Health Highlights: Dec. 11, 201212/11/12
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Fish Mislabeling a Common Problem: Study
A new study says that more than one-third of fish sold at stores
and restaurants in New York City is mislabeled.
Researchers with the conservation group Oceana conducted DNA
tests on 150 samples of fresh fish from 81 establishments in the
city and found that 39 percent of them were mislabeled,
The New York Timesreported.
In some cases, cheaper types of fish were labeled as more
expensive types of fish. The study also identified public health
concerns. For example, 13 types of fish, including tilefish, were
identified as red snapper. Mercury levels in tilefish are so high
that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that this type of
fish should not be eaten by pregnant or nursing women and young
The researchers also found that 94 percent of fish sold as white
tuna was not tuna at all. In many cases it was actually a fish
known as snake mackerel, or escolar, which contains a toxin that
can cause severe diarrhea if a person eats more than a few ounces
of the fish,
These new findings are similar to previous studies conducted by
Oceana in Los Angeles, Boston and Miami, where 55, 48 and 31
percent of fish samples, respectively, were mislabeled.
Childhood Obesity Rates Decline in Some U.S. Cities: Report
In a reversal of a decades-long trend, childhood obesity rates
are declining in several American cities, according to a new
For example, New York City had a 5.5 percent decline in the
number of obese schoolchildren from 2007 to 2011, and rates fell
five percent in Philadelphia and three percent in Los Angeles,
The New York Timesreported.
There were also decreases in childhood obesity in smaller cities
such as Anchorage, Alaska and Kearney, Neb. There was also a drop
among white students in Mississippi, according to the report by the
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
It's not clear what is behind the fall in childhood obesity
rates in some cities. The researchers suggested it may be an early
sign of a national shift that's apparent only in cities that
routinely measure the height and weight of schoolchildren,
"It's been nothing but bad news for 30 years, so the fact that we have any good news is a big story," said Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City's health commissioner.
Nelson Mandela Being Treated for Lung Infection
Nelson Mandela is being treated for a lung infection, according
The 94-year-old, who was South Africa's first black president
and the winner of the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, was flown to a
military hospital in Pretoria on Saturday from his home village in
Eastern Cape province,
Tests revealed a recurrence of a previous lung infection and
Mandela is responding to his treatment and doing well, said
presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj.
Mandela last spent time in hospital in February when he was
treated for abdominal pain. He was treated for a serious chest
infection in January 2011,
Ex-President George H.W. Bush Still in Hospital
More than two weeks after being admitted to a Houston hospital
for treatment of a bronchitis-related cough, former President
George H.W. Bush continues to improve and is in stable
Doctors are being cautious with Bush's care and have provided no
timeline for when he will be discharged, Methodist Hospital
spokesman George Kovacik said Saturday, the
Bush, 88, was admitted to the hospital the day after
Thanksgiving. The same illness led to a weeklong hospitalization
earlier in November.
The former president and his wife Barbara have homes in Houston
and Kennebunkport, Maine, the
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