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The health issues in recent news involve energy drinks, prostate cancer drugs, obesity, effects of being underweight, FDA, and Healthy People 2020.

1)No Loko:  Phusion Projects, the makers of Four Lokos, has announced it will revamp its formula and remove all caffeine, guarana, and taurine.  The popular and much-criticized drink mixes alcohol and caffeine (not to mention lots of sugar and an inexpensive price tag), and has been under heavy criticism by both the public and the FDA.

2)In related news, the FDA ruled that adding caffeine to alcoholic beverages was unsafe.  FDA sent letters out to four companies, including Phusion, saying caffeine was an “unsafe food additive”, and action could be taken under federal law unless production was stopped.

3) In yet another obesity study, scientists have found being even a little overweight carries serious risks (I’ll give you all a moment to let the shock sink in).   The study concluded that healthy white adults who were a little overweight had a 13% higher chance of dying during the time of the study, than those in a normal weight range.

4)While being overweight adversely affects your health, being underweight can be harmful as well.  A normal Body Mass Index, or BMI, falls in the range from 20-24.9, and is calculated based on weight and height.  From a study including 1.46 million people, it was found that falling in a range from 15.0-18.4 increases the risk of death by 47% when compared to other people in the same age range.  Neither being too skinny nor too heavy is good for your health, so strive for that perfect range!

5)Making headlines again, the FDA rejected 2 drugs this week that may help reduce the risk of getting prostate cancer.  Despite the potential benefits, the FDA felt there was too much uncertainty associated with long-term use.

6)The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released an updated version of its Healthy People program, outlining goals to be achieved by 2020.  For example, they would like to see 7.2 new cases per 1000 people a year, as opposed to the current 8.0.  While some goals have been achieved in the past, such as reducing coronary disease, there is still a long way to go.