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A new study suggests that the risks of Lap-Band surgery could outweigh the weight-loss benefits, plus more from our Daily Briefing.

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In the past few years, in fact, school lunch reform has become a cause célèbre in many school districts in the Bay Area as concerns mount about children’s health. And the Oakland school district, along with the West Contra Costa County Unified School District, is among the pioneers in injecting healthier food choices into their menus despite a paucity of resources and the challenges of re-educating taste buds.

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Contaminated waters mean exposure to 42 chemicals for people who consume fish from the Duwamish River, despite posted warnings. For those who depend on the river as a primary food source, this frightening possibility is not enough of a deterrent.

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Studies show that residents living in neighborhoods near the Dumawish River are highly susceptible to illness and lower life expectancy, especially compared to those living in other areas of King County.

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The head of the House of Delegates health committee is calling on Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin to increase funding to fight drug and alcohol abuse.

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How safe are California hospitals in the event of a major earthquake? Answers and more in our Daily Briefing.

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As you may have learned about through DiabetesMine today, the Diabetes Hands Foundation (the nonprofit responsible for TuDiabetes, EsTuDiabetes and diabetes awareness programs such as Big Blue Test, No-Sugar Added Poetry and Word In Your Hand) has received a capacity building grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. We wanted to share this great news with the RoH community!

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This story is Part 12 of a 15-part series that examines health care needs in Gary, Ind.

John Grimm knows the city of Gary faces severe financial problems and didn’t expect city crews to plow all of its streets overnight after the recent blizzard.

But Grimm, the executive director of the South Shore Health & Rehabilitation Center in Gary, said during and after the storm city leaders failed to protect some of Gary’s most vulnerable residents when its crews neglected to plow the alleys and streets surrounding the nursing home.

Grimm said for an entire week the streets around the long-term care facility were not plowed, which he said “put the lives of many residents in jeopardy, as ambulances and emergency medical services and other medical providers were not able to access the facility.”

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There is a world of difference in how districts provide healthy school lunches. One key difference is money—both the income levels of school districts and the cost of lunch programs. Another is the food culture of diverse communities, so to speak, and what kids and their families are used to eating. In districts like Oakland, which participate in the federally and state subsidized lunch programs, the nutrition services have just $2.74 per meal to deliver a lunch that meets guidelines--and that kids will want to eat. Affluent districts such as Orinda don't participate in the subsidized lunch program and may serve catered lunches that are a lot like food they would eat at home.

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This story is Part 11 of a 15-part series that examines health care needs in Gary, Ind.

Nearly 33 years after the federal government designated Gary a health professional shortage area and 17 years after federal health authorities qualified it as a medically underserved area, Gary continues to suffer from physician shortages.

Those shortages are partially to blame for the poor health status of many Gary citizens, according to local doctors and hospital officials.

Gary is home to disproportionately high numbers of severely ill patients suffering from multiple potentially life threatening conditions, including heart disease, kidney failure, diabetes, hypertension, obesity and asthma.

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