2011 Health Year In Review, Part 1: Feds Update Guidelines, Revamp Food Pyramid
As 2011 winds down, NY1 health and fitness reporter Kafi Drexel looks back at some of the top medical stories of the year.
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Just like most news that goes with cold weather, 2011 kicks off with salt. But this news has less to do with clearing the roads, and more to do with clearing our arteries. In the nation's first dietary guideline shift in five year's Americans are encouraged to cut down salt intake to about a teaspoon a day.
In April, the White House launches the first-ever crackdown on prescription drug abuse. Federal officials say it is the nation's fastest-growing drug problem. The plan takes aim at getting dangerous painkillers like OxyContin, methodone, and morphine out of the hands of Americans who don't need them.
More children are being diagnosed with disabilities ranging from learning disorders to developmental delays. A Centers for Disease Control study shows a 17 percent jump within the past decade. The increase is largely attributed to more diagnoses of autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Circle trumps triangle as the food pyramid becomes a plate. The new "My Plate" design splits up half the diet with fruits and vegetables and the other with grains and proteins and a small portion for dairy. Health officials hope the new icon's visual cues will be a simpler way of helping Americans form better eating habits.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic hits 30 years. The HIV drug Truvada gets attention not only as a treatment option but a potentially effective means of prevention. In the meantime, the federal government along with state and local health agencies push for more aggressive screening and treatment programs.
The FDA takes a jab at one of the biggest health risk of all when it unveils graphic cigarette warnings all tobacco makers would be required to put on their products. But a federal court ruling this fall puts the plan on hold indefinitely pending legal action from big tobacco and says the requirement could be unconstitutional.