Health Highlights: July 26, 201107/26/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
McDonald's Announces Nutrition Effort
Fruit or a low-fat dairy option will be included in all
McDonald's Happy Meal beginning in September as the fast food giant
takes steps to improve the nutrition of its products.
The new Happy Meals will also have about 20 percent fewer
calories and less fat, and the company also plans to promote
nutrition in its Happy Meal packaging and national children's
The Wall Street Journal reported.
Overall, McDonald's says it will reduce added sugars, saturated
fat and calories in its products by 2020 through the use of
reformulations, innovations and portion size reductions. It also
will reduce sodium levels by an average of 15 percent by 2015.
The company's plan to offer more nutritional foods was announced
Only Humans Experience Age-Related Brain Shrinkage: Study
Age-related brain shrinkage occurs only in humans, researchers
By age 80, the average human brain has lost 15 percent of its
BBC News reported.
In this study, scientists compared MRI images from more than 80
healthy humans, ages 22 to 88, and a similar number of captive-bred
chimpanzees and found that chimps' brains don't shrink with age.
The findings appear in the journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The human brain is three times larger than a chimp brain and
humans also live longer. The researchers said that longer lifespan
is likely an adaptation to having bigger brains,
BBC News reported.
Mexican Papayas Linked to Food Poisoning Outbreak
Possibly tainted papayas from Mexico may be the cause of a U.S.
food-poisoning outbreak that's affected more than 90 people in 23
A company in South Texas is recalling papayas imported from
Mexico that may be contaminated with salmonella bacteria. The
recall covers Blondie, Yaya, Mananita and Tastylicious brand
papayas sold before July 23, the
Chicago Tribune reported.
Of the 90 reported food-poisoning cases, 17 have occurred in
Illinois. Patients had to be hospitalized in eight of the 17 cases,
according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.
People who have become ill after eating papayas should seek
medical care and contact their local health departments, officials
Prices of Popular Drugs Set to Fall
The prices of a number of widely used drugs are expected to drop
in coming years as brand name patents expire and generic versions
become available, according to experts.
Over the next 14 months, patents on seven of the world's 20
best-selling drugs will expire, according to London-based
EvaluatePharma Ltd. That includes the two leading sellers, the
cholesterol medication Lipitor and the blood thinner Plavix, the
Associated Press reported.
Generic versions of other top-selling drugs for asthma,
depression, diabetes, high blood pressure, HIV, bipolar disorder
and high triglycerides will also be introduced on the market.
Over the next decade or so, the patents of about 120 brand-name
drugs will expire, according to prescription benefit manager Medco
Health Solutions Inc., the
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