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Moderate Fish Consumption Cuts Risk Of Cardiac Problems In Heart Failure Patients

December 17, 2009: 02:07 PM EST
Consuming moderate amounts of any fish can help reduce the risk of left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD) in heart failure patients, according to Greek scientists. The study of nearly a thousand patients hospitalized after heart failure focused on demographic, nutritional, lifestyle, and medical factors combined with the risk of developing LVSD. The researchers observed that eating fish a couple of times a week was associated with significant reduction of the odds of developing LVSD, though eating higher amounts offered no greater protection. The study did not take into account the type of fish consumed or the cooking method used.
Dr. D. Panagiotakos, et al. , "Moderate Fish Consumption is Associated with Lower Likelihood of Developing Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction in Acute Coronary Syndrome Patients", Journal of Food Science, December 17, 2009, © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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Junk Food At Retail Store Checkout Counters Could Be Fueling Obesity Epidemic

December 17, 2009: 05:40 AM EST
Candy, soda and other junk food that is widely available in stores not usually associated with food could be contributing to the obesity epidemic by tempting people to buy high-calorie snacks they might normally avoid, according to researchers who looked at more than 1,000 non-food retail stores across the United States. Forty-one percent of the stores sold candy, soft drinks, and snacks “often within arm's reach of the cash register queue.” Snack foods were sold at nearly all drug stores and gas stations and at a majority of general merchandise, hardware, and garden stores, and automobile repair shops.
Thomas A. Farley, MD, MPH, Erin T. Baker, MS, et al., "The Ubiquity of Energy-Dense Snack Foods: A National Multicity Study", American Journal of Public Health, December 17, 2009, © American Public Health Association
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School Bottled Water Supplier Nestlé Waters Canada Wages “Battle Of The Bans”

December 17, 2009: 03:15 AM EST
Nestlé Waters Canada executive John Challinor recently carried the company’s battle against the growing number of school system bans on bottled water to a local Canadian school board meeting. He expressed his agreement with a recommended rejection of a proposed ban on bottled water in the district’s schools because of environmental and other concerns. A ban on bottled water – a growing trend among Canadian school districts – would not lead to greater consumption of tap water and would not reduce plastic bottle litter in schools because “most students and staff will simply opt for another beverage in a plastic container.”
"Nestlé Waters Canada Pleased Ban On Bottled Water In Schools Rejected ", Guelph Now Local News, December 17, 2009, © Now Media Inc.
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Deficit Of Omega-3s Linked To Several Neurological Disorders

December 16, 2009: 09:12 AM EST
Low levels of fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with information-processing problems found in people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other nervous system disorders. Two omega-3 fatty acids – docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) – appear to be the most important. In this U.S. study, mice raised on DHA and EPA showed normal, adaptive sensorimotor reactions to certain stimuli. When DHA was deficient even by a small amount, the nervous system was easily overwhelmed by sensory stimuli. The American diet is high in omega6s, which reduce the body’s ability to absorb omega-3s, researchers noted.
Irina Fedorova, PhD, et al., "Deficit in Prepulse Inhibition in Mice Caused by Dietary n-3 Fatty Acid Deficiency", Behavioral Neuroscience, December 16, 2009, © American Psychological Association
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High-Methionine Diet Associated With Increased Risk Of Alzheimer’s

December 16, 2009: 08:53 AM EST
Eating foods rich in the amino acid methionine seems to boost the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study in mice. When too much methionine – found in red meats, fish, beans, eggs, garlic, etc. – is present, it is transformed into homocysteine, associated with dementia. Over eight months, one group of mice was fed regular food and another group a high-methionine diet. At 15 months of age – the equivalent of a 70-year-old human – the mice were tested. The mice fed a methionine diet had greater homocysteine levels and 40 percent more amyloid plaque in their brains, indicating advanced Alzheimer’s.
Zhuo JM, Portugal GS, et al. , "Diet-induced hyperhomocysteinemia increases Amyloid-ß formation and deposition in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease", Current Alzheimer Research, December 16, 2009, © Bentham Science Publlishers
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Government Panel Calls For Restrictions On Food Marketing To Children

December 16, 2009: 02:27 AM EST
Stressing that only foods that offer a "meaningful contribution to a healthful diet" should be marketed to children, a congressionally-created panel of U.S. regulatory officials has called for restrictions on the marketing of foods and beverages loaded with sugar, sodium and saturated fat. The nonbinding proposals are a response to concerns that food company marketing practices may be contributing to the childhood obesity epidemic by influencing kids’ eating patterns. Panel members said that food companies need to take the lead in changing marketing tactics or "Congress may decide for all of us."
JARED A. FAVOLE, "Federal Group Proposes Curbs on Marketing Food to Kids", The Wall Street Journal, December 16, 2009, © Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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Studies Find Obesity Rates Rising Among British Kids, African Urban Dwellers

