Public Health News Roundup: January 2
AAP Calls for Schools to Maintain Daily Recess and Breaks
A new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) calls on all schools to have daily recess and breaks in order to promote activity and a healthy lifestyle. According to the AAP, “safe and properly supervised recess offers children cognitive, physical, emotional and social benefits. It should be used as a complement to physical education classes, not a substitute, and whether it’s spent indoors or outdoors, recess should provide free, unstructured play or activity.” The AAP also says that recess should never be withheld as a punishment and the statement authors add that “minimizing or eliminating recess can negatively affect academic achievement, as growing evidence links recess to improved physical health, social skills and cognitive development.” Read more on physical activity.
Support and Solidarity Build Resilience Following Community Disasters
Community solidarity and support have remarkable benefits for communities coping with traumatic mass shootings, according to an American-Finnish research study recently published by the University of Turku. The researchers looked at the responses of four communities that suffered from similar tragedies in the United States and Finland. People in all four communities expressed their need for belonging after the shootings. According to the researchers, after each of the four incidents the communities held events including mass gatherings, communal vigils and spontaneously erected monuments to the victims. The researchers say that all these efforts demonstrated that the community was in shock, yet united, and able to focus attention on their collective loss and on each other. Read more on community health.
FDA Approved Most Drugs in 16 Years
Reuters is reporting that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved 39 drugs in 2012, the largest number in the past 16 years. Important new drugs approved this year include two weight loss medicines, drugs to treat resistant cystic fibrosis and tuberculosis and a drug to reduce the risk of stroke in people with irregular heartbeats. Read more on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.