Possible New Autism Diagnosis..An expert panel appointed by the American Psychiatric Association is looking to re-define how to categorize Autism. Some of the proposed changes would lead to a drastically reduced rate of diagnosis, which “may make it harder for many people who would no longer meet the criteria to get health, educational and social services”. In particular, many diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (in which many patients display similar social deficits as those with Autism) would no longer qualify under the new Autism rules. Read more on this.
Obesity Rates Steady…In the last 12 years, obesity rates in children and adults have held relatively constant. For about 20 years prior to that, obesity had been rising consistently. While the lack of increase is positive, it also shows that the U.S’s efforts to encourage exercise and healthy dietary habits are being ignored by the country’s overweight. Read further information on this topic. (Original journal article here)
hCG Ban…The FDA is taking action against several companies which sell over-the-counter weight loss products. The hormone hCG, human chorionic gonadotropin, has never been approved for weight loss, and could even be potentially dangerous.
Plan B Behind the Counter...Plan B, the emergency contraceptive, will remain behind pharmacy counters. Teva Pharmaceuticals had petitioned to have Plan B placed on shelves, which the FDA agreed to. However, HHS Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius overruled this, and girls under 17 will continue to need a prescription to obtain the drug.