December 15, 2009: 03:47 AM EST
After analyzing obesity trends in England among children and young people from 1995 to 2007, researchers predict that obesity among all boys aged two to ten would reach 10.1 percent by 2015 and, in a “worst case scenario,” could reach 13.5 percent. Obesity levels among girls could reach 8.9 percent, and perhaps 9.3 percent. The researchers noted that the poorest and less educated kids were at greater risk of obesity in the years ahead. A second study in Africa found that easy access to cheap, high fat, high sugar foods is pushing up obesity rates among poor city dwellers.
Kate Kelland, "Studies show obesity taking hold in UK", Reuters (UK), December 15, 2009, © Thomson Reuters
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Campbell’s Cuts Sodium Content Of SpaghettiOs Again

December 14, 2009: 12:04 AM EST
For the second time in two years, Campbell Soup Company has lowered sodium levels in its SpaghettiOs canned pastas, this time by as much as 35 percent. According to the company, the latest reduction means all varieties of SpaghettiOs have a third less sodium than other canned pastas and all meet government standards for healthy main dishes: controlled for fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium and containing a “significant level” of at least two positive nutrients. The new SpaghettiOs – with five essential nutrients and a full serving of vegetables and grains in a cup – will arrive in stores in April.
"Campbell Soup Company Lowers Sodium in SpaghettiOs Pastas", Business Wire, December 14, 2009, © Business Wire
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Diabetics Can Be Adversely Affected By Lack Of Access To Nutritious Foods

December 14, 2009: 09:00 AM EST
Household food insecurity (HFI)– the lack of access to safe and nutritious foods – creates serious health challenges for diabetics, new Canadian research finds. HFI can be caused by limited income, poor access to fresh fruits and vegetables, or lack of familiar ethnic foods. The researchers also found that HFI was linked with mood disorders, lower satisfaction with life and higher self-perceived stress levels. Two groups of diabetics were especially vulnerable to HFI: adults under the age of 40 and women between ages 12 to 45. Note also: HFI rates were higher for people on welfare, whether diabetics or not.
Enza Gucciardi, et al., "Exploration Between Household Food Insecurity and Diabetes in Canada", Diabetes Care, December 14, 2009, © American Diabetes Association
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NZ Beverage Makers End Sales Of Sugary Drinks To Schools

December 10, 2009: 03:19 AM EST
Coca-Cola Amatil and Frucor Beverages have voluntarily stopped providing full sugar carbonated soft drinks and energy drinks to primary, intermediate and secondary schools in New Zealand. The action is the result of an agreement signed by the companies and a government health and education agency three years ago. Coca-Cola and Frucor will continue to supply schools with various sugar-free carbonated or low sugar soft drinks, fruit juices and flavored waters, according to this Infonews.com.nz article. A Frucor spokesman said the agreement shows that “governments and policy makers have alternative ways to regulation to achieve positive social and health outcomes.”
Coca Cola Amatil (NZ) Limited and Frucor Beverages Group Limited , "Companies remove full sugar drinks from schools", Infonews.co.nz, December 10, 2009, © Citizen Media
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Breast Cancer Survival, Non-Recurrence, Associated With High Intake Of Soy

December 9, 2009: 11:49 AM EST
Consuming more soy-based foods was associated with lower breast cancer mortality and lower recurrence among patients in a study of more than 5,000 Chinese breast cancer survivors. The estrogen-like effect of isoflavones – phytoestrogens abundant in soy foods – and the potential interaction between isoflavones and cancer-fighting tamoxifen have led to concern among scientists that consuming soy foods might be risky among breast cancer patients. But women who consumed the most soy food – up to 11 grams a day – had the lowest mortality and recurrence rates rate compared with women who ate the least soy food, regardless of tamoxifen use.
Xiao Ou Shu, MD, PhD; Ying Zheng, MD, et al., "Soy Food Intake and Breast Cancer Survival", Journal of the American Medical Association, December 09, 2009, © American Medical Association
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Unilever Exec Discusses Indian Food Industry Trends, Priorities, Challenges

December 9, 2009: 03:09 AM EST
A Hindustan Unilever exec told a food industry meeting in India recently that sustainable sourcing, return-to-nature (recycling), organic farming, healthy processed foods, natural flavors and consumer convenience were the main trends in the health food market. His company’s priority is to take advantage of innovations in health and wellness food products to enhance health, meet families’ nutrition requirements, promote physical and mental well-being, and use fewer additives and artificial ingredients. Key challenges in India to food makers in India, he said, include regulatory issues, the supply chain, lack of consumer communication, and building trust and credibility.
Hasan Mulani, "Experts discuss innovations and trends in food & beverage sector", FnBNews.com, December 09, 2009, © Food & Beverage News
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Spice Compounds Show Potential For Breast Cancer Treatment

