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Top Health News Stories of 2011

The year 2011 might be well remembered as the year of the revolt with millions around the world protesting dictators, Americans rebelling against corporations and young adults protesting against high tuition costs in Europe. But 2011, can also be remembered as a year of advancements – and set backs – in the health and well being of the world.


7 Billionth Person Born

 
 

The world welcomed the 7 billionth person in October, according to the United Nations. Its just 12 years ago when the world population reached 6 billion. In 1960, the population was at 3 billion. It is unclear which baby holds the record for 7 billionth person but scientist believe the lucky kid was likely born in India.

 

Drug Shortage Plagues U.S.

 
 

The Food and Drug Administration reported a shortage of more than 200 prescription drugs in the United States. This isn’t the first time the U.S. has been in short supply of medication – a FDA report released in October found the country was also in short supply in 2010. The report also found the number of drug shortages annually has tripled from 61 in 2005 to 178 in 2010. In November, President Obama signed an executive order expanding the FDA’s authority to require drugmakers to report situations that could lead to shortages.

 

FDA Creates Graphic Images for Cigarette Packages

 
 

The Food and Drug Administration took a hard stance against smoking when it released nine new graphic images depicting the dangers of smoking cigarettes and required cigarette companies to use them. A federal judge halted the use of the images, but the Obama administration is appealing the decision.

 

Forget the Food Pyramid, Check Out the Food Plate

 
 

After two decades of referring to a food pyramid to decide what is best to eat the United States Department of Agriculture scrapped the pyramid for a food plate. First Lady Michelle Obama unveiled the plate in May. The agency said the plate would be easier for families to understand since its divided like a plate – a section for grain, a section for protein, a section for fruits, a section for vegetables and a glass of dairy on the side.

 

Group Recommends Wait And See Method For Prostate Cancer

 
 

The United States Preventive Services Task Force, an independent agency that advises the government on health, issued new guidelines for prostate cancer screening. In October the group decided men should not get routine screening for prostate cancer because the PSA test causes more harm than good. The group found the test didn’t save more lives but had serious side effects including incontinence and impotence.

 

HPV Vaccine Good for Boys Too

 
 

The vaccine to prevent against the human papillomavirus was approved to use on girls in 2006. In October, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory board recommended the vaccine also be given to boys as young as 11 to prevent against the disease. HPV has been found to cause genital warts and some forms of cancer.

 

HIV Infections are Down

 
 

The United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS announced in December the number of new HIV infections in 2010 was down 21 percent from the apex of the disease in 1997. There were 2.7 million new infections worldwide in 2010 – with 390,000 children infected with the disease. But this is significantly lower than the rate of new infections even 10 years ago. HIV incidences is also down in 33 countries – 22 in sub-Saharan Africa, the region most affected by the AIDS epidemic.

 

Obesity Rates Doubled Worldwide

 
 

The United States isn’t the only place grappling with obesity. A study published in the journal The Lancet found worldwide the obesity rate has doubled in the last three decades. In 1980, about 8 percent of women and 5 percent of men worldwide were obese. By 2008, the rates were nearly 14 percent for women and 10 percent for men.

 

Supreme Court Takes Up Challenges to Health Care Law

 
 

After almost two years of legal challenges within states, the Supreme Court announced it would hear arguments on the constitutionality of the health care reform law signed by President Obama in March 2010. The high court agreed to hear two major questions – whether the law’s key provision is unconstitutional and whether the entire law must be thrown out.

 

AIDS Turns 30

 
 

This isn’t an anniversary most people want to celebrate but in June the world acknowledged that the AIDS virus has been apart of the culture for 30 years. Though there is not a cure yet, researchers have found methods to improve quality of life and longevity for HIV/AIDS patients, and fewer people are at risk for contracting the disease.

 
Photo by Aaron Savage
Photo by Aaron Savage
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Central Texas Gets the X Games For Second Straight Year

Austin is a good fit for many things, including live music, burritos, and flip flops.  Now it's becoming known as a great place to host the X Games, and ESPN has announced the dates that Austin will host next summer.

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Getty Images
Getty Images
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Johnny Manziel Gets His first NFL Start This Weekend

Johnny Manziel is an East Texas boy, born December 6th 1992 in Tyler.  And then of course he had the great high school football career in the Hill Country at Kerrville Tivy High, and then came back to East Texas to get everybody's attention as the Texas A&M QB and win the Heisman.  Think he'll be an NFL star?

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McDonalds
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McDonalds Is Changing The Way It Does Burgers

Good news for you, if you've ever wanted to pick and choose what you want on your burger at McDonalds.  There's a new build-your-own-sandwich machine coming next year to 2000 McDonalds stores across the US.  

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Bad Accident Seriously Injures 5 Aggies

On the way to Houston, have you used State Highway 105?  It goes through Montgomery County and runs just west of Conroe.  After a bad accident that injured 5 Texas A&M students Sunday night, there's a renewed call to widen the road.

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Getty Images
Getty Images
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New Orleans Court Stops Texas Execution

A Texas inmate received a last minute stay of execution Wednesday, and his lawyers say he's suffering from mental illnesses.  It's a case that's been closely watched by the national media, and has given fuel to the conversation about whether someone that's mentally ill should be executed for their crimes.

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Grand Jury Decision Reached In Ferguson Shooting Case
Cristina Fletes-Boutte-Pool/Getty Images
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Darren Wilson Not Indicted for Michael Brown Shooting [UPDATED]

A grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, chose not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown this past August.

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Category: AC, Country, Hot AC, News, Rhythmic, Rock Tags:
police-lights
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Lock Your Doors – Vehicle Break-Ins Are On The Rise

Vehicle thefts are a problem all year long, but especially during the holiday season when there are shopping bags and electronics sitting in plain sight.

Here's some special incentive to lock your doors and hide your valuables in Lufkin.

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Category: East Texas News, News Tags: ,
Lionsgate
Lionsgate
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Weekend Box Office Report: ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1’ Makes All of the Money and It’s Still Not Enough

There‘s going to be a lot of blood and ink spilled across the internet on the subject of the opening weekend for ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1.’ Yes, the third film in the series did open significantly lower than its predecessors. Yes, there are definitely people at Lionsgate wringing their hands and trying to figure out why the film opened below expectations. And yet, that opening weekend is still massive. It’s three day total is larger than most movies ever have a chance to make in their entire runs. So, let's have some perspective as we dive into this week’s top 10.

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Category: News
Jurassic World poster
Universal
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‘Jurassic World’ Teaser Promises to Deliver Our First Trailer on Thanksgiving Day

A few days ago, the YouTube page for Universal Spain posted memorable footage of the cup of water vibrating from ‘Jurassic Park’ as a teaser for ‘Jurassic World,’ which seemed pretty curious. But today brings our first official footage from ‘Jurassic World’ in the form of a far more awesome teaser for the trailer, which will hit the web on Thanksgiving day. If that’s not something to be thankful for, what is?

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Category: News
Lammily Doll
Nickolay Lamm, YouTube
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‘Realistic’ Barbie Doll Could Be This Holiday Season’s (Not-So) Surprise Sensation

The latest shot in the battle to make people accept and love their bodies has been fired by a doll that could very well turn the toy industry on its ear.

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Category: National News, News

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