Health Highlights: Jan. 24, 201301/24/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
NYC Sugary Drink Rule Challenged in Court
New York City's limit on the size of sugary drinks is reasonable
and necessary, and the health board has the authority to enact it,
a lawyer for the city's health department said in court
The rule was implemented because there is an obesity epidemic in
the United States and there's scientific proof that sugary drinks
are a major contributor to the problem, Thomas Merrill, the city
health department's chief lawyer, told Manhattan state Supreme
Court Justice Milton Tingling, the
The limit on sugary drinks is being challenged by the American
Beverage Association and other opponents. A lawyer for the
association told the judge that the rule is an "extraordinary
infringement" on consumer choice.
Critics are also questioning the racial fairness of the
regulation -- saying that it will unduly harm minority businesses
and "freedom of choice in low-income communities" -- as well as the
health board's power to approve the rule, the
The measure, which did not go before city council, was approved
by the city Board of Health in September and is scheduled to take
effect March 12. The rule forbids restaurants, bars, move theaters
and other outlets from selling high-sugar beverages in containers
bigger than 16 ounces.
NFL Sued by Junior Seau's Family
The NFL is being sued by the family of former linebacker Junior
Seau, who say his suicide was the result of a brain disease caused
by hits to the head he suffered during his football career.
In the wrongful death lawsuit filed Wednesday, Seau's family
accuses the NFL of "acts of omission" that hid the dangers that
players faced due to repeated blows to the head, the
The lawsuit says Junior Seau developed chronic traumatic
encephalopathy (CTE) as a result of head injuries.
Seau was 43 when he died of a self-inflicted gunshot in May
2012. Tests conducted after his death revealed that he had CTE, it
was recently revealed.
"We were saddened to learn that Junior, a loving father and teammate, suffered from CTE," Seau's family said in a statement released to the AP. "While Junior always expected to have aches and pains from his playing days, none of us ever fathomed that he would suffer a debilitating brain disease that would cause him to leave us too soon.
"We know this lawsuit will not bring back Junior. But it will send a message that the NFL needs to care for its former players, acknowledge its decades of deception on the issue of head injuries and player safety, and make the game safer for future generations."
The Seaus are also suing football helmet maker Riddell Inc.,
accusing the company of negligence in the "design, testing,
assembly, manufacture, marketing, and engineering of the helmets"
used by NFL players, the
The helmets were unreasonably dangerous and unsafe, according to
the lawsuit filed in the California Superior Court in San
The NFL has consistently denied allegations similar to those in
the Seau family's lawsuit.
More than 3,800 players have sued the NFL over head injuries in
at least 175 cases, the
APreported. More than 100 of the concussion lawsuits have
been brought together in Philadelphia.
Petition to Reclassify Marijuana Rejected by Appeals Court
A petition to reclassify marijuana from its current status in
the United States as a dangerous drug with no accepted medical use
was rejected Tuesday by a federal appeals court.
The petition was submitted by several individuals and three
medical marijuana groups, the
Associated Pressreported. In 2011, a petition to change
marijuana's classification was rejected by the U.S. Drug
Tuesday's appeals court ruling came a few months after Colorado
and Washington state legalized marijuana for recreational use.
In his majority opinion Tuesday, Judge Harry Edwards noted that
the issue wasn't whether marijuana may have some medical benefits,
but rather whether the DEA's decision to reject the petition was
"arbitrary and capricious," the
The appeals court concluded that this was not the case.
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