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Health Replay: Trans Fat Ban … and More

Here’s what happened this week in health

What happened in the world of health this week?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday announced plans to remove artificial trans fats from the United States food supply. trans fats, which provide texture to food and prolong shelf life, come with health risks, including raising bad cholesterol and increasing the risk of heart disease. Many companies began lowering trans fats a decade ago, and San Francisco and New York banned their use in restaurants, but the FDA says 12 percent of all packaged foods still contain the ingredient.
Last week, New York City successfully voted to raise the tobacco age limit to 21. Now Washington, D.C., is looking to institute a similar law. “Raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 will decrease access to cigarettes, and, more importantly, may decrease the rate of smoking in young adults,” said D.C. Councilman Kenyan McDuffie in a released statement. “By restricting tobacco sales to young people, we can prevent many of our youth from acquiring a terrible, deadly addiction.” The measure is getting looks from other legislatures, too, including the state of New Jersey.
Black Men Run is launched by Jason L. Russell to encourage black men, who have disproportionately high rates of heart disease and obesity, to be active and stay fit. So far, chapters have sprung up in Atlanta; Charleston, South Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; Cincinnati; Greenville, South Carolina; Houston; Jacksonville, Florida; Louisville, Kentuck; Macon, Georgia; Memphis, Tennessee; Miami; Nashville, Tennessee; New York City, St. Louis, Washington, D.C.; and Winston Salem, North Carolina.
Too few folks are being screened for colon cancer. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that a third of adults age 50 and older don’t have the screening. Testing saves lives. When colon cancer is found early, 90 percent of those diagnosed with the disease survive five years or longer.
Being bilingual can delay dementia. A study found bilingual people, no matter their education level, develop dementia years later than other people who speak only one language.
Young women with diabetes are four times more likely to develop heart disease than women who are not diabetic.
Americans are making healthier food choices, according to a study from market research firm NPD Group. The healthier choices include more fruits and yogurt and less soda and fruit juice. Big upside: These eating changes may account for signs the obesityepidemic in this country has been leveling off in recent years.

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