Health Highlights: April 25, 201404/25/14
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Businesses Await Calorie Labeling Rules
Many groups are keeping close tabs on which businesses serving
food will be included in calorie labeling rules expected to be
released this year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Chain restaurants will be required to include calories on their
menus, but non-restaurant businesses such as grocery and
convenience stores, movie theaters, and airlines lobbied hard to be
excluded, leading to a delay in the release of the new rules, the
Earlier this month, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg told
Congress that finalizing the rules -- which were first proposed in
2011 -- has been "much more challenging than expected."
The rules have been sent to the White House, which means they
could be released soon, the
For restaurants, the calorie labeling rules will apply to
companies with 20 or more outlets. This includes coffee shops, ice
cream parlors and bakeries if they have enough stores to qualify.
Restaurants won't have to provide calorie counts for alcohol.
The FDA's initial proposal suggested that grocery and
convenience stores be required to label calories for prepared foods
on menu boards and displays. But those industries lobbied against
Movie theater chains also protested and were left out of the
proposed rules released in 2011. However, nutrition groups have
urged the FDA to include movie theaters in the final rules.
Many movie goers don't realize that they get a day's worth of
calories when they get a large popcorn and extra-large soda at a
theater's snack bar, according to Margo Wootan, a nutrition
lobbyist at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the
"If a company is going to serve you 2,000 calories and call it a snack, the least they can do is tell people how many calories are in it," Wootan said.
Vending machines will have to provide calorie labeling, but the
industry has asked the FDA for flexibility in how the labels are
Businesses likely to be excluded from the new rules include
airlines, passenger train services, amusement parks, hotels and
sports stadiums, the
Fewer U.S. Military Suicides in 2013
There was a 15 percent decline in suicides among members of the
U.S. military last year, but an increase in the number of Army
National Guard and Reserve soldiers who committed suicide.
Suicides among active duty troops in the Army, Navy, Air Force
and Marine Corps fell from 343 in 2012 to 289 in 2013. The declines
were 185 to 151 in the Army, 59 to 44 in the Navy, 48 to 45 in the
Marines, and 51 to 49 in the Air Force, the
However, the number of Army National Guard and Reserve members
who took their own lives rose from 140 in 2012 to 152 in 2013.
The declines among Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps troops
suggest that prevention programs and a greater push to identify
those at risk may be having an effect after several years of rising
suicide rates, the
However, the growing number of suicides among Army National
Guard and Reserve troops may indicate that the military's suicide
prevention programs are not reaching citizen soldiers.
Bearded Dragons Source of Large Salmonella Outbreak: CDC
Pet lizards called bearded dragons caused a salmonella outbreak
that's sickened at least 132 people in 31 states over the last two
years, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Of the people who came down with
Salmonella Cothamsince Feb. 21, 2012, 28 had to be
hospitalized. The CDC said most of the illnesses occurred in
children aged 5 or younger whose parents likely bought the lizards
from pet stores,
Salmonella Cothamis a rare strain of bacteria that can cause
serious illness in young children, seniors and people with weakened
immune systems. These groups of people should not handle or touch
bearded dragons, or anything in the area where the live and roam,
the CDC said.
A previous salmonella outbreak linked to bearded dragons
occurred in 2011 when a person who had pet lizards made turkey
gravy that sickened 19 people at a Thanksgiving dinner,
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