Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Rise in Caffeinated Food Products Could Threaten Children's
Concerns about the increasing number of food products with added
caffeine has prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to take
a closer look at their impact on children's health.
The agency is already investigating the safety of caffeinated
energy drinks and energy shots, which have been linked to reports
of illness and death. In recent years, food makers have added
caffeine to candy, nuts and other snack foods, the
This week, Wrigley introduced a caffeinated gum called Alert
Energy Gum. Each piece of gum contains about 40 milligrams of
caffeine, equivalent to the amount in half a cup of coffee.
Other examples of caffeinated food products include Jelly Belly
"Extreme Sport Beans," which have 50 mg of caffeine in each
100-calorie pack, and trail mix, chips and other products from Arma
The FDA says it is closely watching the marketing of caffeinated
foods and wants to know more about their safety. The only time the
FDA explicitly approved the added use of caffeine in a food or
drink was in the 1950s for colas, Michael Taylor, FDA's deputy
commissioner of foods, told the
He said the current rush to add caffeine to a wide range of
foods is "beyond anything FDA envisioned." He said the trend is
"disturbing" and that the FDA is concerned about whether these
products "have been adequately evaluated."
The makers of caffeinated foods say they market their products
to adults, but critics note that many of the products are appealing
to children. Too much caffeine can be dangerous for children
because they are less able to process it than adults, major medical
associations warn. Caffeine has been linked to harmful effects on
children's developing neurologic and cardiovascular systems,
according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The FDA will look at added caffeine in food products in its
totality, Taylor told the
AP. While one caffeinated product may not cause harm, the
increasing number of caffeinated foods and beverages on the market
could be a threat to children's health, he explained.
Simplified Health Benefits Form Released by Obama
A simplified application for health insurance benefits under the
new health care law will be introduced Tuesday by the Obama
The earlier draft of the application was widely criticized for
being too complex and there were concerns that uninsured people
would give up in frustration, the
The new application will be easier to navigate and much less
intimidating, according to Ron Pollack, executive director of
Families USA, who was briefed on the changes.
Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner, who is also in charge of the
health care law rollout, said the new application is "significantly
shorter than industry standards," the
Windpipe Implanted in Young Girl
Doctors built and implanted a windpipe in a 30-month-old girl
who was born without one. She is the youngest person ever to
receive a bioengineered organ.
The surgery, which took place April 9 at Children's Hospital of
Illinois, is the first of its kind in the United States and the
sixth such procedure to be performed worldwide,
The New York Timesreported.
Hannah Warren was born without a windpipe (trachea), an
extremely rare condition that is fatal in 99 percent of cases.
Since she was born, the Korean-Canadian girl was in a newborn
intensive care unit in a Korean hospital and breathed through a
tube inserted in her mouth.
Hannah is breathing largely on her own, although she's doing so
through a hole in her neck, not through her mouth yet, pediatric
surgeon Dr. Mark Holterman told
"She's doing well," he said. "She had some complications from the surgery, but the trachea itself is doing great."
First Woman With Transplanted Womb is Pregnant
A Turkish woman who was the first to successfully have a womb
transplant from a donor is six weeks pregnancy, according to
Akdeniz University Hospital.
A hospital statement released Monday said doctors have monitored
a fetal heartbeat and that the pregnancy is going well, the
The 22-year-old mother, Derya Sert, was born without a womb and
had one transplanted in August 2011. Using one of her own eggs,
doctors placed an embryo into Sert's womb in March.
If she has a successful birth, it would give hope to women who
were born without a womb or lose it to disease, according to the