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Health Highlights: June 18, 2019

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Obesity Rates Fall for U.S. Preschoolers

The obesity rate among American preschoolers on government food aid fell from 16% in 2010 to 14% in 2016, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study says.

It looked at children ages 2 through 4 who receive food vouchers and other services in the federal Women, Infants and Children nutrition program. About 1 in 5 children that age were enrolled in 2016, the Associated Press reported.

The study was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

A previous study of children the same age in the program found at least small declines in obesity in 18 states between 2008 and 2011, but it wasn’t clear if that trend was just a blip, the AP reported.

The new study “gives us more hope that this is a real change,” said Heidi Blanck, head of obesity prevention at the CDC.

Increased availability of fruits, vegetables and whole grains may have contributed to the obesity declines, the researchers said.

Among children ages 2-5 who were not enrolled in the program, obesity rates in 2016 remained stable at about 14% according to Blanck, the AP reported.


Lack of Water Led to Shaking, German Chancellor Merkel Says

German Chancellor Angela Merkel blamed not drinking enough water for a bout of shaking she experienced Tuesday in Berlin.

At a ceremony to greet the new Ukrainian leader, Merkel appeared unsteady, pursed her lips and and shook as the German and Ukrainian national anthems were played in 82-degree Fahrenheit heat, the Associated Press reported.

Merkel, who turns 65 next month, appeared better after the anthems and at a news conference about an hour later said she was fine.

“Since then I’ve drunk at least three glasses of water, which I apparently needed, and now I’m doing very well,” she said, the AP reported.

It’s not known if Merkel has any health problems because German privacy laws forbid the release of such information.

Dr. Robert Glatter is an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. While not involved in Merkel’s care, he agreed that dehydration is a likely cause of her symptoms.

“Yes, with heat-related illness, it’s possible to develop dizziness, weakness, muscle cramping, nausea, and the feeling like you may pass out,” he said. “In the heat and humidity, it’s important to stay ahead of your thirst, and drink additional fluids to prevent dehydration.”

He stressed though that although Merkel appears to have quickly recovered, people should always consider other conditions if these symptoms happen to them.

“With older patients, especially, it’s always important to exclude low blood sugar, heart attack, or stroke as the cause of the the symptoms,” he said.


WinCo Foods Recalls Frozen Raspberries for Norovirus Threat

WinCo Foods has recalled frozen raspberries due to potential norovirus contamination, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

The recall is for 12-ounce bags of WinCo frozen red raspberries, UPC 0 70552 30501 4, Best By Code Feb/13/2021, and lot number 4045902.

The product was distributed to WinCo Foods stores in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington, Texas, and Utah and has been removed from store shelves.

Norovirus is highly contagious. Symptoms of norovirus infection include vomiting, watery, non-bloody diarrhea with abdominal cramps, nausea, fever, muscle pain, malaise, loss of appetite, and headache according to the FDA.

Most symptoms end within 48 hours, but the elderly, young children and people with weakened immune systems may have prolonged, or more severe symptoms.


Facebook Posts Can Reveal Medical Conditions: Study

Medical conditions are among the many things your social media activity can reveal about you, according to a new study.

By analyzing nearly 950,000 posts of more than 500 words by 999 Facebook users, researchers were able to predict 21 types of medical conditions, ranging from skin disorders to pregnancy, CNN reported.

“People’s personality, mental state, and health behaviors are all reflected in their social media and all have tremendous impact on health,” according to the researchers.

They looked for language in the posts that likely indicated characteristic behavior or symptoms of certain conditions, CNN reported.

The study will be published June 19 in the journal PLoS One.


High Temperature Records Will be “Smashed” in Coming Century: Study

Climate change will cause some regions of the world to “smash” high temperature records every year in the coming century, researchers warn.

That will push “ecosystems and communities beyond their ability to cope,” according to the authors of the study in the journal Nature Climate Change, CNN reported.

The researchers used 22 climate models to forecast future summer temperatures. They determined that by the end of the 21st century, temperature events “will be so extreme that they will not have been experienced previously.”

High monthly mean temperature records will be set in 58% of the world every year, with the greatest impact in developing countries and small island nations.

The researchers predicted that the highest monthly mean temperature records will occur in 67% of the least developed countries and 68% of small island developing states, CNN reported.

High temperatures increase the risk of heat stroke, breathing issues, heart attacks, asthma attacks and kidney problems, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Copyright © 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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