Many Children Face Health Hazards Due To Obesity

Almost 1 in 16 children are morbidly obese in the United States. These children all have a greater risk of many illnesses, self-harm and premature death. “Obesity during childhood and adolescence is associated with a wide range of illnesses, negative social consequences, and poor academic performance,” the American Journal of Preventive Medicine said. The national obesity rate among ages 2 to 19 rose from 19.3% in 2019 to 22.4% in 2020, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The national average for youths who are morbidly obese (those who are 100 pounds over their recommended weight) is 6.1%.

Inflation: Is It Hitting Communities Of Color The Hardest?

Inflation, or a surge in the prices of consumer goods and services over a period of time, has detrimentally and disproportionately affected low-income communities, as they already struggle to financially sustain their lives, financial experts say. Basic human needs like groceries and housing are now more expensive, and the overall cost of living has increased. Neel Kashkari, a former Interim Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Stability, describes the cause of inflation to be “a mismatch between supply and demand.” Supply is being withheld due to the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chains while demand is on the rise. Communities of color are likely to be hit the hardest by inflation, as they already lag behind in income compared to their white counterparts, numerous studies show. The pre-existing wealth gap between black Americans and their white counterparts has made people of color more vulnerable to the implications of inflation.

Toomey Aspires To Be An Actor – Or Maybe A Journalist

Coleman Toomey, 17, of Tolland, is passionate about theater and art but understands that it is a very competitive industry. So, Toomey is attending C-HIT’s journalism program not only because they are interested in the storytelling aspect, but also to see if this is something they can see themselves studying in college. As of now, musical theater is what Toomey, who uses they/them pronouns, is most interested in, though artistically Toomey sometimes feels like they are pulled in a lot of different directions because of how many different things they enjoy. Toomey, who lives with their mother and sister, aspires to be proficient in various areas of English due to the competitive nature of the theater industry. “I don’t want to be a waiter for the rest of my life,” Toomey says.

Strong Reaction To Overturning Roe v. Wade

The U.S Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and allowing states to come up with their own laws has created a firestorm of opinions. In interviews with Connecticut teens and young adults, attitudes vary greatly on what happened and what needs to be done. Queen, a 20-year-old who goes to the University of Connecticut, believes in personal choice. “I think women should have the right to have abortions cause it’s our body,’’ she said. “Who’s the government to tell me what to do with my body?

Pandemic Took Toll On High School Students’ Mental Health, Well-being, CDC Reports

Isolation and lack of social get-togethers during the pandemic took a toll on high school students nationally, a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports. The findings are based on anonymous online questionnaires taken during the first six months of 2021. About 7,700 high school students in grades 9-12, who attend 128 public and private schools, participated. According to the CDC survey results:

• More than a third (37%) of high school students said they experienced poor mental health. • About 44% said they felt sad or hopeless in the past year.

Inspection Reports: Hospitals Cited For Infant Injuries, Wrong Site Surgeries, Dusty Operating Rooms

Infant injuries, wrong-site surgeries, objects left in patients following procedures, and a health care worker hitting an “unruly” patient were among the incidents cited in hospital inspections conducted by the state Department of Public Health. The new reports, which can be found in C-HIT’s Data Mine Section, cover state inspections that were completed in 2021 with approved hospital corrective action plans. (You can find the new reports here.)

At William Backus Hospital, a pregnant woman suffering from drug abuse disorder delivered a baby who tested positive for fentanyl and buprenorphine.  During the time that the baby was under observation for neonatal abstinence syndrome (drug withdrawal), a parent holding the infant fell and reported “that the infant’s head may have touched the ground a little,” the report said. Following the incident, staff determined that the baby suffered a head injury and was transferred to a higher-level hospital. The state inspector said that the hospital “failed to develop a safe plan of care for the infant to prevent a fall with injury.”

The Hospital for Central Connecticut was cited for failing to identify that an infant was assessed when forceps were used in labor and delivery, which resulted in head injuries to the infant.

Medicare Penalizes 26 CT Hospitals For High Readmission Rates

Twenty-six Connecticut hospitals will lose some of their Medicare reimbursement payments over the next year as penalties for having too many readmitted patients, new data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) show. Nationally, Medicare is reducing payments to 2,499 hospitals, about 47% of all facilities, with the average penalty being 0.64%, according to a report by Kaiser Health News (KHN). This year’s penalties were based on tracking patients from July 1, 2017 through Dec. 1, 2019, so the influx of patient care during the pandemic is not included, CMS said. In Connecticut, 72 % of all hospitals in the program will face a loss in CMS payments, beginning October 2021 through September 2022.

Data Show Decrease In Prison Sex Abuse Reports, But Survivor Advocates Say Fear And Ambivalence Persist

For eight months in 1995, LaResse Harvey says, she was held as a sex slave by her cellmate at York Correctional Institution in Niantic. In the 26 years since Harvey’s assault, the landmark Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) was signed into federal law. The legislation gave prisoners several avenues to report sexual misconduct; required changes to buildings for added safety, such as adding doors with windows and installing more cameras; and mandated regular audits of each facility. But people incarcerated in Connecticut say they still face sexual abuse from other prisoners and guards and that reporting the crimes isn’t always worth the consequences. “It does not work,” said Harvey, who pushed for PREA in Connecticut after her release from prison and later co-founded the advocacy agency Once Incarcerated.

College Athlete Academic Progress Rates May Not Be “Fair Or Accurate,” Sports Journalist Says

Almost all of the public universities in Virginia have at least one sport with a perfect academic progress rate among its athletes, but that may not be as impressive as it sounds. The NCAA says schools are required to report how well athletes with scholarships perform in classrooms using “a team-based metric that accounts for the eligibility and retention of each student-athlete.” But those scores may not be “a fair or accurate picture of [students’] academic progress,” Dom Amore, a sports journalist for the Hartford Courant, said. Amore, a columnist and reporter who covers the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team, said that to satisfy the NCAA, a university just needs to make sure its athletes don’t fail required classes and don’t transfer or drop out in the middle of a semester. “It’s not hard to achieve a [score of] 1,000,” Amore said. “You just have to make sure the kids go to class.”

Amore said that some schools are likely at a disadvantage for APR scores.

State Police Take Another Look At Cold Case Murders Of Patel Family

The violent murders of Champaben and Anita Patel, a mother and daughter from Windsor, have been a mystery since they happened on March 21,1996. But cold case detectives from the Connecticut State Police, with the help of the Windsor Police Department, are taking another look at the evidence now, Brian Foley, the executive aide to James Rovella, who heads the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, said. “Investigators from the State of Connecticut Cold Case unit had begun to give this case some additional attention pre-pandemic,” Foley said. “Now that things have settled [down], the case and its evidence are again being reevaluated…The reevaluation particularly relates to the exploration of possible resubmission of evidence as DNA science has evolved a great deal.”

The Patels’ homicide is one of the cold cases listed on the Connecticut State Police’s Cold Case website. Anita Patel, 32, was stabbed 14 times in her kitchen, and her body was burned due to gasoline being poured around her while Champaben Patel, 54, was strangled and her body was burned in her bedroom, according to the website.