KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Poultry Companies Turn Down Bird Flu Vaccine Despite High Cost Of Outbreak

Chicken producers fear vaccinations would lead to trade bans from foreign buyers. Elsewhere, news outlets report on public health developments regarding sodium intake, a campaign to combat gun violence and employee weight loss incentives.

Bloomberg: Amid Bird Flu Threat, U.S. Producers Say No Thanks To Vaccine
Determined to avoid a repeat of the nation’s worst-ever avian-influenza outbreak, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is stockpiling up to 500 million doses of a new vaccine -- but many in the $48 billion poultry industry don’t want it. While turkey farmers hit hard by the most-recent outbreak support the shots, chicken producers say vaccinating even a portion of their flocks would prompt foreign buyers to ban imports. Last year, commercial operations in 15 states were affected by the disease, claiming 50 million birds mostly from egg-laying operations and costing the industry $3.3 billion. (Bjerga, 1/7)

NPR: We Eat Too Much Sodium Because Companies Keep Dumping It In Our Food
An analysis appearing in this week's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report reveals that 89 percent of U.S. adults were consuming more than the recommended 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day in the years 2009-2012, according to National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data, or NHANES. (Barclay, 1/7)

NPR: Advocates Push Public Health Campaign To Combat Gun Violence
What if we treated gun violence as a public health issue the way there were campaigns against drunk driving? Or safer sex practices during the HIV/AIDS pandemic? NPR's Kelly McEvers talks with Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research about what this would look like, and the political and personal challenges to doing research on gun violence. (1/7)

Kaiser Health News: Incentive Worth $550 Fails To Motivate Obese Workers To Lose Weight
Promising workers lower health insurance premiums for losing weight did nothing to help them take off the pounds, a recent study found. At the end of a year, obese workers had lost less than 1.5 pounds on average, statistically no different than the minute average gain of a tenth of a pound for workers who weren’t offered a financial incentive to lose weight. (Andrews, 1/8)

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