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Period: February 15, 2012 to March 1, 2012
Comment & Opinion or Companies, Organizations or Consumers or Controversies & Disputes or Deals, M&A, JVs, Licensing or Earnings Release or Finance, Economics, Tax or Innovation & New Ideas or Legal, Legislation, Regulation, Policy or Market News or Marketing & Advertising or Other or People & Personalities or Press Release or Products & Brands or Research, Studies, Advice or Supply Chain or Trends

Devotees Of Gluten-Free Lifestyle Unmoved By Nutritionists’ Advice

According to market researchers, fewer than ten percent of U.S. consumers are allergic to the protein gluten, found in wheat, barley and rye. Only one percent suffer from celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder marked by a serious digestive reaction to gluten. Yet 25 percent of consumers have sworn off gluten – thanks to hype from marketers and celebrities – creating a $6 billion a year market. Nutritionists say avoiding gluten is not harmful to people without celiac disease, but it is a waste of money. If a person doesn’t have celiac disease and isn’t gluten-sensitive, they say, go ahead and eat that bread. But that advice does not convince those without gluten sensitivity or celiac disease who swear their gluten-free diet has changed their lives.

"Is going gluten-free good for you?", The Baltimore Sun, February 16, 2012

U.S. Hotels Board The Gluten-Free Bandwagon

With the growing awareness of the potential harm to people with a digestive sensitivity to gluten – the protein found in wheat, barley and rye – U.S. hotels have begun to modify their menus to cater to gluten-averse customers. The USA TODAY report notes that Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar (San Francisco), Fairmont Hotels, Omni Hotels, Marriott International and Washington’s Ritz-Carlton have all begun offering gluten-free fare in their facilities, from room service to minibars to buffets. The changes make for good marketing, say hoteliers: "This is a subtle message that we are attentive to health issues," says the dean of NYU's Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management.

"Hotels cater to special diets; gluten-free food now on menus", USA TODAY, February 05, 2012

Products & Brands  

Walmart Spotlights Its Healthy Food Products With New “Great For You” Label

A “Great For You” label will begin to appear this spring on Walmart food products that meet the company's newly developed standards for healthiness and nutrition. The bright green labels, part of a recent commitment to boost the nutritional quality of the foods it sells, will appear on its Great Value and Marketside food lines. The labels will also be displayed on signs in the fresh fruit and vegetable sections of stores. The company will allow use of the label – without requiring a licensing fee – by non-store brands, as long as products meet the company’s nutritional standards.

"Walmart to Label Healthy Foods", The New York Times, February 07, 2012

CDC Finds That Bread And Rolls Are The Major Source Of Sodium In The American Diet

A Center for Disease Control report on dietary sodium says bread and rolls – not salty snacks – are the number one source of salt in the U.S. diet. CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said snack foods like potato chips, pretzels and popcorn rank only at No. 10 on CDC’s list of top sodium sources. The CDC was careful to clarify that bread and rolls aren’t themselves loaded with salt: but people tend to eat a lot more of them. The top 10 list accounts for 44 percent of the sodium in the American diet. Bread and rolls provide about seven percent of the salt, followed by cold cuts and cured meats, pizza, fresh and processed poultry, soups, fast-food hamburgers and sandwiches, and cheese.

"CDC: Bread beats out chips as biggest salt source", News feature via Google, February 07, 2012

Research, Studies, Advice  

Citrus Flavanones Lower Risk Of Stroke In Women

British researchers who analyzed 14 years of data from a nurses study found that those who consumed the highest amounts of compounds known as flavanones – found in citrus fruits – significantly lowered their risk of stroke. The study included 69,622 women who reported their food intake, including details on fruit and vegetable consumption, every four years. Consumption of six main subclasses of flavonoids commonly consumed in the U.S. diet – flavanones, anthocyanins, flavan-3-ols, flavonoid polymers, flavonols and flavones – was tracked along with incidents of ischemic, hemorrhagic and total stroke. They found that women who ate high amounts of flavanones in citrus had a 19 percent lower risk of blood clot-related (ischemic) stroke than women who consumed the least amounts.

"Dietary Flavonoids and Risk of Stroke in Women", Stroke, February 23, 2012

Fructose Is Not Necessarily The Culprit In Weight Gain, Study Finds

A study by Canadian scientists who reviewed findings from more than 40 scientific articles found that over-consumption of calories – no matter what their source – was the culprit in weight gain. The researchers specifically noted that eating fructose, a sugar found naturally in fruits, vegetables and honey, was not itself to blame for weight gain in any of the studies. People who consumed fructose were no more likely to gain weight than those who ate other forms of carbohydrates. “Overconsumption is the issue,” the researchers said. The study did not look at the much disparaged food sweetener high fructose corn syrup, which is 45 percent glucose and water, 55 percent fructose.

"Effect of Fructose on Body Weight in Controlled Feeding Trials A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis", Annals of Internal Medicine, February 21, 2012

Elderly People Who Consume More Calories Daily Have Twice The Risk Of Cognitive Impairment

A U.S. study has discovered a close correlation between the number of calories consumed by people age 70 and older and the risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI): the higher the amount of caloric intake each day, the greater the risk. For the study, 1,233 people between the ages of 70 and 89 without dementia – though 163 had MCI – kept track of the calories they consumed from food and drink each day. They were divided into three groups, based on their caloric intake. Researchers found that the odds of having MCI more than doubled in the group that consumed between 2,143 and 6,000 calories a day.

"Caloric Intake, Aging, and Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Population-Based Study", Presentation, American Academy of Neurology (AAN) meeting, February 13, 2012

Want To Lose Weight? Eat Dessert At Breakfast

Israeli researchers report that desserts – cookies, cake or chocolate – eaten as part of a 600-calorie breakfast that also includes proteins and carbohydrates can actually help dieters lose more weight. For the 32-week study, 193 clinically obese, non-diabetic dieters were divided into two groups, one of which ate a 300-calorie breakfast and the other a 600-calorie breakfast that included dessert. Those who ate the breakfast dessert lost an average of 40  pounds more than those who avoided such foods. And they kept the pounds off longer. The key to the weight loss is eating the desserts in the morning when the body’s metabolism is most active and extra calories can be worked off during the day, researchers say.

"Meal timing and composition influence ghrelin levels, appetite scores and weight loss maintenance in overweight and obese adults", Steroids, February 07, 2012

Dietary Flavonoids and Risk of Stroke in Women

Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, February 23, 2012

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