December 8, 2009: 07:41 AM EST
Chemotherapy does not affect breast cancer stem cells that fuel the growth of tumors, which is why cancer recurs and spreads. Eliminating the cancer stem cells, researchers say, is the key to controlling cancer. Now laboratory research has found that the dietary compounds curcumin, derived from the spice turmeric, coupled with black pepper-derived piperine, decreased the number of cancer stem cells when applied to breast cells, without any toxic affect on normal breast cells. The curcumin-piperine solution used was 20 times stronger than what is consumed through diet. Scientists plan a clinical trial to determine safe tolerance levels in patients.
Madhuri Kakarala, Dean E. Brenner, et al., "Targeting breast stem cells with the cancer preventive compounds curcumin and piperine", Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, December 08, 2009, © Springer
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Study Sheds Light On Why Alcohol-Energy Drinks Lead To Risky Behavior

December 7, 2009: 08:23 AM EST
The danger of consuming “alcohol-energy” drinks, whose popularity is soaring among young people, is becoming well known. Even the FDA is considering a crackdown, thanks to an increase in alcohol-related behavioral problems. But why? researchers wondered. In experiments with mice, scientists found that alcohol blocks caffeine’s ability to make the animals more anxious, while caffeine does not reverse alcohol’s negative effect on learning. Because the alcohol-caffeine beverages hamper general cognitive ability, people are more likely to believe they are not drunk or not impaired enough to have problems functioning. The result? Drunk-driving citations, sexual misconduct, and visits to emergency rooms.
Danielle Gulick & Thomas J. Gould, "Interactive effects of ethanol and nicotine on learning, anxiety, and locomotion in C57BL/6 mice in the plus-maze discriminative avoidance task", Neuropharmacology, December 07, 2009, © Elsevier Ltd
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Selenium Supplement Found To Suppress Development Of New Colon Polyps

December 6, 2009: 10:46 AM EST
An Italian study of 411 people aged 25 to 75 who had already had benign polyps called adenomas removed from their colon found that those who took a daily supplement of the antioxidant selenium with various vitamins were 40 percent less likely to develop new adenomas. Though only a small proportion of polyps develop into cancer, as much as 70 to 80 percent of colorectal cancers stem from adenomas, which are common in people aged 60 or older. The researchers said they observed the benefit of the selenium supplement through 13 years of follow up.
Luigina Bonelli, M.D., "Antioxidant Compound Reduced Incidence of Colorectal Metachronous Adenomas", Presentation, Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, December 06, 2009, © American Association for Cancer Research
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Drinking Coffee Reduces Risk Of Prostate Cancer, Study Finds

December 6, 2009: 11:04 AM EST
U.S. researchers who examined 20 years of health records of nearly 50,000 men who drank regular and decaffeinated coffee found that men who drank the most coffee had a 60 percent lower risk of aggressive prostate cancer than men who did not drink any coffee. Caffeine was not the key factor in the correlation, one researcher said. In fact, they were unsure which of the many biologically active compounds in coffee, like antioxidants and minerals, was the most important. “Our results do suggest there is no reason to stop drinking coffee out of any concern about prostate cancer,” they concluded.
Kathryn M. Wilson, Ph.D., "Coffee Consumption Associated with Reduced Risk of Advanced Prostate Cancer", Presentation, Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, December 06, 2009, © American Association for Cancer Research
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New Chocolate Nutrition Bar Features Anti-aging Antioxidant From Red Grapes

December 3, 2009: 10:50 AM EST
U.S. gourmet nutrition bar maker ResVez has introduced a product containing an antioxidant found in red grapes that research has shown to have a variety of anti-aging benefits. The company says its new dark chocolate Winetime Bar will contain as much of the antioxidant resveratrol, which apparently activates genes associated with longevity, as 50 glasses of wine. The high-fiber 50g bar packs 190 calories and is made with a special resveratrol formulation plus an extract from premium French grapes. The bar, whose retail price is $2.99, also contains dates, almonds, cranberries, noni, pomegranates, goji berries, acai, mangosteens and blueberries.
"Nutrition bar containing resveratrol hits the market", Independent.co.uk, December 03, 2009, © Independent.co.uk
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Simple, Inexpensive Oral Rinse Test Seems To Detect Head And Neck Cancer

December 2, 2009: 11:28 PM EST
In preliminary research among patients with head and neck squamous cell cancer, U.S. scientists have come up with a simple, inexpensive early detection method for HNSCC. In controlled tests, the scientists had 180 patients with HNSCC rinse their mouths with a specially-developed saline solution. After they spit it out, antibodies that identify molecules involved in the transformation of normal cells into cancer cells were added to the rinse. After 48 hours, the molecules showed up in color if cancer was present in the saliva. According to the scientists, the molecule was significantly elevated in HNSCC patients.
"Mouthwash May Detect Cancer", KPTV, December 02, 2009, © KPTV.com
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Delivery Of Five Key Healthy Ingredients Presents Golden Opportunity For Food Industry

November 23, 2009: 08:04 AM EST
Food, beverage, and supplements makers take heed: a golden market opportunity exists, according to this Functional Ingredients article. Parents are concerned about obesity and diabetes, are thinking “less-sugary, less-salty, natural and organic” as they choose foods for their kids. They also want “condition-specific“ products (for immunity, energy, etc.). Companies that can deliver better-for-you foods and drinks containing some of the five key science-based ingredients should thrive. The magic ingredients include dairy calcium and potassium, vitamin K2 from dairy, vitamin D, probiotics, and lipids. This article surveys the science behind these healthy additives and how food companies can take advantage.
Todd Runestad, "Nutrition that nurtures", Functional Ingredients , November 23, 2009, © Penton Media, Inc.
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Elder Athletes Can Improve Bone Health With High-Impact Sports

November 14, 2009: 03:36 AM EST
Ultrasound scans of 560 senior male and female athletes who participated in high-impact sports at the 2005 National Senior Games found that even the oldest participants had better bone mineral density than people who participated in low-impact sports, according to a U.S. study. High-impact sports include basketball, road racing, track and field, triathlon and volleyball. The researchers noted that seniors with health problems like osteoarthritis might be prevented from trying such activities, but those who are relatively healthy can improve bone health and bone aging through high-impact sports. Ages of the athletes averaged 65.9 years, with the oldest being 93.
Daniel Leigey, BS, James Irrgang, PhD, et al., "Participation in High-Impact Sports Predicts Bone Mineral Density in Senior Olympic Athletes", Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach, November 14, 2009, © The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
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Glanbia Unveils Array Of Chilled Beverage Prototypes For Functional Beverage Industry

November 6, 2009: 02:50 AM EST
Translating “key market trends into commercial new products,” Glanbia Nutritionals, a nutritional ingredient provider and division of Ireland’s Glanbia plc, unveiled an array of functional chilled beverage prototypes at a recent industry exposition. The products include a 200-calorie protein shake for muscle recovery, a whey-based beverage for “rapid mass gain,” a flax-whey smoothie packed with omega-3s and whey protein, a high-protein tea-flavored beverage, and a milk protein isolate-based meal replacement shake. The company credits its customer research and collaboration facility in Idaho for the innovative prototypes.
Glanbia Nutritionals, Inc. , "Glanbia Nutritionals Offers More Than Ingredients for Nutritional Beverages", NPI Center, November 06, 2009, © GLANBIA NUTRITIONALS
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Getting Enough Quality Sleep Correlates With Healthier Diet, Study Concludes

November 6, 2009: 03:04 AM EST
Adequate sleep – but not experiences at work – is a strong predictor of healthy food choices and better health, according to a new U.S. study of 542 men who put in long hours on irregular shifts in the trucking industry. The findings suggest that adequate sleep somehow mediates the effects of the workplace on healthy food choices. There is a link to chronic disease, the researchers said, because inadequate or poor sleep correlates with weight gain, diabetes, etc. “Sleep adequacy, by enhancing [healthy] dietary choices, is one means by which workplace factors may influence chronic disease risk," the researchers said.
Orfeu M. Buxton, PhD, Lisa M. Quintiliani, PhD, et al., "Association of Sleep Adequacy With More Healthful Food Choices", American Journal of Public Health, November 06, 2009, © American Public Health Association
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Energy Drinks Flying Off The Shelves, Despite Questions About Effects On Health

November 2, 2009: 01:14 AM EST
Sales of energy drinks targeted at 18- to 24-year-olds and powered by caffeine, taurine, and sugar – criticized widely as unhealthy – more than tripled from 2004 to 2009, according to data from market researcher Mintel. New product launches, meanwhile, some claiming health benefits, more than doubled. In the same timeframe, drinks promising low, no, or reduced calories grew slightly or remained steady. Already grabbing a share of the energy drink market are new “better-for-you” beverages aimed squarely at the over-35 crowd. They promise a safe, natural, organic or sugar-free energy boost. Ingredients include antioxidants, green tea, B vitamins, etc.
Joysa Winter, "Energy drinks are hot, but healthy?", Functional Ingredients, November 02, 2009, © Penton Media, Inc
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Healthy Choice Meals Shown To Lower Pre-Diabetic Risk Factors In Study

October 27, 2009: 08:09 AM EST
A 24-week study of people with pre-diabetic conditions, such as being overweight and sedentary, who ate ConAgra’s Healthy Choice meals as part of a healthy lifestyle improved pre-diabetic risk factors. Participants lowered their blood glucose and insulin levels and experienced improvements in insulin sensitivity, according to cardiologist Dr. James Rippe, who led the study. Treatment of Type 2 diabetes places a burden of about $132 billion a year on the American economy, Rippe said. ConAgra says its Healthy Choice meals are lower in calories, saturated fat and sodium compared to a typical American meals.
"New Research Shows Healthy Choice(R) Meals Can Help Curb Pre-Diabetes", Businesswire, October 27, 2009, © ConAgra Foods, Inc.
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Diabetes Drug Liraglutide Works Well As A Weight Loss Treatment

October 23, 2009: 07:26 AM EST
The injectable diabetes drug liraglutide reduced weight in obese people who did not have diabetes, according to a Danish study conducted among 564 people in Europe. Moreover, high doses of liraglutide led to greater weight loss than the drug orlistat. For example, a 3.0 mg dose of injected liraglutide led to a 7.2 kg weight loss, compared with a loss of 2.8 kg with a placebo and 4.1 kg with orally administered orlistat. The researchers found that a higher proportion of individuals (76 percent) lost more than 5 percent weight with liraglutide 3.0 mg than with orlistat (44 percent).
Arne Astrup, Stephan Rössner, et al., "Effects of liraglutide in the treatment of obesity: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study", The Lancet, October 23, 2009, © Elsevier Limited
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Pilot Program That Taught Nutrition To Grade Schoolers Paid Off, Study Finds

October 19, 2009: 11:46 PM EST
A pilot study that sent registered dietitians into three public elementary schools to teach nutrition showed promising results, according to the American Dietetic Association. For example, thirty-one percent of students in the pilot schools reported eating a vegetable with school lunch, after they had reported not eating a vegetable with school lunch before the study. This compared with 17 percent of students from two control schools. The study was conducted in the Kansas City, Mo., area over a 14-week period among fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students. Several nutrition education programs involving nutrition counseling and physical education games were tested.
"American Dietetic Association Foundation’s Healthy Schools Partnership Shows Positive Results in Influencing Healthful Diet Choices among Grade School Students", American Dietetic Association, October 19, 2009, © American Dietetic Association (ADA)
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If Mom Is Eating A Healthy Diet, The Kids Are, Too, Study Finds

October 19, 2009: 04:56 AM EST
When the diet of the adult female in a household with children follows U.S. government dietary guidance, most of the kids are eating just as well, according to a new NPD Group marketing study. But the study also found that moms’ attitudes toward nutrition often don’t fit with what they’re eating. In fact, 75 percent of new mothers and 65 percent of experienced moms said they shop for nutritious food, but don’t necessarily eat those foods. Another odd discrepancy: two-thirds of mothers felt they were very knowledgeable about nutrition and eating, but only half ranked their children very knowledgeable.
"NPD Finds Moms' Eating Habits and Nutritional Knowledge Influences What Their Kids Eat", The NPD Group, October 19, 2009, © The NPD Group
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Low-Fat Yogurt Fortified With Protein And Fiber Reduces Appetite

October 17, 2009: 06:53 AM EST
A low-fat dairy product enriched with protein and fiber can significantly reduce short-term appetite, new French and British research has found. In controlled laboratory studies, healthy women were fed a mid-morning snack of either the control (regular yogurt) or a low-fat yogurt enriched with eight grams of protein and 2.9 grams of fiber. The scientists recorded subjective factors like hunger, fullness, desire to eat and prospective consumption throughout the morning. Two hours later, the researchers measured food intake at lunch. “The test product reduced subjective appetite compared to the control,” the scientists concluded. And the women ate less.
Anne Lluch, et al, "Short-term appetite-reducing effects of a low-fat dairy product enriched with protein and fibre", Food Quality and Preference, October 17, 2009, via Food Quality and Preference, © Elsevier B.V.
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As Vegan Recipes Get Tastier, The Vegan Diet Gains Devotees

October 8, 2009: 03:24 AM EST
Although the vegan diet – no animal products, including dairy and eggs – will probably always be a niche lifestyle, it is steadily gaining adherents, according to this Hartford Courant article. Thanks to the availability of good ingredients and meat substitutes, as well as an increasing number of vegetable-oriented cookbooks and recipes, the diet can be flavorful and nutritious, containing lots of protein, calcium and iron. Says one cookbook editor of the mushrooming veganism trend: “Consumers are interested in eating locally, eating seasonally and eating a diet that's good for them and good for their family, so they're open to new ideas."
Korky Vann, "Turn Over A New Leaf: Vegan Diets Are Moving More Solidly Into Mainstream ", The Hartford Courant, October 08, 2009, © The Hartford Courant
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Yogurt Makers Group Sees Probiotics Rejections As Part Of A Learning Phase

October 7, 2009: 12:51 PM EST
A group representing the world’s biggest yogurt makers said the European Food Safety Authority’s recent rejection of health claims for probiotic ingredients represents only “technical obstacles” that can be overcome. The Authority completely rejected ten claims while ruling that another 170 simply could not be evaluated because of a lack of evidence. Noting that the rejections were part of a learning phase of a new evaluation system, the Yogurt and Live Fermented Milks Association said its members were working closely with the EFSA so that researchers could continue to assess the health benefits of probiotics yogurt.
Shane Starling, "Yoghurt group unfazed by mass probiotics rejection", Nutra ingrdients.com, October 07, 2009, © Decision News Media SAS
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Booming Beverage Market Shifting To Healthy, High Quality Niche Products

