Entries in American medical Association (4)


AMA Disagrees with USPSTF on Mammography

Comstock/Jupiterimages(CHICAGO) -- After a heated debate Tuesday, the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates has come to a consensus that “every woman should get routine screening mammograms every year starting at age 40,” MedPageToday reports.

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) disagrees with AMA's recommendation. It says that women under 50 do not need routine screening mammography for breast cancer.

The AMA also "expresses concern regarding recent recommendations by the USPSTF on screening mammography and prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening and the effects these recommendations have on limiting access to preventive care for Americans."

Like the AMA, several other medical groups, including the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology, and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, disagree with the USPSTF mammography recommendation, MedPage reports.

The USPSTF is known for their controversial belief that prostate cancer screenings for healthy men leads to unnecessary tests, interventions and treatments.

“The USPSTF is an independent panel of 16 volunteer members, most of whom are clinicians in primary care or preventive medicine,” according to MedPageToday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Photoshopping Sends Unhealthy Message to America's Youth, AMA Says

Goodshoot/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- In the age of digital manipulation, when images are often "doctored" by editors with the precision of surgeons, the most powerful medical organization in America weighs in to say that rampant Photoshopping sends an unhealthy message to America's youth.

The American Medical Association has urged advertisers, especially those in teen-oriented magazines, to work with child and adolescent health agencies to develop guidelines that set some Photoshopping boundaries.

"Photoshopping, especially as it's related to children and adolescents, gives them an unrealistic expectation of what they might expect to look like as they grow up," said Jeremy Lazarus, AMA's president-elect. "So there are adverse health consequences as a result of that."

Several studies have linked exposure to manipulated pictures to eating disorders and other health problems. The danger is that young people measure themselves against body types that can only be attained with the help of photo-editing software, psychologists say.

"We often forget, because of the bombardment of these images, that Americans don't look like this," said David Sarwer, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. "They are these idealized images of beauty where everything is perfect, and there are no blemishes and no wrinkles and no cellulite."

Even Kate Middleton's picture-perfect wedding apparently wasn't perfect enough for Italian magazine Grazia, which edited her waist to make it tinier. In one 2009 Ralph Lauren ad, the Photoshopping was so severe it made the model's head bigger than her waist.

In the aftermath of the controversy over that ad, Lauren released a statement apologizing for the retouching.

"We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the caliber of our artwork represents our brand appropriately," he said.

Precautions that Sarwer hopes will transform into a new normal for the industry.

"It's fantastic that the AMA has stepped out and made this statement," said Sarwer. "I truly hope that not only do other professional and medical societies echo and share in this statement and in this belief, I also hope obviously that the magazine publishers in our country and around the world also recognize that they do have a responsibility to their viewers and to the purchasers of their magazines."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Support for Soda Tax Fizzles at the American Medical Association

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- In the controversial debate over imposing a soda and sugary beverage tax to fight obesity, the American Medical Association has declined to enter the fray -- at least for now.

At this week's annual meeting of the AMA's policy-making House of Delegates, nearly 300 delegates debated and ultimately opposed giving AMA support to a sugar-sweetened beverage tax, saying it needed more information on the topic, says AMA President Dr. Cecil Wilson.

"They said they were not sure that taxing these products would be appropriate and wanted to know more about the different types of sweeteners and their impact on public health.  There will be a report back next year on the topic," he says.

Though president of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Thomas Freiden, has argued in favor of a penny-per-ounce tax on sugared drinks to both decrease consumption and raise sorely needed funds for health care, efforts to impose such a tax have met with staunch opposition by the beverage industry, and some doctors and academics.

"The taxes aren't going to be very effective because people's demand for sugary beverages is resistant to small price changes.  When it comes down to it, people will probably just pay the few cents more and buy it anyway...which only disproportionately hurts those with less economic means," says Richard Williams of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, who has studied the estimated impact of a beverage tax.

The strongest force opposing a soda tax has been, naturally, the American Beverage Association (ABA), the trade organization representing the interests of beverage companies in the U.S.

"Taxes don't make people healthier, making smart dietary decisions does," says ABA spokesman Chris Gindlesperger. "Our industry makes products with calories in them.  We know that.  But we believe that seeking to solve a complex health issue like obesity with discriminatory tax on beverages is not based in sound science," he says.

The ABA has lobbied against such a tax since it was first introduced in the 1990s.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the ABA currently devotes more than $18 million to fund lobbyists in Washington, D.C.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Earlier Hearing Testing for Babies Could Improve Quality of Life

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New research published in the latest edition of the journal of the American Medical Association finds screening for hearing loss in newborns can be far more beneficial than waiting until the child is three years old or more.  Tests on nine-month-old kids, using technology developed in the 1990's, allows for an improved quality of life.

Before the new technology, screening depended upon input from the babies.  That was considered unreliable because babies can experience temporary hearing loss due to colds or could become disinterested in responding because they were bored or sleepy.  The new methods involve evaluating brain wave response to sounds and echoes. 

Dutch researchers have now found babies tested at nine months have improved social development and motor development, much closer to that of hearing children.  Hearing aids and language therapy done earlier in life is credited with much of the improvement.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio