Health Highlights: June 20, 201306/20/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
'Sopranos' Star James Gandolfini Dies at Age 51
Actor James Gandolfini, who played mob boss Tony Soprano in the
acclaimed HBO series "The Sopranos", died Wednesday in Italy of
cardiac arrest. He was 51.
The Emmy Award-winning actor was traveling in Rome, where he was
on vacation, and was scheduled to attend the Taormina Film Fest,
The New York Timesreported.
Hospital officials in Rome confirmed Thursday morning that
Gandolfini died of cardiac arrest, according to the
HBO released a statement that said: "We're all in shock and
feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our
family. He was a special man, a great talent, but more importantly
a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their
title or position with equal respect. He touched so many of us over
the years with his humor, his warmth and his humility. Our hearts
go out to his wife and children during this terrible time. He will
be deeply missed by all of us."
The actor's body is in a hospital morgue in Rome. His remains
can be returned to the United States after the U.S. Embassy issues
a death certificate,
Gandolfini was born Sept. 18, 1961 in Westwood, N.J. He is
survived by wife Deborah Lin, 8-month-old daughter Liliana and son
Michael, from a previous marriage.
Illness Outbreak at Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Park
A spike in cases of gastrointestinal illness among visitors at
Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks has led the National
Park Service to tell people to make an extra effort when washing
In one case that occurred June 7, members of a tour group
visiting Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone began complaining of
stomach and other issues. Park employees who had contact with the
group reported similar symptoms within 48 hours,
Tests revealed that the cause of the illnesses was
In addition to visitors, suspected cases of norovirus have
occurred among more than 100 Yellowstone employees and 50 Grand
Teton workers, according to the National Park Service.
In response to the situation, the park service and businesses
that operate in the parks are taking special measures, including
more frequent cleaning and disinfection of public areas. Park
workers who show signs of infection must be symptom-free for 72
hours before returning to their duties,
Restrict Use of Food Stamps to Buy Sugary Beverages: Mayors
The mayors of major U.S. cities want the federal government to
examine ways to limit people's use of food stamps to buy soda and
other sugary drinks.
In a letter sent to congressional leaders on Tuesday, the mayors
of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and 15 other cities said this
would be a way to fight obesity and related diseases,
CBS News/Associated Pressreported.
"More than one third of American adults are now obese, costing approximately $147 billion per year in associated medical expenses," the letter stated. "As a result of obesity, this generation of American children is the first to face the possibility of a shorter life expectancy than their parents. It is time to test and evaluate approaches limiting SNAP's (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program's) subsidization of products, such as sugar-sweetened beverages, that are contributing to obesity."
"We need to find ways to strengthen the program and promote good nutrition while limiting the use of these resources for items with no nutritional value, like sugary drinks, that are actually harming the health of participants," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose office released the letter, said in a statement, CBS/APreported. "Why should we continue supporting unhealthy purchases in the false name of nutrition assistance?"
The food stamp program is run by the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, which declined to comment on the letter, which was
addressed to Republican House Speaker John Boehner and House
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.
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