Feb 26 2013
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Public Health News Roundup: February 26

Poll: 3 p.m. to Bedtime Offers Challenges to Fighting Obesity
Parents’ and kids’ activity during the “crunch time” period of 3 p.m. to bedtime—commuting, extracurricular activities, getting ready for the next day—can make it especially difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle, according to a new poll from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NPR and the Harvard School of Public Health. The poll looked at families' eating and physical activity habits. Among other results, it found that 60 percent of parents said their children ate or drank something unhealthy and that 28 percent of kids did not get enough physical activity during this time window. Read more on obesity.

Mistakes in Primary Patient Care Can Cause Serious Complications
While there’s much focus on mistakes during surgery and medication prescribing, missed and incorrect diagnoses in primary care may lead to even more injuries and deaths, according to a new study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers determined most mistakes were linked to doctors getting inaccurate patient histories, not doing full exams or ordering incorrect tests. "We have every reason to believe that diagnostic errors are a major, major public health problem," said David Newman-Toker, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "You're really talking about at least 150,000 people per year, deaths or disabilities that are resulting from this problem." Read more on access to health care.

Targeted Pregnancy Prevention Program Increases Teens’ Use of Condoms, Birth Control Pills
A prevention program designed specifically for teenage girls at high risk of pregnancy made them more likely to use contraception methods, according to a new study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. The Prime Time program at primary care clinics utilizes personal case management and youth leadership opportunities. "Findings suggest that health services grounded in a youth development framework can lead to long-term reductions in sexual risk among vulnerable youth," according to the study. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, girls between the ages of 15 and 19 gave birth to 329,797 babies in 2011. Read more on sexual health.

Tags: Access to Health Care, News roundups, Obesity, Public and Community Health, Sexual Health