October 5, 2009: 05:01 AM EST
Beverage sales are booming as consumers buy into a couple of key trends: better-for-you and high quality ingredients and flavors, according to data from the US-based Center for Culinary Development. The better-for-you category includes functional, nutrition-boosting, and wellness beverages. The quality category encompasses organic, local, artisan-made, and retro/nostalgic beverages. One of the trendier beverages in the “Trend Mapping Report” is coconut water, which is rich in electrolytes, free of fat and cholesterol, and low in sugar. The markets for the new beverages – “with plenty of room for growth and innovation” – include Gen Y teens, with-it Gen X parents and health-conscious Boomers.
"Niche Products, Novel Benefits Propel Beverage Market", Marketwire, October 05, 2009, © Marketwire, Incorporated.
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Joint Venture Firm Building Cereal Innovation Center In Switzerland

October 2, 2009: 03:52 AM EST
A joint venture between Swiss food maker Nestlé S.A. and General Mills Inc., has begun construction of an innovation center in Orbe, Switzerland, to develop breakfast cereals that feature better nutrition along with freshness, taste and texture. The joint venture, known as Cereal Partners Worldwide S.A., is the second largest cereal manufacturer in the world, with US$2.8 billion in 2008 sales and is strategically focused on nutrition, health, and wellness. The new center, slated to be completed in mid-2010, is being built with sustainability and low environmental impact in mind.
"New Innovation Centre to accelerate research on breakfast cereal solutions ", Nestle, October 02, 2009, © Nestle
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General Mills Program Encourages Healthy Eating In Hispanic Communities

September 28, 2009: 07:34 AM EST
A three-year community-relations initiative designed by General Mills, Inc., last year to encourage Hispanics to eat tasty and nutritious foods has grown into an important resource for the communities it serves in California, Illinois, and Texas, according to the company, which launched the second year of Mente Sana en Cuerpo Sano (Sound Mind, Sound Body) with an awards dinner for community-based partners. The company's broader Hispanic platform, Que Rica Vida, creates materials in Spanish and English that help Hispanics combine their healthy food traditions with “the realties of life in the U.S.”
"General Mills Renews Commitment To Help Latino Families Eat Right", PR Newswire, September 28, 2009, © PR Newswire Association LLC.
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Natural Ingredient Supplier Creates Breakthrough White Food Color

September 17, 2009: 12:27 PM EST
Denmark’s Chr. Hansen says it has plugged a big gap in the food coloring market created by consumer aversion to products tainted by synthetic dyes. The company has unveiled a natural white food color based on calcium carbonate, rather than the synthetic titanium dioxide. Consumers are wary of synthetic food dyes because of scientific studies associating them with childhood hyperactivity disorders. A Chr. Hansen exec says the creation of the natural white food color is evidence the company is powering a major trend: “converting the food color market from synthetic to natural solutions.”
"Chr. Hansen launches groundbreaking natural white food color", Chr. Hansen, September 17, 2009, © Chr. Hansen A/S
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UK Government Should Provide Guidance To Food Industry On Healthy, Sustainable Diet

September 15, 2009: 11:21 AM EST
The first report of the UK’s new Council of Food Policy Advisors recommends that the government provide consumers information on a healthy diet as well as offer guidance to the food industry on how it can help create a more sustainable food system. In what is seen as a worrying trend, Government figures reveal that UK self-sufficiency in fresh fruit halved between 1988 and 2007 to just above 10 per cent. At the same time, self-sufficiency in fresh vegetable production fell by 20 per cent to 55 per cent and continues to fall. The panel called on the government to create an “overarching vision” and cross-government strategy whose priorities would include an environmentally sustainable diet and a strategy for increasing the country’s production of fruits and vegetables. Chief Executive of the Fresh Produce Consortium, Nigel Jenney, said UK growers had a ‘significant opportunity’ to increase the sustainable production of indigenous crops.
William Surman, "Benn’s food policy advisers target fruit and veg", Farmers Guardian, September 15, 2009, © UBM Information Ltd.
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Work Conditions, Time Demands, Affect Food Choices Of Working Parents

September 9, 2009: 11:34 AM EST
Work conditions coupled with competing demands on the time of employed American parents exert a major impact on the food choices made for themselves and their families, according to a study of 50 parents in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. For example, fathers who work long or nonstandard hours are more likely to use take-out meals, miss family meals, purchase prepared entrees, and eat while working. Better work conditions may lead to better strategies for feeding families, including less meal skipping, preparing more meals in the home, eating with the family, and keeping healthful food at work, researchers said.
Carol M. Devine, Ph.D., R.D., Tracy J. Farrell, M.S., et al., "Work Conditions and the Food Choice Coping Strategies of Employed Parents", Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, September 09, 2009, © Elsevier, Inc.
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New Version Of Wheaties “Fuels” Athletic Performance

