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Health and Facts for the Month of April 2016

Week of April 4, 2016:  HIV
  • Myth: There are no children living with HIV in the District of Columbia  
  • Fact: In 2013 – the latest available year of data – there were no babies born with HIV in the District of Columbia. Currently, there are less than 30 children in DC who are living with HIV.
  • Source: HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Administration, DC DOH, 2014 Epidemiology Report
Week of April 11, 2016: Health Equity
  • Myth: Disparities in health outcomes are primarily because of an individual’s biology and their behaviors.
  • Fact:  The most fundamental causes of health disparities are socioeconomic disparities. Socioeconomic status has traditionally been defined by education, income, and occupation. Each component provides different resources, displays different relationships to various health outcomes, and would be addressed by different policies.
  • Source:: B.G. Link and J. Phelan, “Social Conditions as Fundamental Causes of Disease,” Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Spec. No. (1995): 80–94N. E. Adler and K. Newman, “Socioeconomic Disparities In Health: Pathways And Policies” Health Affairs  March 2002 vol. 21 no. 260-76 Accessed Jan 29, 2016
Week of April 18, 2016: Immunization 
  • Myth: Vaccines cause autism.
  • Fact: The 1998 study which raised concerns about a possible link between measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism was later found to be seriously flawed, and the paper has been retracted by the journal that published it. Unfortunately, its publication set off a panic that led to dropping immunization rates, and subsequent outbreaks of these diseases. There is no evidence of a link between MMR vaccine and autism or autistic disorders.
  • Source: World Health Organization
Week of April 25, 2016: Nutrition
  • Myth: If I skip meals, I can lose weight.
  • Fact: Skipping meals may make you feel hungrier and lead you to eat more than you normally would at your next meal. In particular, studies show a link between skipping breakfast and obesity. People who skip breakfast tend to be heavier than people who eat a healthy breakfast.
  • TIP: Choose meals and snacks that include a variety of healthy foods. Try these examples:

    • For a quick breakfast, make oatmeal with low-fat milk, topped with fresh berries. Or eat a slice of whole-wheat toast with fruit spread.
    • Pack a healthy lunch each night, so you won't be tempted to rush out of the house in the morning without one.
    • For healthy nibbles, pack a small low-fat yogurt, a couple of whole-wheat crackers with peanut butter, or veggies with hummus.
  • Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.