The Girl Scouts this year launched a pilot program to have some councils sell gluten-free chocolate chip shortbread cookies. Stewart Goodbody of Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. said the organization asked a company that makes its cookies to consider a gluten-free one because of the many food allergies affecting children and adults. The gluten-free cookies are made with rice and tapioca flour.
Some states have laws requiring physicians to notify patients if they have dense breast tissue, which may be linked to a higher risk of cancer, but requirements for who must do the reporting and what information is to be reported varies, University of Michigan researchers reported in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. A study presented at the Radiological Society of North America meeting found the link between breast density and cancer risk was stronger in younger women.
IBM is starting a multiyear research initiative that seeks to find ways to boost human health by integrating and analyzing information from various sources to simulate cause-and-effect relationships. Called SPLASH, the project initially will consolidate and examine data to simulate the impact of exercise and eating habits, socio-economic status, and other factors on childhood obesity.
U.S. and British researchers who reviewed study data said diet and exercise should be the first choice in treating obese children, while weight-loss surgery should be a last resort due to the potential risks and the lack of evidence for long-term safety and efficacy. They also said drug treatment should be used rarely and only among the most severely obese.
More fresh, local fruits and vegetables are being added to lunchroom menus at thousands of schools across the U.S. in a bid to curb rising obesity rates and promote healthier eating habits. Fifteen school systems are working with the Department of Agriculture to strengthen the farm-to-school programs.