Reporting on health and quality of life in South LA

America's fast food intake and cutting back on worthless care: In health news today

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55573 full

In today's health news:

Eleven percent of America's collective calorie intake comes from fast food, said a new federal report – but that's lower than it was between 2003 and 2006. HealthDay says researchers see it as a positive trend, although their study also suggested that the more fast food a person eats, the more obese he or she becomes.

The New York Times reports on other federal findings that U.S. children ate less in 2010 than they did in 2000, indicating there may be cause for optimism about the child obesity landscape. The results of the analysis surprised researchers: Girls' calorie consumption dropped 4 percent over that decade, while boys' consumption dropped by about 7 percent.

Children without siblings are more likely to be obese – at least, that's what a new Danish study is suggesting after looking at the health records of more than 29,000 schoolchildren. According to the Los Angeles Times, only children were 44 percent more likely to obese than their counterparts with siblings; when researchers looked at a smaller group of young men who'd registered for the draft, they also found that those without siblings were 76 percent more likely to be obese.

In its latest effort to reduce worthless health care, the Choosing Wisely campaign has released another list of tests and procedures doctors shouldn't do in certain situations – 90 in total. NPR says among the exhortations: Don't automatically do a CT scan on a child with a minor head injury, and don't use feeding tubes in patients with advanced dementia.

Doctors who use electronic health records (EHRs) – fulfilling certain criteria for "meaningful use" along the way – are eligible for a federally-backed $44,000 bonus, says HealthDay – but many still haven't adopted the technology. That's according to a new study, which found that just one in six doctors has adopted EHRs in a way that qualifies them for that bonus.

The chances that someone will have a heart attack go up when air pollution levels have been high in recent days or hours, a new study shows. Reuters says high ozone can immediately raise the risk of cardiac arrest, prompting researchers to warn heart patients to "take extra care of themselves" in polluted, smoggy environments.

Adults who were bullied as children have a bigger risk of developing anxiety disorders, depression and suicidal thoughts, according to new research appearing in JAMA Psychiatry, strengthening the notion that the harm caused by bullying isn't fleeting.

Folks with disabilities are at greater risk of being victims of violence, says a new study in PLOS ONE, and those victims are in turn more likely to experience adverse mental health consequences because of that trauma.

And finally: Bariatric surgery can be an effective way to treat obesity and its associated health effects, but is it cost-effective? A new study appearing in JAMA-Surgery says no – bariatric surgery "does not lower overall health care costs in the long term." In fact, there's no single surgery in the current medical landscape that will lower those costs when it comes to obesity, concluded the authors.

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