- Peanut Plant Owner Had Tainted Products Shipped: Report
- Smokers Likelier to Change Habits After Health Scare: Study
- Overweight/Obesity Rates Increase Among U.S. Military
- Postpartum Psychosis Risk Increases With Age: Study
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Peanut Plant Owner Had Tainted Products Shipped: Report
The owner of Peanut Corp. of America, the company suspected of causing the nationwide salmonella outbreak, told his employees to ship products tainted with the bacteria even after receiving test results identifying the presence of salmonella, according to company e-mails disclosed Wednesday by U.S. lawmakers, the Associated Press reported.
The e-mails, obtained by a House of Representatives' panel investigating the outbreak, revealed that company owner Stewart Parnell ordered the tainted products to be shipped anyway because he was worried about lost sales, the news service reported.
Parnell has been subpoenaed to appear before Congress on Wednesday for questioning on the salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 600 people, been linked to eight deaths, and prompted one of the largest recalls in U.S. history -- more than 1,800 products. His plant in Blakely, Ga., is blamed for the outbreak, the AP reported.
Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., revealed the company e-mails during a House Energy and Commerce hearing.
In prepared testimony, a laboratory owner told the lawmakers that Peanut Corp.'s disregard for tests identifying salmonella was "virtually unheard of" in the nation's food industry and should prompt efforts to increase federal oversight of product safety.
Charles Deibel, president of Deibel Laboratories Inc., said his company was among those that tested Peanut Corp.'s products and notified the Georgia plant that salmonella was found in some of its peanut stock. Peanut Corp. sold the products anyway, according to an U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspection report, the AP said.
The company, which is now under investigation by the FBI, makes only about 1 percent of U.S. peanut products, but its ingredients are used by dozens of other food companies.
Federal law bans producing or shipping foods that could be harmful to consumers, the news service said.
On Tuesday, a peanut processing plant in Texas owned by Peanut Corp. was closed after state health officials reported that products there might be tainted with salmonella, according to CNN.
Smokers Likelier to Change Habits After Health Scare: Study
Health scares convince many smokers to kick the habit but do little to push overweight and obese people to lose weight, according to U.S. researchers.
Their analysis of data from 20,221 overweight or obese people under age 75 and about 7,764 smokers showed that smokers are three times more likely to quit if they suffer a heart attack or stroke or are diagnosed with lung disease or cancer, The New York Times reported.
But overweight and obese people diagnosed with a serious condition such as heart disease or diabetes lose only two to three pounds, said the study published Monday in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.
The researchers said they're not sure why health scares push smokers to change their ways but have little effect on overweight and obese patients. They did note that many health plans don't cover weight-loss programs (other than bariatric surgery), while free or low-cost smoking cessation programs are offered by many local health departments and businesses, the Times reported.
"People really are open to changing their behaviors after a health event, and this could really be a window of opportunity," study author Patricia S. Keenan, assistant professor of health policy at the Yale University School of Medicine, told the newspaper. "I'm not sure the health care system is capitalizing on it, in terms of giving people the support they need to make these changes as they go forward."
Overweight/Obesity Rates Increase in U.S. Military