Health Highlights: Feb. 27, 201302/27/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
First Lady's Anti-Obesity Campaign Having an Effect
Michelle Obama's campaign against childhood obesity appears to
be prompting changes meant to improve children's eating habits and
help them maintain or achieve a healthy weight.
For example, millions of schoolchildren now eat vegetables from
salad bars in school lunchrooms and children's meals at Olive
Garden and Red Lobster restaurants include a side of fruit or
vegetables and a glass of low-fat milk, the
The first lady launched her "Let's Move" campaign in February
2010. On Wednesday, she began a two-day promotional tour with stops
in Mississippi, Illinois and Missouri. She's also been promoting
the program on TV shows, on the radio, and in public service
"We're starting to see some shifts in the trend lines and the data where we're starting to show some improvement," Mrs. Obama told SiriusXM host B. Smith in an interview broadcast Tuesday, the APreported.
"We've been spending a lot of time educating and re-educating families and kids on how to eat, what to eat, how much exercise to get and how to do it in a way that doesn't completely disrupt someone's life," the first lady explained.
About one third of American children are overweight or
All Pediatric Trials of Sensipar Shut Down Following Patient
U.S. health officials said Tuesday that they have halted all
clinical trials testing the use of the drug Sensipar in children
following the death of a teen patient in one of the trials.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a statement that
it has not concluded whether the drug, made by Amgen Inc., played a
role in the 14-year-old's death.
The agency has approved the use of Sensipar to treat an
overactive parathyroid gland, which can lead to brittle bones,
kidney stones and abdominal pain. It has been used since 2004 to
treat symptoms of chronic kidney disease and parathyroid
Amgen Inc. had been studying the drug to see if it might work in
children, according to the
In a statement, the company said that it "is working as rapidly
as possible to understand the circumstances of what happened."
The drug is known to lower calcium levels, sometimes to
dangerous levels, the
The FDA said in its statement that patients' calcium levels
should be monitored monthly, checking for symptoms of calcium
deficiency, including cramping, convulsions and burning or
prickling sensations. Calcium supplementation should be given if
levels drop too low, the agency added.
The most common side effects of the drug in adults include
nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
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