Health Highlights: March 6, 2007
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments,compiled by editors ofHealthDay:
U.S. Surgeon General Urges Action Against Underage Drinking
Americans must mobilize to stop 11 million underage drinkers from using alcohol and to prevent other young people from starting to drink, the U.S. Surgeon General said in a Call to Action against underage drinking issued Tuesday.
"Too many Americans consider underage drinking a rite of passage to adulthood," Acting Surgeon General Dr. Kenneth Moritsugu said in a prepared statement.
"Research shows that young people who start drinking before the age of 15 are five times more likely to have alcohol-related problems later in life. New research also indicates that alcohol may harm the developing adolescent brain. The availability of this research provides more reasons than ever before for parents and other adults to protect the health and safety of our nation's children," he added.
Almost 7.2 million of the 11 million underage drinkers in the United States are binge drinkers, which means they may consume more than five drinks on a single occasion. About 2 million are classified as heavy drinkers.
"Alcohol remains the most heavily abuse substance by America's youth. This Call to Action is attempting to change the culture and attitudes toward drinking in America. We can no longer ignore what alcohol is doing to our children," Moritsugu said.
HIV/AIDS Programs Must Address Violence Against Women: Report
International agencies need to do more to address violence against women in HIV/AIDS programs, says a report released Tuesday by Women Won't Wait, a new international coalition of women's groups.
The issues of violence against women and HIV/AIDS are intertwined, said Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and a speaker at the launch of the coalition's campaign to end HIV and violence against women.
"It is vital that the policies, programs and funding streams of national governments and international agencies transparently address the intersection of HIV and AIDS and violence against women," Robinson said.