What We're Reading: Prison Addiction Treatment; Fasting Studies; Minority Health Disparities

Providing Opioid Treatment to Prisoners

Eight states will participate in a program to provide more opioid addiction treatment to prisoners. According to The Washington Post, Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington, will participate in a “learning lab” from the National Governors Association. The states will learn from what Massachusetts has already done and create their own plans to expand access to treatment for offenders. In Virginia, 9 inmates have died since 2015 due to overdoses.

Fasting Is Difficult to Maintain for Weight Loss

Eating habits are difficult to change, and new research found that people had trouble changing to a new diet that required they fast every other day. NPR reported that previous studies have found that fasting every other day has potential benefits, but a new study also found that one-third of participants asked to fast ended up dropping out. The latest study started with 100 participants with 2 fasting groups and 1 control group. Ultimately, only 33 people were left in the 2 fasting groups.

Lifespan Increases for Blacks, but Disparities Remain

A new federal study found that African Americans are living longer now than they were in 2000, but they still face health disparities that shorten their lives compared with whites. Reuters reported that the death rate for blacks fell 25% in the last 17 years, but mostly for those 65 years or older. Deaths from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and homicide are increasing at younger ages for blacks compared with whites. During the study period, the death rate from homicide is unchanged for blacks.