December 4: Weekly Health Roundup

Your Favorite Banana is Facing Extinction

Don’t panic just yet, but the Cavendish, aka the world’s most popular banana, is facing extinction after a seemingly unstoppable Panama disease. According to experts, quarantine measures are thought to be the only way to combat Panama disease, which has spread like wildfire across banana plantations across the world. This extinction has far greater implications beyond losing a favorite fruit – the banana is a critical “source of nourishment for hundreds of millions of people worldwide”, via Huffington Post

Applebee’s, IHOP Drop Soda from Kids’ Menu

Hoping to help parents provide the healthiest choices for their children, restaurant chains Applebee’s and IHOP are removing soda from their children’s menus nationwide. In a statement released by the group that owns both restaurants, the companies hope that “when you have… a menu that has healthier food options and beverages fork kids, parents learn that that’s a better option for kids than having a sugary beverage with their meal”, via ABC News

High-Sodium Warnings Hit New York City Menus

Starting this week, New York City restaurants with 15 or more locations “must display a salt shaker icon next to menu items or combo meals that contain 2,300 milligrams of sodium or more”. If that number doesn’t ring a bell, don’t feel bad – it doesn’t for a lot of us. 2,300 milligrams, the recommended daily limit for sodium, is largely ignored by Americans who consumer far more each day. Hypertension, caused by eating an excess amount of salt in our diet, is a leading cause of death in America, via NPR

Too Much TV is Bad for the Brain

If you’re 25 or older and watching three hours of television or more while getting minimal physical activity, it could lower your cognitive performance in midlife. Of the 3,247 adults studied from 1985 until today, those that had “low physical activity and [viewed] lots of television” doubled their chances for people to “show poor cognitive function on the tests, via UPI

Pediatrician Calms Baby in Seconds

Some are calling him the baby whisperer or a pediatric superstar, but regardless of what he’s called, Dr. Robert Hamilton sure knows how to calm a crying baby. Urged by his patients for years to share his amazing technique online, Dr. Hamilton uploaded a video on Sunday that has already hit nearly 6 million views, via TODAY

Time to Weigh In

Does the banana extinction threat worry you? What about the efforts of Applebee’s, IHOP and New York City to give healthier options to American diners? Good idea or a threat to consumer-driven commerce? Do you watch 3 hours of television each day or more? Have you found a correlation between your brain power and the number of hours you park in front of the TV? Let us know what you’re thinking in the comment section below!