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Period: December 15, 2012 to January 1, 2013
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

Britain’s Celebrity Chefs Are Serving Up Some Unhealthy Fare – Study

Recipes prepared by celebrity chefs on TV – in the U.K. at least – may be delicious but they are a lot less healthy than the ready meals you can be in grocery stores like Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, according to a British study. Researchers randomly selected 100 main meal recipes from cookbooks by UK TV chefs and 100 store brand ready meals. Both sets of recipes tended to be high in protein, fat, saturated fat, and salt, low in carbohydrate, and within the recommended range for sugar. TV chef recipes, however, contained significantly more calories, protein, fat, and saturated fat and much less fiber. Chefs included in the study were Jamie Oliver (shown at left), Lorraine Pascale, Nigella Lawson, and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

"Nutritional content of supermarket ready meals and recipes by television chefs in the United Kingdom: cross sectional study", BMJ, December 17, 2012

Marketing & Advertising  

Dietitians Play An Advisory Role In Midwest Grocery Stores

With a growing number of American consumers concerned about eating healthy, nutritious foods, U.S. supermarket chains, especially those located in the Midwest, have hired registered dietitians to advise customers. Iowa chain Hy-Vee has stationed a dietitian in nearly all 235 of its stores. Other stores that have gotten on the dietitian bandwagon include Kroger, Giant-Eagle, H-E-B, Bashas’, Reasor’s Foods, and Meijer. Services provided by the dietitians include: cooking demonstrations and cooking classes; teaching people how to read labels; educating people about the benefits of the produce section; and providing advice on food allergies and food sensitivities.

"Supermarket dietitians help consumers in healthy choices", Miami (Oklahoma) News Record , December 13, 2012

Baking Industry Responds To Need For Satisfying Gluten-Free Products

The Institute of Food Technologists has issued a statement touting the food industry’s response to the increased awareness of celiac disease, a painful sensitivity to the protein gluten found in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten gives baked goods their texture, strength and crumb structure. So gluten-free bakery products tend to have reduced volume and a dry, crumbly, grainy texture that consumers find unsatisfactory. To solve the problem, commercial bakers have begun using flours made from ancient grains like amaranth, millet, quinoa, sorghum, and teff, as well as brown rice, corn and tapioca starch.

"Food Industry Rises to the Gluten-Free Challenge", Institute of Food Technologists , December 13, 2012

Research, Studies, Advice  

“Naturality” Captures Consumers Food Interest: If It’s Natural It Must Be Healthy

With a large majority of consumers believing that “natural” means “healthier,” it is probably no surprise that a German grain ingredients supplier has put the concept of “naturality” at the head of its list of top food and nutrition trends for 2013. Kampffmeyer Food Innovation found that 74 percent of people surveyed felt that food products labeled as natural were probably healthy, too. Products benefiting from this belief include coconut water, snacking nuts and Greek yogurt, all of which are experiencing skyrocketing retail sales growth. Other top food and nutrition trends highlighted by Kampffmeyer include energy, fruits and vegetables, dairy and seniors.

"Naturality Poised to Remain Dominant in 2013", Nutraceuticals World, December 20, 2012

A Few Simple Changes In Eating Habits Can Help People Lose Weight, And Keep It Off

Scientists from Finland and the U.S. have found that making a few simple adjustments to a person’s eating habits can promote and sustain weight loss. Of the 2,053 people who initially signed up for the study, 504 completed at least one follow-up survey. Over the three-month program, more than two thirds of participants either lost weight (42 percent) or maintained their weight (27 percent). Weight loss was highest among people who made changes consistently. Among the worthwhile changes: never eat directly from a package (always portion food out onto a dish), and eat something hot for breakfast within the first hour of waking up.

"Mindless Eating Challenge: Retention, Weight Outcomes, and Barriers for Changes in a Public Web-Based Healthy Eating and Weight Loss Program", Journal of Medical Internet Research, December 19, 2012

AHA Warns Consumers About Salt Content Of Bread And Other Common Foods

The American Heart Association’s compilation of the six saltiest foods in the American diet includes some fairly obvious ones: cold cuts and cured meats, soups and pizza. But also on the list are bread and rolls. Salt content of bread can be deceiving, because bread doesn’t really taste salty. But a slice of bread can contain 230 mg of sodium. Eating two sandwiches a day would mean consuming nearly 1,000 mg of salt –  nearly two thirds of the recommended daily intake of 1,500 mg – just from the bread. Add in the sodium content of the cold cuts in the sandwich and you’re easily in the 3,400 mg range, the average – and very unhealthy – sodium intake of Americans today.

"How much salt are you eating? Beware the sodium in these “Salty Six” foods", American Heart Association, November 06, 2012

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