Nov 29 2012
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Public Health News Roundup: November 29

USDA: $4.5M in Grants to Get Local Foods into Schools, Benefit Communities
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is awarding more than $4.5 million in USDA Farm to School grants to help get local food into school cafeterias, especially in rural communities. The grants cover 68 projects in 37 states, plus Washington, D.C. "When schools buy food from nearby producers, their purchasing power helps create local jobs and economic benefits, particularly in rural agricultural communities," said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, in a release. "Evidence also suggests that when kids understand more about where food comes from and how it is produced, they are more likely to make healthy eating choices." The grants will also support efforts such as school gardens, field trips to local farms and cooking classes. Read more on nutrition.

One in Five Breast Cancer Patients Say They are Given Too Many Treatment Options
Women with breast cancer who say they were given too many treatment options—approximately one in five—are more likely to select a treatment they regret, according to a new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Researchers say this shows the need for doctors to find new ways to communicate with their patients, especially those women who might have less education, about the risks and benefits of options such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. "Some women may feel overwhelmed or burdened by treatment choices, particularly if they are not also given the tools to understand and weigh the benefits and harms of these choices," wrote lead researcher Jennifer Livaudais. Read more on cancer.

CBO: 50 Cent Cigarette Tax Could Stop Millions from Smoking
A tax increase of as little as 50 cents per pack of cigarettes could lead to as many as 3 million more nonsmokers by 2085, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine and based on data from the U.S. Congressional Budget Office. It would also mean about 200,000 lives saved. The reduction would be due to both current smokers quitting and nonsmokers deciding never to try cigarettes due to the cost. The current federal tax is $1.01 per pack. Read more on tobacco.

Tags: Cancer, News roundups, Nutrition, Public and Community Health, Tobacco