Supreme Court Decision Due Today on Affordable Care Act

The Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision today on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Follow NewPublicHealth for information on how the decision impacts public health.

2011 Was a Bad Year for Safe Water at Many U.S. Beaches

Last year, America’s beaches saw the third-highest number of closing and advisory days in more than two decades, according to the 22nd annual beach water quality report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which says that U.S. beaches continue to suffer from storm water runoff and sewage pollution.

The group recommends establishing better beach water quality standards and the report gives out ratings for 200 U.S. beaches based on water quality and best practices for testing and public notices. Read more on environmental health.

FDA Approves New Weight Loss Drug

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the drug Belviq (lorcaserin hydrochloride), as an addition to a reduced-calorie diet and exercise, for chronic weight management.

The drug is approved for use in adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater (obese), or adults with a BMI of 27 or greater (overweight) and who have at least one weight-related condition such as high blood pressure (hypertension), type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol (dyslipidemia). Belviq works by activating a serotonin receptor in the brain, which may help a person eat less and feel full after eating smaller amounts of food. Treatment with Belviq for up to one year resulted in average weight loss ranging from 3 percent to 3.7 percent.

Tags: Access to Health Care, Environment, News roundups, Obesity