Public Health News Roundup: November 30
Tomorrow, December 1, is World AIDS Day
Stopping the stigma and discrimination that can come with an HIV/AIDS diagnosis is a critical part of a recent initiative launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), called Facing AIDS. The goal is to encourage people who are HIV positive to share their photos, write their own messages and upload them to the online gallery. “By putting human faces to HIV/AIDS, we can help reduce the stigma around the disease and promote HIV testing,” says HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Read more on HIV.
Suicides by Hanging or Suffocation on the Rise
Recent studies have reported on a recent increase in suicides in the United States. Now a new report by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy finds that many of those suicides are done by hanging or suffocation, which increased to 26 percent of all suicides in 2010 from 19 percent in 2000. The researchers say people ages 45 to 59 are the most likely to choose hanging or suffocation as a suicide method. The study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Read more on mental health.
Calorie Counts at Fast Food Restaurants Haven’t Dropped Much in the Last Decade
A new study on U.S. fast food outlets finds that the number of food options has increased by over 50 percent in the last 14 years, but that there has been little change in the average calorie counts for all food items. The researchers, from the department of public health at Temple University, say that one reason average calories haven’t dropped is that while many chains have added salads, the salads often have high-calorie dressings and fried chicken or fish. Read more on obesity.