AMA adopts new public health guidelines
CHICAGO The American Medical Association last week adopted several new public health policies during the association’s annual meeting, including educating doctors on the value of supplementing with vitamin D or advocating a daily regimen of low-dose aspirin to help prevent a heart attack.
On vitamin D supplementation, the AMA called on the Food and Drug Administration to re-examine the current daily reference intake value for Vitamin D in light of new scientific findings. “The health benefits of Vitamin D are plentiful, such as strong bones and a reduced risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease,” stated AMA board member Steven Stack. “It’s time to take a good look at the current daily recommended level of vitamin D and ensure that Americans know the appropriate levels so they can reap the full health benefits.”
And according to AMA, there are six trials, involving more than 95,000 adult men and women, that have now found aspirin to be effective in reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. The AMA last week passed policy to increase education among physicians on the importance of appropriate aspirin counseling for the prevention of heart disease and stroke.
“Heart disease continues to be the number one cause of death in the United States, and the treatment of cardiovascular disease costs the health care system $403 billion a year,” stated board member William Hazel. “Encouraging physicians to incorporate aspirin counseling into patient care when appropriate, may help reduce the prevalence of heart disease and stroke among Americans.”
Study says children can get key vitamins, nutrients from cereals
MINNEAPOLIS The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition has released a report that said a significant number of American children and adolescents do not receive adequate amounts of calcium and another report cited that 42 percent of adolescents received a lower amount of vitamin D levels than recommended.
Some dieticians and General Mills cereal maker have said that including vitamin D- and calcium-fortified cereals in a child’s diet helps promote a healthy lifestyle.
“Maintaining adequate calcium and vitamin D intake during childhood and adolescence is necessary for the development of peak bone mass, which may be important in reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis later in life,” Kathleen Zelman, master of public health, registered and licensed dietician, said.
The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that children ages 2 to 8 should have two cups of dairy each day. The dairy can come from cheese, fat-free milk, low-fat milk, or yogurt. The recommended daily allowance of calcium for children aged1 to 3 years is 500 milligrams of per day and they should receive 200 IUs of vitamin D, sources said. Children 4 to 8 years of age should have 800 milligrams per day and the same amount of vitamin D as younger children.
General Mills said that all of its Big G Kid cereals include 12 vitamins and minerals—including calcium and vitamin D—and each has 8 grams of whole grain in each serving. In addition, by the end of the year General Mills has committed to reducing the amount of sugar per serving in its Big G Kids products to12 grams.
FDA panel recommends stricter labeling for eye care products
GAITHERSBURG, Md. A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on June 10 recommended there be stricter labeling and testing for contact lenses and cleaning solutions, following a meeting of the Ophthalmic Device Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee.
The meeting was called by the FDA, in part, because of the number of product recalls associated with contact lens cleaning solutions in the past few years.
Specifically, the advisory committee suggested stronger label warnings that would identify potential infections that can lead to blindness, for example, as a possible consequence of not following product instructions.
Panelists also recommended the agency require pre-approval testing of the efficacy of lens solutions against Acanthamoeba keratitis, a parasite involved in one of the outbreaks.