Noteworthy News of the Week

Posted on June 3, 2011

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New food plate icon: will it change how you eat?
Jun 2 2011, Deborah Kotz, Boston Globe
In an effort to simplify the message it gives the public on healthy eating, the federal government today unveiled a new icon to replace the complicated and confusing food pyramid: It’s a plate divided into four sections, with fruits and vegetables on one half and protein and grains on the other. A circle for dairy — indicating a glass of milk or container of yogurt — rests to the right of the plate.

There’s no easy escape from cellphone risks
Jun 2 2011, Hiawatha Bray, Boston Globe
Forget whether your cellphone technology is 3G or 4G. It’s time to start worrying about 2B. That’s the World Health Organization’s official designation for chemicals or other agents that may cause cancer in humans. And the radio waves streaming from the world’s 5 billion cellphones have just been added to the WHO’s 2B list.

Americans still avoiding doctors, insurers say
Jun 2 2011, Lewis Krauskopf, Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Americans’ use of medical services has not yet rebounded during the weak economy, health insurers say, in a trend that keeps the companies’ costs down and could bolster their profits further this year.

Report Finds Inequities in Payments for Medicare
Jun 1 2011, Robert Pear, NY Times
Medicare uses inaccurate, unreliable data to pay doctors and hospitals, the National Academy of Sciences said Wednesday. Although Medicare is a national program, it adjusts payments to health care providers to reflect regional differences in wages, rent and other costs. But in a new report, a panel of experts from the academy’s Institute of Medicine said the payment formulas were deeply flawed.

Virulent new strain of E. coli found in deadly European outbreak
Jun 3 2011, Noam N. Levy and Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
A deadly outbreak of food-borne illness in Europe is being caused by an unusually virulent strain of E. coli that scientists haven’t seen before and that may be dramatically more dangerous, global health officials said Thursday. The new strain has killed at least 17 people in Germany and Sweden and sickened 1,614 in 10 countries in Europe, the World Health Organization said.

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Posted in: Health, News