FDA Panel to Gauge Tanning Bed Risks
A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel meets today to consider whether to increase restrictions on tanning beds, HealthDay reports. Evidence linking the beds to skin cancer is mounting: As many as 1 out of 4 melanomas in young women can be attributed to the use of tanning beds, said Skin Cancer Foundation Vice President Allan Halpern, according to HealthDay. Restrictions in place now include a requirement that users wear goggles while tanning. But the foundation hopes the FDA will reclassify the devices so that they'll be subject to more stringent regulations.
Health Reform: Where Women Stand to Gain
Coverage of abortion services took center stage in the days leading up to the healthcare reform bill's passage, with President Obama promising to sign an executive order that no federal funds will be used to cover abortions. In the end, no one is particularly happy with the compromise, U.S. News's Deborah Kotz writes.
The National Right to Life Committee, an antiabortion group, referred to the legislation as "a pro-abortion bill" and said Obama's executive order "changes nothing" and doesn't fix any of the "pro-abortion provisions in the bill." House Republican Leader John Boehner agreed, telling his colleagues in a blog post that a yes vote on the legislation was a "vote for taxpayer-funded abortions." On the opposing side, the Center for Reproductive Rights issued a statement saying, "It is unacceptable that a pro-choice president has put his imprimatur on a highly restrictive and unjust anti-choice measure." Catholics for Choice called it a "step backward for women's rights."
Women stand to benefit greatly from health reform in terms of increased maternity coverage, family planning services, and lower insurance premiums. So do women's health activists consider the health reform legislation to be a net positive or a net negative? Read more.
Exercise Can Help Prevent Weight Gain, but It Won't Be Easy
There's a lot of attention paid to what works when it comes to losing weight. But that's not really the hard part; anyone can diet or exercise in the short term, U.S. News's Katherine Hobson writes. Maintaining a loss, avoiding age-related weight creep, and keeping up healthful habits over time are much more difficult. That's why the researchers behind a new study, published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, wanted to examine the habits of people who were eating what they considered a normal diet and were "living life as usual," says one of the authors, I-Min Lee, an associate epidemiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. And they made some interesting discoveries about the power of exercise.
When researchers followed more than 34,000 nondieting women (average age 54.2) over many years, they found that regular physical activity was associated with gaining less weight over time—but only in women who weren't overweight or obese. And those women had to exercise quite a bit: An average of an hour a day of moderately intense activity, such as a brisk walk, or the equivalent during a week was the amount of activity recorded for the women of normal weight who gained less than 5 pounds during the 13-year study. Read more.
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