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Diet News Insight Alert Archive

Have a look at some of our recent alerts. These give broad coverage of the industry - if you want something more specific create your own here.

<<45678910111213>> Total issues:125

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June 15, 2011, to July 01, 2011

Study Finds One In Three Nestlé Employees In Sydney Lacks Vitamin D

One in three Australian office workers is lacking in vitamin D during the summer, according to a joint study by Nestlé and the University of Sydney. Results showed that 42% of the 104 male and female employees at the company's Australian headquarters had record low levels of the essential micronutrient by the end of winter. The findings alarmed the researchers, because vitamin D deficiency makes people more likely to suffer from reproductive health problems, muscle function disorders, and osteoporosis.  Nestle used the results to showcase its vitamin D fortified Sustagen and Nestlé Malted Milk Powder. 

Probiotic Reduces Food Transit Time, Improves Gastrointestinal Health

A multinational team of scientists who tested the effects of daily supplementation with a specific probiotic on 100 people found that Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 reduced the transit time of food through the intestines in healthy individuals by as much as 33 percent. The participants, whose mean age was 44, received either high or low doses or B. lactis HN019, or a placebo, for 14 days. The researchers said that both the low and high dose groups experienced improvements in nausea, vomiting, regurgitation, abdominal pain, flatulence, constipation and diarrhea. The researchers said that reducing gut transit time could over a long period of time significantly reduce the risk of various colorectal problems, including cancer.

Study Shows Older Adult Americans Consume More Phytonutrients

Older adult Americans (65 years and older) consume more phytonutrients, such as carotenoids and flavonoids, from fruits and vegetables, according to the Nutrilite Health Institute's analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES). Older adults consumed 20% more carotenoid, 40% more flavonoids, and 80% more ellagic acid than their younger-adult counterparts. The study focused on 14 phytonutrients and covered a study population that included "non-pregnant, non-lactating" respondents who are 19 years and older. Respondents were asked to perform two dietary records based on NHANES criteria. Results showed that resveratrol intake among older adults was 50% higher compared with younger adults, while both age groups showed similar levels of lycopene intakes.

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June 01, 2011, to June 15, 2011

OTA Disputes The Washington Times Op-Ed ‘Rant’ Against Organic Products

The Organic Trade Organization (OTA) has called an Op-Ed piece by David Mastio in The Washington Times a "biased, inaccurate and just plain irresponsible” attack against the organic food industry. OTA claims that Mastio is using misinformation and public hysteria over the recent Escherichia coli outbreak to attack organic food producers and points out that Federal food safety rules also cover the organic products industry and no evidence exist showing organic products are more at risk of E. coli contamination than chemically produced foods. It added that organic producers also have to meet third-party standards of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Program, including emphasis on sanitation in the production process.

Bad Dietary Choices Impact The Entire Society

Most Americans do not base their food decisions on nutritional factors, according to clinical dietitian Timi Gustafson R.D., despite concerns about being overweight. It’s a confusing and contradicting situation. Part of the problem is that Americans are fed up with conflicting dieting and weight loss advice, and have become more accepting of their physical condition. Among the discouraging tends: dietary fat content remains undiminished – cheese is highly popular – and the vast majority of Americans don’t eat recommended daily servings of fresh fruits or vegetables. Almost 20 percent of the calories in the average daily diet come from snacks. Half of young adults skip breakfast every day. This situation is not sustainable, Gustafson says, because the consequences of the obesity lifestyle will be a huge burden on the healthcare system.

E. Coli Outbreak Is Hurting Produce Sales, But Effect On Organic Industry Will Be Temporary

A British analyst firm focusing on the organic industry says the recent E. coli outbreak in Europe that has killed 22 people and sickened more than two thousand others will probably have limited impact on organic devotees over the long haul. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control traced a German farm and are analyzing 18 sprouts including bean and broccoli to determine if they’re the source of the outbreak. Amarjit Sahota, director of Organic Monitor, says sales of organic produce have taken a hit all over Europe  but he doesn’t expect the outbreak to hurt the organic industry in the long term. Organic buyers are more worried about health issues associated with traditional farming, he notes.

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May 15, 2011, to June 01, 2011

Kraft Seeks To Expand Its BOCA Range Of Soy-Based Meat Alternative Products

Gary Berger, BOCA brand manager at Kraft Foods, said that U.S. retailers are re-locating meat alternatives in the store and giving them more shelf space as more consumers buy non-meat options and the category becomes increasingly mainstream. BOCA is looking to get new consumers to try non-meat products and is working with Weight Watchers to position the brand as a healthy weight management food option. BOCA is facing a growing number of competitors, but believes its healthy soy-based products will enable it to retain its leadership in the meat alternatives market. It defends the safety of its products but has introduced a non-GMO soy range to address concerns of consumers worried about GMO ingredients.

