health crisis
March 26, 2019

A state of emergency has been declared in New York's Rockland County due to a measles outbreak, and starting at midnight on Wednesday, unvaccinated children will be prohibited from public spaces for 30 days.

This applies to anyone 18 and under who is not vaccinated; if a child receives an MMR vaccination, they will no longer be under the ban. While authorities will not stop children to ask if they are vaccinated, parents will be held accountable if found in violation of the declaration, with their cases referred to the district attorney, ABC 7 New York reports. Rockland County has a large Orthodox Jewish community, but there is no religious exemption to the ban; health officials said local rabbis have been encouraging their members to get vaccinated.

There have been 153 confirmed cases of the virus in the county, and county executive Ed Day said health officials who have investigated the outbreak have been told by infected people to leave their homes. "This type of response is unacceptable and irresponsible," he said. "It endangers the health and well-being of others and displays a shocking lack of responsibility and concern for others in our community." Catherine Garcia

October 11, 2017

The number of obese children and adolescents in the world will overcome the number of underweight children by 2022, a recently released study by the World Health Organization and the Imperial College of London revealed.

The global study focused on how obesity rates have changed between 1975 and 2016. To better understand obesity worldwide, researchers measured the body mass index of over 130 million participants between the ages of 5 and 19; no other study has examined that many participants.

If researchers were to combine the number of obese boys and girls worldwide in 1975, they would come up with about 11 million kids. That number has increased tenfold since 1975: In 2016, researchers determined that around 124 million boys and girls worldwide meet the qualifications for obesity. On top of that, 213 million more kids between the ages of 5 and 19 can be considered overweight, though they do not cross the numerical threshold into obesity.

The lead author of the study, Imperial College of London professor Majid Ezzati, explained that the numbers could have economic roots: "These worrying trends reflect the impact of food marketing and policies across the globe, with healthy nutritious foods too expensive for poor families and communities," he said. "The trend predicts a generation of children and adolescents growing up obese and at greater risk of diseases, like diabetes."

Read the full study in The Lancet. Elianna Spitzer

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