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Health Highlights: Heated vaccine fight, questioning second opinions, tattoo skin reactions

Drink in this week's top consumer health stories: They're all about controversy, questions and curbing soda consumption among kids. Read on and then weigh in on any or all of these stories!

Impatient: Where a state bill mandating vaccines stands

The bill that would require all school-aged kids to be vaccinated passed the state Senate earlier this month. It's slated to move on to the Assembly Health Committee in coming weeks.

On Take Two this week, I offered an update on the bill and the controversy swirling around it. And on Morning Edition, KPCC senior health reporter Elizabeth Aguilera provided this nuanced explanation for why the California Chiropractic Association is opposed to the legislation.

Second opinions are often sought, but their value isn't clear

Common knowledge says that if a doctor diagnoses you with a serious illness or recommends confusing treatment options, you should get a second opinion.

But as Michelle Andrews writes for NPR: "While it's clear that second opinions can help individual patients make better medical decisions, there's little hard data showing that second opinions lead to better health results."

What we know about tattoo reactions only goes skin-deep

Dr. Marie Leger, an assistant professor in the department of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine, was curious to find out how commonly people have bad skin reactions to tattoos.

So she and two medical students surveyed 300 people in New York's Central Park about their experience.

Scott Hensley writes for NPR: "What did researchers find? Among the tattooed park-goers, 31, or 10 percent, said they'd experienced some sort of adverse reaction after a tattoo. About 4 percent had a problem that didn't last very long, such as pain, infection or swelling. And 6 percent said they'd had a problem that persisted longer than four months, such as itching or scaly skin."

City of Davis requires milk or water with kids' meals

The Davis City Council has taken a step intended to curb obesity and related disease: It voted this week to require restaurants that serve kids' meals to offer milk or water as the default beverage – not sugary soda.

Health editor Paul Glickman writes that the bill will affect about 18 fast food outlets and local establishments in the city.

What are your thoughts on these stories? Let me know in the comments section below. And let me know what consumer health stories you're reading this week!

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