The Checkup: The Five-Second Rule Is Whack, Science Says

Nooooo! A new study found that bacteria can attach itself to food in less than five seconds.

• Thank you, Clorox, for co-funding a study at San Diego State University to find out once and for all if the five-second rule—you know, the idea that you can eat something you dropped on the ground so long as it was on said ground for less than five seconds—is true or not. Sadly for all you floor-food eaters, it’s been disproven, as researchers found that bacteria can attach itself to food in less than that amount of time. To test the five-second rule, they dropped carrots on surfaces including a countertop, kitchen sink, and both carpeted and tiled floors, and left them there for five seconds. Then they tested the carrots—and found all sorts of icky things. (In case you’re wondering, the countertop was the most germ-ridden surface.) The lesson here is clear: If you drop food on the floor, just don’t eat it. (Related: I don’t have science to back me up on this one, but I assume it’d also be a bad idea to eat anything out of a trash can, a la George Costanza and Miranda Hobbs.)

• Two new studies on kids to note: 1) exercise improves learning in kids with ADHD, and 2) obese adolescent boys have half as much testosterone as normal-weight boys. More on ADHD here, and obesity here.

• Ugh. Nineteen are now dead from the meningitis outbreak linked to contaminated steroid meds, 245 have been sickened, and experts say there’s no end in sight.

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