Health Highlights: Jan. 26, 2016

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

Smokers Want Cigarette Maker to Pay for Lung Scans

A class-action lawsuit filed against Philip Morris USA a decade ago is finally going to be heard by a jury.

The legal action was launched by a group of Massachusetts smokers who want the cigarette maker to pay for lung cancer screenings. The plaintiffs allege that Philip Morris made a defective cigarette knowing it could have made a safer product with fewer cancer-causing ingredients, the Associated Press reported.

The smokers say the company should pay for hi-tech chest scans that can detect early-stage lung cancer that may be too small to be detected on conventional X-rays.

The trial begins in federal court in Boston this week, the AP reported.


41 Million Young Children Overweight or Obese Worldwide: WHO

There are now 41 million overweight or obese children under age 5 worldwide, compared with 31 million in 1990, according to a report released Monday by a World Health Organization panel.

The Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity said that number could continue to rise unless governments, educators, food marketers and agribusiness do more to combat childhood obesity, the Associated Press reported.

The panel called for a number of measures, including school policies to promote healthy eating and physical activity and “effective taxation on sugar-sweetened beverages.”

“It’s not the kids’ fault. You can’t blame a 2-year-old child for being fat and lazy and eating too much,” commission co-chair Peter Gluckman said, the AP reported.

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