Today’s Headlines: Fatty Restaurant Meals, The Morning After Pill, and Cold Medicine & Kids

High Fat, Calories and Sodium Content in Restaurant Meals: The “average meal at a chain restaurant contains more than half the calories, 1.5 times as much sodium and almost all the fat that people are recommended to consume in an entire day,” according to a study published online May 13 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. The University of Toronto researchers “analyzed nutritional information for 685 meals and 156 desserts reported by 26 sit-down restaurant chains” and found that the meals contained an average of “1,128 calories, or 56% f the US Food and Drug Administration’s 2,000 calorie-a-day recommendation.” (Bloomberg News)

Judge Refuses to Drop Order Allowing Morning After-Pill for All Ages: US District Judge Edward R. Korman “on Friday stepped up his criticism of the Obama Administration, accusing the Justice Department of making ‘frivolous’ and ‘silly’ arguments in its attempt to delay making the morning-after emergency contraceptive pill available to women and girls of all ages without a prescription.” He turned down a request by the government to suspend the ruling during an appeal and “lashed out again” at HHS Secretary Sebelius “in unusually harsh terms, questioning her credibility and integrity.” He wrote, “If a stay is granted, it will allow the bad-faith, politically motivated decision of Secretary Sebelius, who lacks any medical or scientific expertise, to prevail – thus justifiably undermining the public’s confidence in the drug approval process.” HHS declined comment. (New York Times)

Many Parents Still Give Toddlers Cold Medicine Despite Warnings: According to a recent survey, nearly half of parents continue to give their toddlers cold medicines, despite warnings that the drugs should not be given to kids. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association has sponsored a campaign with the aim of warning parents about the use of the medications. One spokeswoman for the FDA indicated that the agency “supports efforts … to better inform consumers about the safe and effective use of these products” and has collaborated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the matter. (Wall Street Journal)