September 9, 2009: 01:27 AM EST
Eighty five years after a serendipitous accident led to the creation of the original Wheaties breakfast cereal, General Mills says it has blended advanced nutritional science with the developmental help of several top athletes to create a new version “designed specifically to help fuel athletic performance.” Wheaties FUEL, consumer tested for three months, is a 200-calorie-per-serving sweetened whole wheat flake with granola and rice that provides all of the RDV of five B-vitamins, five grams of fiber, plus calcium and vitamin D, according to the company. Listed among the co-creators were football’s Peyton Manning, basketball’s Kevin Garnett, and baseball’s Albert Pujols.
"General Mills Unveils Wheaties Fuel – The New Breakfast of Champions", General Mills, September 09, 2009, © General Mills, Inc.
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P&G Boosts Spending To Raise E-Commerce Profile, Online Sales

September 7, 2009: 04:46 AM EST
Procter & Gamble is boosting its spending on digital retail sales and brand marketing in hopes of growing its e-commerce business from $500 million to $4 billion a year. Besides digital ads like search and video, the online strategy encompasses selling on its own Web sites, which include high-volume targets like Pampers.com, as well as on Amazon.com and Walmart.com. Newly installed global team leader for digital business Lucas Watson hopes to take advantage of the fact that Nielsen has forecast e-commerce sales of consumer packaged goods to grow as much as 25% a year.
Jack Neff, "Beyond Online Ads: P&G Sets $4 Billion E-Commerce Goal", Advertising Age, September 07, 2009, © Crain Communications
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Big Web Video Ad Buy May Bring About New Ad Pricing Formulas

September 7, 2009: 04:50 AM EST
The embryonic online video marketing industry thought it was getting a big shot in the arm at a critical economic time when Reckitt Benckiser announced it would invest $20 million in Web video advertising. But the enthusiasm waned quickly when the company insisted on paying a viewer CPM as low as $1. Video ad networks and publishers backed away from the deal, but it was eventually accepted by four ad network start-ups. RB seems pleased with the results so far. Video sites, meanwhile, are left wondering whether a new video ad pricing paradigm has been born.
Michael Learmonth, "Kill or Cure: How Reckitt's Big Buy Rocked Online Ads", Advertising Age, September 07, 2009, © Crain Communications
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Filipino Firm Succeeds Through Passion, Innovation, And Consumer Choice

September 7, 2009: 04:16 AM EST
The management of Pascual Laboratories in the Philippines says the company owes its success to a generations-old passion for providing innovative, reasonably priced personal care products developed through careful research. Its OraCare mouthwash, for example, does not contain alcohol, which dries the mouth and causes bad breath. Likewise, its toothpaste contains no sugar. An asthma and cough medicine, Ascof, is an all-natural herbal product. But whether it offers chemical-based branded or generic medications, or natural options, this report says, it’s the company’s passion for the health of Filipinos that is its driving force.
Anne Jambora, "FROM ALL FILIPINO FIRM: Sugar-free toothpaste, affordable drugs", Philippine Daily Inquirer, September 07, 2009, © INQUIRER.net
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Except For Pizza And Movie Tickets, Mobile Phones Not Yet A Force In E-Commerce

September 4, 2009: 05:27 AM EST
Users of Web-enabled mobile devices, reluctant to divulge personal info and credit card data over their phones, are not yet a big market for major e-commerce purchases, according to a new report. That trend is not likely to change soon, partly because brand marketers haven’t yet figured out how to handle mobile-based commerce, given the huge array of phones and operating systems. So, except for buying pizza and movie tickets, mobile shoppers will mainly use their Web-connected devices to gather information: weather reports, sports scores and other news, etc.
Mike Shields , "Shoppers Still Hesitant to Buy via Mobile Devices", Mediaweek, September 04, 2009, © Nielsen Business Media, Inc
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Calls For Healthier School Lunches Create Market Opportunity For Food Service Suppliers

September 4, 2009: 10:42 PM EST
ConAgra Foods, whose school foodservice sales total $100 million a year, continues to expand its line of healthier school lunch foods as industry experts forecast increased market opportunities in that space. The company’s latest offering, currently being tested in one school district, is a pizza quesadilla made with mozzarella and a cheese substitute that has no unhealthy trans fat. Though U.S. sales of food and nonalcoholic beverages outside the home will fall 2.6 percent in 2009, sales to schools will increase three percent, Bloomberg News reports. Rising unemployment, driving more kids into federally-subsidized lunch programs, is a key factor.
"ConAgra seeks school lunch edge with healthier pizza quesadilla", BLOOMBERG NEWS, September 04, 2009, © Bloomberg L.P.
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Regulators Getting Serious About Scrutinizing Functional Food Health Claims

September 4, 2009: 01:10 AM EST
Do probiotic bacteria in yogurts really improve your health? Does the addition of vitamins to sugar water really make the beverage healthier? These are the types of questions being asked of functional food makers by regulators who are looking closely at health claims. So far, the European Food Safety Authority and the FDA have found a lot of hot air in the health claims and very little science. This World Health Organization article summarizes the controversy that pits regulators and consumer groups against functional food manufacturers that have been making bold claims about the health benefits of their products.
"Europe puts health claims to the test", World Health Organization (WHO), September 04, 2009, © WHO
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“Buzz-Monitoring” Finds Big Differences In Shoppers’ Online Chatter About Target, Wal-Mart

