Sugary Soft Drinks Taken Off Burger King Kid’s Menu

Burger King has joined the ranks of fast food chains to eliminated sugary soft drinks from their children’s menu, replacing them with apple juice and milk. In a statement to USA Today, Burger King reports the change is “part of our ongoing effort to offer our guests options that match lifestyle needs.” While soft drinks are still available, they are no longer advertised on the children’s menu. Other fast-food chains who have adopted this policy include Wendy’s and McDonald’s.

Fast-food chains have recently felt more pressure to increase their efforts to reduce childhood obesity. According to the CDC, over a third of American children and teens are obese: a statistic they argue is due in large part to the consumption of sugary soft drinks. More>>

Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine currently conducts interdisciplinary research on childhood obesity and other nutrition related topics. Learn more about Tulane research projects.

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Warning Sounded on Heavy Metals in Chocolates

A consumer action group is taking legal action against several chocolate producers for (Photo: stock.xchng.)failing to report on potentially harmful levels of lead and cadmium in their products. “As You Sow,” a group based in Oakland California, has put sixteen manufacturers on notice for violating California’s Proposition 65 — which requires warnings on products containing chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. The group originally ordered testing on forty-two products for lead and cadmium, both of which are labeled as reproductive and developmental toxins. Twenty-six products were identified as having above threshold levels of heavy metals without the appropriate warning labels.

Prop. 65 actions can result in legal action, often as agreements to post warning labels or penalties. If the parties do not reach an agreement, then the action may continue on to court. Eleanne van Vliet, As You Sow’s director of toxic chemical research hopes that this action will improve consumer awareness and push manufacturers to develop safer food practices. More >>

Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine currently conducts interdisciplinary research on lead and other environmental health topics. Learn more about Tulane research projects. 

Teen Dating Violence Harms Both Genders, Government Report Shows

According to the CDC, approximately 21% of female teens have experienced some form of violence at the hands of their partner, with almost 10% of male students reporting the same. The study, ultimately published in the JAMA Pediatrics journal, asked 9,000 students on their experiences with dating violence. This included physical violence, sexual violence, or both at the hands of their dating partner. The CDC had not previously included reports on sexual violence as it pertained to dating violence. While girls were more likely to experience violence, the study indicated that both genders were at risk for victimization. Teens who experienced this violence were also more likely to use and abuse drugs and alcohol or report suicidal ideation. More>>

Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine currently conducts interdisciplinary research on Dating and Interpersonal Violence. Learn more about Tulane research projects. 

Obama Calls for Ebola Vigilance in Withdrawing Troops

Obama announced the removal of almost all troops from the fight against Ebola in West Africa, while encouraged continued vigilance of the recent epidemic. In order to continue to mitigate the outbreak, civilian workers of government agencies, volunteers, and approximately 100 military personnel will remain on duty. The president thanked the service men and women for their efforts to contain the outbreak, and that the US will continue to work towards eradication of Ebola. He also recognized the dedication of volunteers who have continued invaluable work in West Africa despite threats to health and personal safety.

Evidence suggests that the spread of Ebola in West Africa –especially Liberia—has been slowing considerably. The epidemic, estimated to reach 1 million deaths, has claimed about 9,000. Recent reporting states there have been only a about a dozen in the past three weeks. More>>

Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine currently conducts interdisciplinary research on Ebola and infectious diseases. Learn more about Tulane SPHTM’s response to the Ebola outbreak. 

Dietary Cholesterol Not “A Nutrient of Concern”

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The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee reports thatsix-eggs-in-carton dietary cholesterol is not a source of concern for overconsumption. Dietary cholesterol – found in foods such as eggs, shrimp, and butter – was placed in the “foods and food components to reduce” category in the 2010 guidelines. Current recommendations advise consuming less than 300mg per day; a single egg contains about 164mg. Should the suggestions be adopted by the USDA and the US Department of Human Services, it could radically change the way Americans perceived their dietary choices.

Research indicates that the dietary cholesterol in food has little to do with cholesterol levels in the blood. The evidence linking heart health and saturated and trans fats is much stronger, as well as the cholesterol reducing effects of eating whole grains. More>>

Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine currently conducts interdisciplinary research on cardiovascular disease and other disease. Learn more about Tulane research projects. 

Tulane SPHTM Advances in Rank to 12th Among Graduate Schools of Public Health

The Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine moves up to #12 among graduate schools of public health according to the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings.DSC_0249_retouched

The rankings, published this morning, reflect upward movement for SPHTM placing the school 12th among all U.S. Schools of public health. The increased ranking also solidifies our reputation as the best public health school in the Gulf States and reflects continued growth from the 2011 report. The U.S. news rankings assess the quality of schools accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health. The full list of school rankings is available on the U.S. News Website.

Dean Pierre Buekens said he and the SPHTM community are thrilled to move up in the rankings and to continue to demonstrate the school’s global commitment to public health.

Tulane SPHTM is the oldest school of public health in the U.S. and the only American combined school of public health and tropical medicine.