Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Food and Drug Administration’s plans to gradually reduce the amount of salt consumed each day by Americans was named the “Best Prevention Idea of the Week,” while the rise in use of smokeless tobacco, chewing tobacco and snuff by teens in recent years was named the “Worst Prevention Idea of the Week."

The “Best/Worst” awards are announced each week in “Prevention Matters,” the blog of Partnership for Prevention. Nominees are submitted by Partnership staff as well as the general public, and are voted on by the staff. Partnership for Prevention is a nonpartisan organization of business, nonprofit and government leaders who are working to make evidence-based disease prevention and health promotion a national priority. More information is available at http://www.prevent.org/.


FDA poised to save lives by lowering sodium content … It’s about time!

In a page one story in the Washington Post entitled, “FDA plans to limit amount of salt allowed in processed foods for health reason," reporter Lyndsey Layton writes:

“The Food and Drug Administration is planning an unprecedented effort to gradually reduce the salt consumed each day by Americans, saying that less sodium in everything from soup to nuts would prevent thousands of deaths from hypertension and heart disease. The initiative, to be launched this year, would eventually lead to the first legal limits on the amount of salt allowed in food products.”

The FDA’s involvement is welcome news. For years public health authorities have cautioned Americans to reduce sodium consumption in order to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke; the nation’s first and third leading causes of death.


Smokeless tobacco use rising among teens

The use of smokeless tobacco, chewing tobacco and snuff, by teens has risen in recent years, reversing a trend toward declining use of all tobacco products by teens, Terry Pechacek of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told a U.S. congressional panel. He said data to be released in the next few months will show an increase mainly among white and Hispanic young males. Health experts say smokeless tobacco can cause cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus and pancreas. Pechacek said the CDC is concerned that high school students perceive smokeless tobacco to be safer than cigarettes.


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