September 4, 2009: 05:08 AM EST
Not only do Target's shoppers chat more online than Wal-Mart's about their shopping experience, they have more positive things to say, according to a new “buzz-monitoring” service that analyzes the substance, as well as the quantity, of online brand conversations. Crimson Hexagon screened online brand chatter for about a month, finding that 75 percent of conversations about Target were positive, while 61 percent of conversations about Wal-Mart were negative. "Wal-Mart was much more polarizing," said a vice president of business development at Crimson Hexagon.
Brian Morrissey , "In Online Chatter, Target Bests Walmart ", Adweek, September 04, 2009, © Nielsen Business Media, Inc
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SocNet Sites Becoming A Major Force In Online Advertising

September 3, 2009: 05:50 AM EST
Attracted by high reach and frequency at lower costs, big-name advertisers are ramping up use of social media sites to tout products. According to a new report, one in five ads viewed online appear on sites like Facebook and MySpace, with the top two advertisers in June being AT&T (2 billion ad impressions) and Experian Interactive (1.3 billion impressions). The category should continue to grow in ad volume as SocNet sites experiment with innovation. “CPMs could also increase if the sites can demonstrate a high campaign ROI,” said an executive at comScore, which produced the report.
"SocNets Serve up 20% of Online Display Ads", Marketing Charts, September 03, 2009, © Watershed Publishing
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J&J Pounces On Market Opportunity For Skin Care Products In India

September 3, 2009: 02:17 AM EST
Indian women are increasingly concerned about skin protection, multinational personal care products giant Johnson & Johnson has found. And it is wasting no time in taking advantage of that nugget of marketing intel. The company recently launched 22 skin care products under the "Neutrogena” brand in the country, and plans to keep its finger on the market pulse to determine future product introductions. With a goal of reaching the top echelon of skin care product providers in India, J&J has “several market opportunities lined up,” a marketing exec says.
"Johnson & Johnson expands portfolio", The Hindu Business Line, September 03, 2009, © The Hindu Business Line
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Use Telepresence Technologies To Tap Into Your Workforce IP

September 2, 2009: 03:44 AM EST
A company’s workforce is a vast reservoir of product research and development ideas: a living, breathing form of intellectual property. The problem is how to tap into that reservoir, to gather and share the ideas. For the past few years, companies like Procter & Gamble and Cisco Systems have employed high-def videoconferencing and instant messaging over integrated voice, video, and data networks, so-called “telepresence” technologies. These money-saving technologies have made it easier for people to share insights and ideas. “The videos and collaboration tools help Cisco create a great sense of community within the ranks,” says one exec.
Matt Hamblen, "Firms use collaboration tools to tap the ultimate IP -- worker ideas", Computer World, September 02, 2009, © Computerworld Inc.
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U.K. Grocery Giant Hopes Weather Forecasting Software Will Prevent Food Waste

September 1, 2009: 04:01 AM EST
Using in-house weather-forecasting software based on three years’ worth of U.K. data, grocery chain Tesco hopes to better adjust its product inventory to coincide with weather patterns – saving money and not wasting food. If successful, the software would help avoid situations where cold weather dampens purchases of barbecue meat and rising temperatures depress sales of cold-weather puddings. So far, it seems to be working, a Tesco exec says. “The system successfully predicted temperature drops during July that led to a major increase in demand for soup.”
Julia Werdigier, "Tesco, British Grocer, Uses Weather to Predict Sales", New York Times, September 01, 2009, © The New York Times Company
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Twitter, Facebook Help Retailers Listen To Their Customers, Boost Store Sales

September 1, 2009: 03:47 AM EST
Online retail sales still represent only a small proportion of retail sales but retailers would be making a big mistake if they don't make full use of the Internet, especially consumer-generated media (CGM) such as online social meeting places where consumers spend a lot of time exchanging opinions and information about products. CGM sites like Twitter and Facebook are good places to engage and respond to customers, nurture brand credibility, improve customer service, and draw people into stores. In a piece geared to helping retailers tap social media, Nielsen stresses the need to time with customers online, to listen and engage them through encouraging conversations.
Maya Swedowsky, "A Social Media 'How To' for Retailers", The Nielsen Company, September 01, 2009, © The Nielsen Company
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Web Sites Need To Engage Retail Shoppers Before They Leave Home

September 1, 2009: 02:09 AM EST
Retailers who want to draw shoppers into their stores should take a lesson from companies like Wal-Mart that have used their Web sites to engage consumers in the shopping experience before they even leave the house. Product brands can take advantage of the fact that the Wal-Mart site is packed with videos, interactivity, downloads, links back to brand Web sites, free samples, and sponsored content. It’s all easily accessible from the Wal-Mart homepage, where the prominently displayed link “In Stores Now” draws shoppers first to the special offers and then to the store itself.
Greg Murtagh, "Shopper Marketing Online", Hub Magazine , September 01, 2009, © Marketing Hub
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