Mar 22 2013

Public Health News Roundup: March 22

CDC: U.S. Kids Consume Nearly as Much Salt as U.S. Adults
The average U.S. kid consumes about as much salt in a day as the average U.S. adult—which is to say far too much, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics. Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found the average youth age 8 to 18 has a daily sodium intake of approximately 3,387 mg; the recommended daily limit is 2,300 mg. Processed foods are one of the biggest culprits. Excessive sodium is linked to a myriad of health issues. "We found that higher sodium intake was associated with higher blood pressure," said Janelle Gunn, a public health analyst with the CDC. "We found among overweight and obese participants (in the study), that for every 1,000 mg of sodium they consumed, their blood pressure response was seven times greater (compared to healthy-weight children)." Read more on nutrition.

Norovirus Top Cause of Pediatric Medical Care for Acute Gastroenteritis
Norovirus will cause about 1 in every 14 children to seek emergency care treatment and 1 in 6 to need outpatient care before the age of 5, according to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers determined the highly infectious norovirus is now the number one cause of the need for medical care for acute gastroenteritis in that age group. From 2009 to 2010 there were about 1 million pediatric medical care visits linked to norovirus. “Infants and young children are very susceptible to norovirus infections, which often result in a high risk of getting dehydrated from the sudden onset of intense vomiting and severe diarrhea,” said Daniel Payne, MD, an epidemiologist in the Division of Viral Diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more on infectious disease.

Study: Online Venting Will Probably Just Make You Angrier
That little bit of relaxation you feel right after responding to an infuriating comment on the internet may just be a brief respite on the path to long-term frustration, according to a new study in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. Lead author Ryan Martin, an associate professor of human development and psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, said the anonymity and social distance of many online sites makes responding quickly and in anger too easy. While there are many good reasons to be angry, he said the healthier approach is to get involved with an issue that frustrates you and try to change things, rather than railing at a stranger on Facebook, Twitter or a blog site. "Most of these sites encourage venting as a way of dealing with anger," Martin said. "They think of venting as a healthy adaptive approach, and it's not." Read more on mental health.

Tags: Infectious disease, Mental Health, News roundups, Nutrition, Public and Community Health