Health Highlights, Nov. 17, 2020

Below are newsworthy items compiled by the Healthday staff:

New Pandemic Restrictions in California

The fastest rise in coronavirus cases in California since the start of the pandemic has prompted California Gov. Gavin Newsom to pull the “emergency brake” on reopening the state’s economy.

“We are sounding the alarm,” Newsom said Monday, the Associated Press reported. “California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet — faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer. The spread of COVID-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes.”

Reopening plans will be halted and most of the state will be placed under strict measures, including the closure of most schools, no indoor worship, and requiring most indoor businesses to close or operate at significantly reduced capacity, the AP reported.

Newsom also said he was considering a curfew on business hours and strengthening a mask requirement outside homes with limited exceptions.

School Messages About Children’s Weight Ineffective

School messages sent home to parents about their children’s weight are ineffective, researchers say.

About 40% of American children live in states where schools regularly send parents messages about student weight measurements taken at school, CNN reported.

But those messages aren’t well received by parents or children and do not help control children’s weight, according to the three-year study of nearly 29,000 grade 3-7 students in California.

It was published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

“This was a pretty convincing study,” Dr. Jenny Radesky, assistant professor of pediatrics, University of Michigan and C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, told CNN. She was not involved in the research.

“Based on these results, schools and state departments of education should seriously consider whether BMI measurement in schools should stop altogether,” Radesky suggested.

“Parents who feel their child has responded negatively to a report card BMI should advocate directly with their schools,” she advised.

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