Health Highlights: Nov. 7, 2013

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

Few Kid's Meals at Fast-Food Chains are Healthy: Report

Only 33 of 5,427 possible meals for children at 18 U.S. fast-food chains are healthy, according to a new report from the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.

The researchers came up with that figure after analyzing the menu offerings from the chains in order to consider all possible combinations of main dishes, sides and drinks. The 33 meals deemed healthy account for only 1 percent of all the possible meals for kids, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The researchers did find that 11 of the 12 restaurants with kids' meals had at least one option for a healthy side dish, such as salads, corn, green beans, applesauce, sliced apples, bananas and fruit cups.

The study also found that more than three-quarters of the fast-food chains offered a healthy drink choice, such as unflavored milk, 100 percent juice, or bottled water, the Times reported.

The Yale team also found that the restaurants reduced the number of commercials aimed at children ages 6-11, but increased the number of ads targeted at teens.


Football Hall-of-Famer Tony Dorsett Has Signs of Brain Disorder

Hall of Fame NFL running back Tony Dorsett says all the hits he took during his football career have left him with brain damage.

He recently had his brain scanned and evaluated at the University of California, Los Angeles because he'd been having symptoms such as memory loss and depression, NBC News reported.

Dorsett told ESPN that he's suffered a decline in his quality of life, For example, he said he gets lost taking his daughters to their activities.

"It's painful, man, for my daughters to say they're scared of me. It's painful," Dorsett said. "I've thought about crazy stuff, sort of like, 'Why do I need to continue going through this? I'm too smart of a person, I like to think, to take my life, but it's crossed my mind."

The tests revealed that Dorsett had signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The degenerative brain condition has been found in the brains of a number of former football players and some researchers have linked it with head trauma suffered on the football field, NBC News reported.

Two other former NFL players -- Hall of Fame guard Joe DeLamielleure and former defensive end Leonard Marshall -- also sought brain tests at UCLA after experiencing symptoms. Both were found to have signs of CTE.

There is no cure for CTE, but researchers are hopeful that the three newly discovered cases will help advance efforts to find a treatment. They explained that finding evidence of CTE in living people provides them with opportunities to determine which treatments might be most effective, NBC News reported.


Spain Reports First MERS Case

The first case of the MERS respiratory virus in Spain has been reported by health officials.

The female patient is a Moroccan-born Spanish resident who was admitted Nov. 1 to a Madrid hospital. The woman had been in Saudi Arabia in October and was diagnosed there with pneumonia, the Associated Press reported.

The woman is progressing favorably and poses no public health threat, Spain's Health Ministry said Thursday.

The MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) virus is related to the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) virus, which killed about 800 people in 2003. MERS has killed about 50 people over the past year. Most of the victims have been in Saudi Arabia, where the outbreak is centered, the AP reported.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Suggested Reading