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Meryl Streep appears in colorectal cancer-screening campaign

BY Alaric DeArment

LOS ANGELES — Actress Meryl Streep will encourage people to get screened for colorectal cancer in a new series of public service announcements from the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the groups said Wednesday.

The PSAs will premiere Wednesday on ABC’s "Katie!," hosted by Katie Couric, who cofounded the EIF NCCRA, and are part of the CDC’s Screen for Life campaign, a multiyear effort to educate Americans about the importance of regular colorectal cancer screening for men and women ages 50 years and older.

Streep is the third Oscar-winning actor to appear in the Screen for Life campaign, after Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton.

"For me, screening was simple and quick," Streep said. "It was no big deal, except for the huge sense of relief you feel afterward."

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Weis Markets re-ups CEO contract with new five-year term

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. — Weis Markets has re-upped president and CEO David Hepfinger’s contract with a new five-year deal, according to an 8-K filing made Wednesday. 

The new contract is retroactive to March 1 and supersedes Hepfinger’s previous contract enacted March 1, 2010. 

Weis shares were up slightly by 26 cents to $41.02 in mid-morning trading.

The contract extension announcement comes one week after Weis reported 52-week 2012 sales of $2.7 billion, down 1.9% compared to the 53-week year ago period. "We continue to operate in an economy significantly impacted by slow economic growth, high unemployment and declining household income," Hepfinger said. "We successfully worked through these challenges by efficiently managing and improving our stores and supply chain, which helped us drive strong net income increases and maintain our market share."

Hepfinger noted that Weis has been making "record investments" into its store base and will continue that investment into 2013. 

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Survey finds connection between pet, childhood obesity

BY Alaric DeArment

CALABASH, N.C. — It seems that Fluffy is getting a little fluffy as a new survey indicates that pet obesity is on the rise, particularly among cats.

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention found in its sixth annual National Pet Obesity Awareness Day survey that 52.5% of dogs and 58.3% of cats were overweight or obese, meaning that about 80 million dogs and cats are at increased risk for weight-related disorders such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure and cancers. The survey included 1,485 dogs and 450 cats.

"Pet obesity remains the leading health threat to our nation’s pets," APOP founder and lead veterinarian Ernie Ward said. "We continue to see an escalation in the number of overweight cats and an explosion in the number of Type 2 diabetes cases."

Still, about 45.8% of dog owners and 45.3% of cat owners viewed their pets as having normal body weight after veterinarians pronounced them overweight. Certain breeds showed greater risk for excess weight, with 58.9% of Labrador retrievers and 62.7% of golden retrievers classified as overweight or obese. German shepherds had the lowest obesity rate among purebred dogs, at 2.1%.

The survey also finds a connection between pet and childhood obesity rates, with both stemming from the same cause: too many unhealthy foods and snacks and too little physical activity.

"Parents need to encourage children to put down their video games and pick up the dog leash to go for a walk," Ward said. "Instead of snacking on sugary treats, share crunchy vegetables with your dog. Eat more whole foods instead of highly processed fast food."

 

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