Daily Briefing

Around the nation: The impact of healthy school lunches


A new study published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics found that the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 may have helped slow the increase in obesity among America's youth, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Indiana, and Tennessee.

  • District of Columbia: A new study published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics found that the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which raised the standards for school meals, may have helped slow the increase in obesity among America's youth. The study tracked the average body mass index (BMI) of more than 14,000 schoolchildren ages 5 to 18 whose heights and weights were tracked before and after the law was fully implemented. For the study, researchers analyzed nationwide data from 50 cohorts of schoolchildren from January 2005 to August 2016 and September 2016 to March 2020. The researchers found that children's BMI, adjusted for age and gender, fell by 0.041 units per year, after the law went into effect. In addition, the researchers identified a slight decline in children who were overweight or obese, compared with before the law was fully implemented. (AP/NPR, 2/15)
  • Indiana: Elevance Health on Wednesday announced that it had completed its purchase of specialty pharmacy BioPlus from CarepathRx. BioPlus, which provides specialty pharmacy services to patients with chronic conditions, will now operate as part of Elevance Health's pharmacy benefit manager, CarelonRx. Notably, Elevance plans to increase BioPlus' offerings to include more complex treatments. "Together, we will enhance our abilities to provide end-to-end pharmacy services for our consumers by delivering greater affordability and access to critical medications, as well as a superior patient experience," said Carelon president Pete Haytaian. (Berryman, Modern Healthcare, 2/15)
  • Tennessee: A new study from researchers at Vanderbilt University and McMaster University found that altering the tune of hospital medical devices can improve the experience of patients and clinicians. In the study, which was published last month in the British Journal of Anesthesia, researchers compared the effects of industry-standard flat beeps with alarm tones that rise and fall gradually like musical notes. Overall, study participants said they were able to detect the alarm tones and noted that they did not interfere with concurrent speech comprehension. In addition, they said the alarm tones were less annoying than flat tones. "Healthcare settings are a horrible cacophony of sound; we're barraged by auditory alarms that are loud, annoying, not informative, and often false or non-actionable," said Joseph Schlesinger, a study co-author and associate professor of anesthesiology at Vanderbilt. "There's also the sounds of conversations and other equipment. Imagine you're a patient being woken up. You can end up developing sleep deprivation or ICU delirium, which can lead to long-term cognitive impairment." (Taylor, Becker's Hospital Review, 2/15)

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