Health Highlights: Sept. 16, 2008

Chinese Investigators Find Melamine in 69 Brands of Baby Milk Powder Foldable Soccer Nets Recalled After Toddler's Death Children's Water Bottles Pose Choking Hazard Use of Meth Increasing More Than Other Drugs Exercise, Nutritional Supplements May Help Older Adults Maintain Active Lifestyle

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:

Chinese Investigators Find Melamine in 69 Brands of Baby Milk Powder

Melamine has been found in 69 brands of baby milk powder in China and the government has ordered a halt to the sale of all the brands, made by 22 different companies, state television CCTV reported Tuesday.

"In order to ensure the safety of the milk products, the relevant government departments have pulled them from shelves, sealed them, recalled them and destroyed them," CCTV said in its nightly broadcast, Agence France Presse reported.

Until now, the Sanlu brand had been the sole focus of government officials looking into tainted baby milk powder that has killed two infants and sickened more than 1,200 across several provinces. Authorities said they expect that the number of infants affected by tainted milk powder will continue to grow.

So far, four people have been arrested in connection with the scandal. It's believed they added melamine to milk sold to infant formula manufacturers in order to make the milk appear to have a higher protein content, AFP reported.


Foldable Soccer Nets Recalled After Toddler's Death

Certain types of MacGregor and Mitre foldable soccer goals are being recalled in the United States after a Texas toddler got tangled in the net and died, National Public Radio reported.

When the 21-month-old boy tried to climb on one of the nets from the back of the goal, he fell through the nylon mesh, which contracted around his neck.

The recall covers MacGregor and Mitre brand soccer goals that have nets with a five-inch grid, but does not include those with four-inch grid nets. The recalled nets were made in China and distributed by Regent Sports Corp of Hauppauge, N.Y.

"The opening that these nylon mesh nets have is simply too big," Scott Wolfson, of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, told NPR. "There needs to be a four-inch space, but there's a five-inch space."

Consumers who have the recalled nets should return them to Regent Sports for a replacement, the CPSC said. The nets have been sold at sports and toy stores nationwide since May 2002.


Children's Water Bottles Pose Choking Hazard

About 20,000 children's metal water bottles are being recalled by Pottery Barn Kids because the sip top can pull off and pose a choking hazard to young children, says the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The recalled bottles are about nine inches tall and have a black rubber pull-up sip top, reported in Syracuse, N.Y.

The recall includes the following colors and style numbers: lavender, 5795141; pink, 5795166; pink, 9121591; navy, 5795158; navy, 9211583; green, 5795133. The style number and "Pottery Barn Kids" are printed on a white sticker on the bottom of the water bottles.

They were sold at stores, by catalogue and online from January 2007 through August 2008 for about $10. Parents should take the water bottles away from children immediately and return them to any Pottery Barn Kids for a full refund, reported.


Use of Meth Increasing More Than Other Drugs

In many countries, methamphetamine is becoming more popular than heroin or cocaine, according to experts at an international conference in Prague, the Czech Republic.

"The rates of amphetamine-type stimulants have increased more than any other drug group worldwide," Louisa Deghenardt, of the Australian Drug and Alcohol research center, said Monday at the First Global Conference on Methamphetamine, Agence France Presse reported.

About 34 million people worldwide have used amphetamine-type stimulants, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

The experts discussed ways to deal with the growing use of meth, which is easily made using household products and improvised equipment. This is one of the main reasons for the rapid growth in meth use, according to U.S. drug enforcement officials, AFP reported.

"Meth users appear to be a younger population than opioid users, and different strategies may be required to target this group," Deghenardt said.


Exercise, Nutritional Supplements May Help Older Adults Maintain Active Lifestyle

A combination of nutritional supplements and moderate exercise may help older adults maintain an active lifestyle, according to a British study of 60 healthy, independent-living volunteers, age 65 and older.

The 12-week study found that taking carbohydrate and protein supplements just before and after low-resistance exercise could increase muscle performance and slow muscle wastage, United Press International reported.

"Though we still need to assess precisely what level of exercise gives the best results, we believe we've shown that regular low-resistance exercise complemented by the right nutritional supplements could boost the well-being of the aging population, study leader Dr. Gladys Pearson, of Manchester Metropolitan University, said in a news release.

The study was presented at the BA Festival of Science in Liverpool, England.

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