Health Highlights: Sept. 18, 201309/18/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Percentage of Americans Without Health Insurance Falls for
Second Year in a Row
The percentage of Americans without health insurance declined
for a second year in a row in 2012, despite little change in
household income and the poverty rate, the Census Bureau
According to the findings, 15.4 percent of people were uninsured
last year, compared with 15.7 percent in 2011. There were 48
million uninsured people in 2012 compared to 48.6 million in 2011,
The New York Timesreported.
The proportion of adults aged 19 to 25 without insurance fell to
27.2 percent last year. While not significantly lower than in 2011,
it was down from 29.8 percent in 2010.
The proportion of children younger than 19 without insurance
declined to 9.2 percent in 2012, from 9.7 percent in 2011, which
may be the result of the provision in the 2010 health care law that
allows young adults to stay on their parents' insurance policies
until age 26,
Much of the rise in health insurance coverage in 2012 was due to
government programs, according to David Johnson, the chief of
social and economic statistics at the bureau. He noted that
Medicare provided coverage for 15.7 percent of the population last
year, compared with 15.2 percent in 2011.
Among the other findings:
- The proportion of Hispanics without health coverage last year
was 29.1 percent, 1 percent lower than in 2011. But the percentage
of Hispanics without health insurance in 2012 was still much higher
than that of blacks (19 percent), Asian-Americans (15.1 percent)
and whites (11.1 percent).
- The percentage of foreign-born people without health insurance
in 2012 was 32 percent, compared with 13 percent for native-born
- Two of the nation's four major regions, the South and the West,
had 61 percent of the U.S. population in 2012 but accounted for 71
percent of all of the uninsured people.
- People with lower incomes were much more likely to be uninsured
than those with higher incomes. The uninsured rate was 24.9 percent
among people in households with annual incomes of less than
$25,000, compared with 7.9 percent for those in households with
incomes of $75,000 or more.
Michele Obama Hosting Summit on Food Marketing to Kids
First Lady Michele Obama is hosting the first White House summit
on food marketing to children.
The goal of Wednesday's meeting is to get involved parties
talking about how to promote healthier food choices for children,
Invitations were sent to representatives from the food and media
industries, advocates, parents, researchers, and representatives of
government agencies, according to the White House. It did not
release a list of names and organizations.
The First Lady will open the summit with public remarks, but the
rest of the meeting will be closed to the media, the
Research shows that food marketing is a leading cause of obesity
among children, according to consumer advocates. A 2006 Institute
of Medicine report said that food and beverage marketing to
children "represents, at best, a missed opportunity, and, at worst,
a direct threat to the health of the next generation."
Ex-Smoker Featured in Anti-Smoking Ads Dies of Cancer
Cancer has claimed the life of a former smoker who had a
prominent role in a U.S. government anti-smoking campaign that
featured graphic ads.
Terrie Hall, 53, died at a hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C. on
Hall was diagnosed with oral and throat cancer and had her voice
box removed years ago. The cancer, which spread to her brain this
summer, was caused by the cigarette smoking she began in high
school, according to federal Centers for Disease Control and
"She was a public health hero," said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, which conducted the campaign, the APreported. "She may well have saved more lives than most doctors do."
Hall had a leading role in the "Tips from Former Smokers"
campaign, which focused on how smoking-related cancer ravages the
body. In her first ad, Hall was shown putting on a wig, inserting
false teeth and using a scarf to cover a hole in her throat. It was
the campaign's most popular ad and received more than 2.8 million
views on YouTube, the
Another ad featured Hall speaking with her artificial voice box
and advising smokers to make a video of themselves singing or
reading out loud. "I wish I had. The only voice my grandson's ever
heard is this one," Hall said in the ad.
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