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childhood obesity

Monday, October 4, 2010
More NYC Children are Overweight than Parents Recognize
A new study from the Health Department suggests that many parents are failing to recognize weight problems in New York City’s children. When parents are questioned about their 6- to 12- year-old children, they report that less than a fifth of their kids (18%) are slightly or very overweight. When the same parents are asked whether a health care provider said their child was overweight during the past year, the proportion answering yes is even lower (13%). Yet objective measures suggest that two to three times that proportion – some 40% of the city’s public school children – are in fact overweight or obese.

Child Lead Poisoning

Thursday, September 30, 2010
New Data Show Child Lead Poisonings Continue to Fall in New York City
The number of children with lead poisoning dropped by 12% in New York City last year, the Health Department announced in its annual report to the City Council. In 2009 the agency recorded 1,387 poisonings among children between 6 months and 6 years of age – fewer than ever before. The Health Department will continue to monitor cases and concentrate services and outreach efforts in the city’s most affected communities. The agency has recently started offering environmental inspections to families in high-risk environments.

Prevent Falls

Thursday, September 23, 2010
City Officials Stress the Importance of Preventing Falls among Older Adults
In recognition of Falls Prevention Awareness Day, the Health Department and the Department for the Aging (DFTA) are urging New Yorkers to help prevent falls among older adults, and publicizing the numerous steps City agencies are taking against this leading cause of injuries. As the city’s older population grows – more than 1 million New Yorkers are now 65 or older, up from 605,000 in 1950 – this message is more critical than ever. Fortunately, there are effective ways to prevent falls. They include modifying medicines, improving vision, promoting physical activity and reducing trip-and-fall hazards in the home and community.

Mayor Bloomberg

Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Councilmember Gale Brewer today announced plans to expand the Smoke Free Air Act in New York City to include parks and beaches. Smoking is already prohibited in indoor workplaces and park playgrounds, and increasingly, research shows that exposure to secondhand smoke outdoors can have negative health effects on otherwise healthy people. To protect the public from the health effects of tobacco smoke, the new law will go a step further and not allow smoking in parks, beaches, marinas, boardwalks and pedestrian plazas. Councilmember Gale Brewer will introduce the new local law tomorrow at the City Council’s stated meeting. The Mayor, Speaker and Councilmember Brewer were joined at the City Hall announcement by Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs; CEO of The American Cancer Society’s Eastern Division, Don Distasio; Health Commissioner Thomas Farley and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

9-11 Health

Monday, September 13, 2010
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today released the 2010 Annual Report on 9/11 Health, a comprehensive review of the latest medical research on the health impact of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which includes a series of recommendations about the methods researchers should use when conducting complex analyses of confirmed cancer diagnoses in WTC-exposed individuals, including New York City Firefighters and WTC Health Registry participants. While the majority of people exposed to the WTC attacks are healthy and free of symptoms, thousands have developed chronic mental and physical health conditions. The report cites recent studies showing that the steep declines in lung function detected among firefighters and EMS workers within a year of 9/11 have largely persisted, even among those who never smoked. It is estimated that four times as many firefighters and twice as many EMS workers had below-normal lung function for their ages six to seven years after 9/11 than before the attacks.

West Nile Virus

Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Health Department Alerts New Yorkers – Especially Those 50 and Older – to Take Extra Precautions against West Nile Virus
The Health Department reported the 13th human case of West Nile viral disease in New York City this summer. Because an unusually high number of mosquito pools are testing positive for West Nile Virus throughout the five boroughs, the agency is advising all New Yorkers – especially those 50 and older – to take precautions to avoid bites. West Nile Virus was first introduced in New York City in 1999, and human cases have occurred every year since then. This year, the Health Department has recorded more human cases at this point in the season than it has in any other year since 2000. More cases are expected through October.

HIV Testing

Wednesday, September 1, 2010
HIV Testing Is Now a Routine Part of Health Care in New York
Voluntary HIV testing is now part of routine medical care in the state of New York. As of today, due to a change in New York’s State Public Health Law, New York residents receiving health services at most medical facilities should now expect to be offered a voluntary HIV test. With limited exceptions, the new State law requires health care professionals to offer all patients between the ages of 13 to 64 a voluntary HIV test. The law applies to anyone receiving treatment for a non-life-threatening condition in a hospital, a hospital emergency department or a primary care setting, such as a doctor’s office or outpatient clinic.

Restaurants Grading

Thursday, August 26, 2010
Eighty percent of NYC Restaurants Are Achieving A and B Grades for Food Safety and Sanitary Conditions
Some 250 restaurants have now completed New York City’s new two-step process for sanitary inspections, and a tally of their scores shows that many are acing the test. A new summary from the Health Department shows that 80% of the 250 restaurants to complete graded inspections have earned A or B grades. Nearly half – 48% – have earned A’s for their sanitary conditions and food safety practices. Another 31% have achieved B’s. Just 12% of this initial sample received C grades, and 8% were closed until they could correct direct health hazards.

Men’s Health

Wednesday, August 25, 2010
New Report Details Men’s Health in New York City, Highlights Potential for Improvement
Life expectancy for New Yorkers is at an all-time high. City residents born in 2007 can expect to live an average of 79.4 years – a gain of nearly 5 months since 2006. Yet men continue to die six years younger than women – at 76 years versus 82 years – and more than a third of deaths among New York City men occur before age 65. A new report from the Health Department, Men’s Health in New York City, points to heart disease and violence as leading factors in this longevity gap. The report, available at, describes the most common causes of death, and also provides recommendations to improve men’s health, safety and life span.

Precautions against Dengue

Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Health Department Advises New Yorkers to Take Precautions against Dengue when Traveling to the Caribbean, South and Central America, and other Tropical Regions
The Health Department urged New Yorkers traveling to tropical settings to take special precautions to avoid dengue fever, a mosquito-borne illness that is occurring at high levels in many parts of the world, including the Caribbean and South and Central America. These regions – all common destinations for New York City travelers – have reported more than 1 million clinical cases of dengue fever this year.

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