1. You can keep your insurance plan, maybe
On Thursday, President Obama announced that insurers can offer customers the option to renew their 2013 health plans in 2014, without change, theoretically allowing people to keep their plans. For months, Obama has said that if you like your insurance plan, you can keep it. But that talking point proved problematic when people started receiving noticed that their health insurance was going to be canceled.
2. Not a lot of people have signed up for health insurance — yet
This week, the federal government released the first round of data regarding enrollment in the state and federal health insurance marketplaces. However, the point was made that, Romneycare saw slow enrollment, too.
Longer read: White House reports low health care sign-ups
3. Prepare yourself for flu season
Since Oct. 1, one person in Oklahoma has been hospitalized because of the flu. That number will likely increase as we get into the winter months. For all the Oklahoma flu numbers you could possibly want, visit the state Health Department’s flu website. And in case you need to find a place near your house, this website has a flu shot locator.
4. More young people are smoking cigars, e-cigarettes and hookah
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday that products like e-cigarettes and hookah are growing in popularity among middle- and high-school students:
While use of these newer products increased, there was no significant decline in students’ cigarette smoking or overall tobacco use. Data from the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey show that recent electronic cigarette use rose among middle school students from 0.6 percent in 2011 to 1.1 percent in 2012 and among high school students from 1.5 percent to 2.8 percent. Hookah use among high school students rose from 4.1 percent to 5.4 percent from 2011 to 2012.
“Official” read: Emerging tobacco products gaining popularity among youth
5. People seem to ignore amount of calories in fast food
Obesity statistics continue to rise, even after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act forced all restaurant chains to post calories counts for menu items back in 2008. Researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center determined that menu calorie counts have little to no effect on what customers order or how many calories they consume.
Quick read: Many People Ignore Calories on Fast-Food Menus
Quoted research: Calorie labeling, Fast food purchasing and restaurant visits