Rise in Vaccination Helps Prevent Millions of Deaths
The number of children being vaccinated worldwide is on the rise, Reuters reports. The same is true for the number of vaccines available—a record 120, according to a new report by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the World Bank. More than 200 million children in developing countries are now being vaccinated to help prevent illnesses such as meningitis and flu, according to Reuters. Vaccinations prevent 2.5 million deaths of children each year, the Associated Press reports. Yet, they are often failing to reach those in the poorest nations—1 in 5 infants isn't getting the recommended vaccinations for the first 12 months. The agencies' report notes that an additional $1 billion per year is needed to vaccinate all children in the world's 72 poorest countries.
Is a 'Traffic Light' Coming to Food Labels?
Is a traffic light coming to U.S. food labels? It certainly sounds like a possibility, U.S. News's Katherine Hobson writes. The Food and Drug Administration said earlier this week that it's concerned about the proliferation of front-of-package nutrition labeling programs like Smart Choices, which are supposed to offer quick and easy guidance to consumers on purchasing more healthful foods. Trouble is, as the FDA said in a letter to the food industry, the different programs have different criteria, which can be confusing for consumers. They may also be violating the law if they give false or misleading information or convey an overall impression of healthfulness even if the nutritional content shows otherwise, Hobson writes.
In addition to examining current labeling programs for potential violations, the FDA said that it would work on a single set of defined nutritional criteria for front-of-package labels. The agency said that it will perform consumer research to see what is effective and what isn't and reach out to industry to see if a "more unified" system might work best. It will also look at the United Kingdom's "traffic light" system as a possible model. Read more.
Are 10 Popular Beliefs True or False? You Voted, We Answer
Last week, U.S. News's Lindsay Lyon interviewed Scott Lilienfeld, a professor of psychology at Emory University in Atlanta, about 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology, a new book he coauthored. We invited readers to weigh in on whether 10 widely held notions are true or false. Appealing though they may seem, and while some may contain a shred of truth, every one is false. U.S. News brings you the poll results along with the facts behind the fallacies, as explained by the book's authors.
When stumped by a multiple-choice question on a test, for example, is it true you should a lways trust your first instinct? Sixty-eight percent of readers said true; 32 percent said false. But research suggests that when students fiddle with answers on multiple-choice tests, they're more apt to make incorrect answers correct than make correct answers incorrect. Although this may not hold true when we're purely guessing, the moral, say the authors, is: "If we have a good reason to believe we're wrong, we should go with our head, not our gut." Read more.
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