Health Highlights: Feb. 21, 2012
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Nutritional Guidelines Planned for School Vending Machines
Nutritional standards for vending machine products and other foods that students can buy outside of school cafeterias are expected to be introduced by the Obama administration within the next few weeks.
White House officials say students eat 19 percent to 50 percent of their daily food at school and they want to ensure that what students eat doesn't harm their health or make them fat, The New York Times reported.
Childhood obesity in the United States has more than tripled in the past 30 years, and school vending machines stocked with items such as soft drinks, potato chips and cookies have contributed to that problem, nutritionists say.
No details of the proposed nutritional standards have been released, but are likely to focus on reduced amounts of sugar, salt and fat, according to health advocates and snack food and soft drink industry representatives, The Times reported.
Imported Drug Will Help Shortage of Cancer Drug Doxil: FDA
A drug called Lipodox will be imported from India in order to offset the shortage of the chemotherapy drug Doxil, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.
Doxil -- which is used to treat ovarian cancer, multiple myeloma and AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma -- has been in short supply in the U.S. since last June. There are no generic versions of the drug, USA Today reported.
The FDA was expected to announce Tuesday that it has reached an agreement with Sun Pharma Global of India to temporarily import Lipodox. The agency has previously inspected the company.
The deal with address the Doxil shortage "for the foreseeable future," the FDA's Sandra Kweder told USA Today.
Doxil is one of 287 drugs that have been in short supply this year, says the University of Utah's Drug Information Service. There were 61 drugs in short supply in 2005, according to the FDA.
Inhalable Caffeine Product to be Reviewed by FDA
The safety of an inhalable caffeine product called AeroShot will be reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The agency will also investigate whether the product can be labeled as a dietary supplement.
Aeroshot is sold in lipstick-sized canisters. A person puts one end of the canister in their mouth and inhales a fine powder that dissolves almost instantly. Each container contains 100 milligrams of caffeine powder, about equal to the amount in a large cup of coffee, the Associated Press reported.
New York U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer asked the FDA to review the safety and legality of Aeroshot, which went on sale late last month in New York and Massachusetts. It's also sold in France.
"I am worried about how a product like this impacts kids and teens, who are particularly vulnerable to overusing a product that allows one to take hit after hit after hit, in rapid succession," Schumer said, the AP reported.
AeroShot is safe and does not contain additives used to enhance the caffeine effect in energy drinks, according to inventor David Edwards, a Harvard biomedical engineering professor.
Posted: February 2012