Danisco Probiotic Strains Help Relieve Intestinal Bloating In Clinical Study

Researchers at the University of North Carolina and food ingredients supplier Danisco have found that two probiotic strains consumed as daily supplements significantly eased the bloating experienced by people with gastrointestinal disorders. The two strains, which are produced by Danisco, are Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07. In combination they cut bloating by 27 percent after eight weeks. Sixty study participants with bowel disorders (but not constipation) were divided into two groups. One received the two probiotic strains, the other a placebo. The participants completed questionnaires rating their bloating on a 17-point scale after four and eight weeks. At eight weeks, the probiotics group rated their bloating at 4.26 on average, while the placebo group rated their symptoms at 5.84.

Healthy Gut Flora Associated With Lower Risk Of Obesity

Swedish researchers have found in a rat study that daily intake of a lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL19) seems to prevent obesity and reduce low-level inflammation in the body. For the study, two groups of rats were fed a high-energy diet from the time they were in the uterus through adulthood. Animals who were also given a daily supplement of Lactobacillus gained significantly less weight than other rats. The researchers also observed that rats given lactobacilli also had a richer and better composition of  naturally occurring gut bacteria.

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April 15, 2011, to May 15, 2011

Four Out Of Five Americans Consider Themselves “Weight Conscious” – Survey

Eighty percent of men and women aged 18 and older – 186 million Americans – consider themselves “weight conscious”, and half of these want to lose weight, according to a November 2010 survey of 1,203 males and females sponsored by the Calorie Control Council. Weight loss methods most frequently cited were: cutting back on foods high in sugar, eating smaller portions, consuming low-calorie or sugar-free foods and beverages and exercising. Least often cited methods included meal skipping, diet pills and restrictive weight loss diets. "Many have taken the first step – admitting they want to lose weight for overall better health," says Beth Hubrich of the Calorie Control Council, and half of those surveyed said they wanted to lose at least 10 pounds.

Coca-Cola Refuses To Budge On The BPA Issue

Arguing that the use of bisphenol A (BPA) is not only safe but is the only commercially viable way to line beverage cans, the Coca-Cola Company is refusing to give in to demands from shareholders for information about whether it plans to phase out the use of the controversial chemical. More than 25 percent of shareholders at the company’s annual meeting voted for disclosure of the company’s plans, if any, for addressing consumer concerns over BPA use in its beverage cans, and called for phasing out its use. BPA has been linked to neurological defects, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

New Research Finds A Hike In Use Of Term “Proven” In European Food Health Claims

Market researcher Innova Market Insights reports a 36 percent increase in 2010 in the number of products in Western Europe with health claims that use the word “proven." A possible reason for the increase in the use of the buzzword may be the April release of the fourth set of generic EU health claim opinions from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which seemed more inclined to grant successful opinions to companies that use words like “proven" and “scientific support" in their health claims. But as uncertainty regarding wording continues, manufacturers are choosing softer or passive claims (e.g., “low and light"). Innova identified several other emerging trends affecting new nutritional and functional foods, including relaxation drinks, out-of-the-box weight loss, joint health boosters, etc.

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April 01, 2011, to April 15, 2011

Anti-inflammatory Dietary Supplement Promotes Cardiovascular Health, Study Finds

Two studies conducted by researchers from TNO Quality of Life (The Netherlands), one in transgenic mice and the other in overweight men, have found that intake of an anti-inflammatory dietary mix noticeably reduced signs of inflammation and atherosclerosis and the risk of cardiovascular disease. The mixture contained vitamins E and C, resveratrol, catechins from green tea extract, omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil and lycopene from tomato extract C. In the placebo-controlled human study, 36 overweight men consumed the anti-inflammatory supplement over five weeks. Researchers found that the volunteers had less inflammation and a better metabolism at the end of the study.

High Levels Of Dietary Vitamin K Linked To Improved Bone Density In Elderly Men And Women

A study by Spanish researchers has found that a diet rich in vitamin K found in leafy vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli and spinach, and also from dairy and meat, is associated with increased bone mineral density (BMD) in both elderly men and women. The study included 200 elderly people “with healthy dietary habits” whose bone density was measured using quantitative ultrasound assessment (QUS). The researchers found that for every 100 microgram increase in vitamin K intake there was a 0.008 g/m2 increase in BMD. “High dietary vitamin K intake was associated with superior bone properties,” the researchers concluded.

Food Companies Can Expect A Spate Of Class Action Suits Over Health Claims

High-profile food companies that make strong, but possibly questionable, health claims for their products should brace themselves for a deluge of class action lawsuits from consumer lobby groups. Legal experts told NutraIngredients that companies should expect an “explosion” of suits similar to the one targeting General Mills over its claims of digestive health for Yo-Plus yogurts. The suit was recently allowed to proceed by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals despite the company’s efforts to torpedo it. Part of the litigation problem may be aggressive lawyers looking for settlement opportunities with big companies. Dannon and Wrigley, for example, both settled class action challenges related to health claims for products. But perhaps the real root cause is overeager food company marketing departments with a penchant for health claim hyperbole.
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