Health Highlights: Dec. 12, 201212/12/12
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Mandela Making Progress in Recovery: Officials
Nelson Mandela "has made progress" in his recovery from a lung
infection, South Africa officials said Wednesday.
On Saturday, the 94-year-old former president of South Africa
and Nobel Peace Prize winner was taken to a military hospital near
"Doctors attending to former President Mandela have reported that he has made progress during the past 24 hours and they are satisfied with the way he is responding to treatment," presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement, the Associated Pressreported.
No further details were offered in the statement, issued by
current President Jacob Zuma's office.
In January 2011, Mandela was admitted to hospital for an acute
respiratory infection. He has a history of lung problems, the
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.
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