Public Health Stories to Watch in 2012: Recommended Reading

Jan 4, 2012, 5:45 PM, Posted by NewPublicHealth

In the grand tradition of spending the first half of each January predicting what's new and noteworthy in the coming year, TIME Healthland has identified eight major health stories to watch in 2012. Many of the issues have been brewing over the course of 2011. Take a look at some of the highlights, and related NewPublicHealth stories, below:

  • Sports-related head injuries: In 2011, NewPublicHealth looked at some of the public health challenges of preventing, identifying and creating effective legislation around sports-related head injuries. We also reported on dramatic new data around these injuries in youth, and spoke with public health lawyers on the status of law to prevent youth sports concussions.
  • Prescription drug overdose epidemic: In 2011, we found out that drug overdose deaths, particularly from prescription drugs, exceeded deaths from car crashes for the first time. We also spoke with the executive director of Extending the Cure about another danger of prescription drugs: antibiotic resistance.
  • E. coli outbreaks: From sprouts to contaminated cantaloupe, 2011 was a tough year for food safety. We looked at the riskiest foods and pathogens for public health, and delved into potential food safety issues at fairs and festivals as well as farmers' markets.
  • Graphic cigarette warning labels: In 2011, we spoke with Surgeon General Regina Benjamin and Danny McGoldrick of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free kids on the public health potential for new, graphic cigarette warning labels that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration intended to have printed on all cigarette packaging to make the health consequences of tobacco clear and unavoidable. Legal action late in the year put the new warning labels on hold, after a case filed by several cigarette manufacturers that challenged their constitutionality.

Read the full TIME story here.

>>Now that you've had a look ahead at 2012, take a look back at 2011 with our top NewPublicHealth posts of the year.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.