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Period: March 1, 2013 to March 15, 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

Sports Nutrition Emerges As Major Growth Category In Retail Food

Sports nutrition has emerged from the shadows of bodybuilding, steroids, banned substances, etc., into mainstream retail, according to researcher Euromonitor. The impact of this transformation on the category has been significant – growth is expected to approach 40 percent by 2017. Producers are developing products that appeal to non-traditional users with worry-free formulations, third-party certifications of safety and purity, convenient formats, emphasis on general fitness, and greater accessibility in supermarkets and other retail channels. Retailers have embraced sports nutrition by creating their own brands. Key example: Walgreen, whose larger stores now feature separate sports nutrition sections in the supplement aisles, offering for example two separate lines of protein powders, one of which is a store brand.

"Retailers Look to Capitalize on Protein Supplements and Sports Nutrition", Euromonitor International, March 08, 2013

Abdominal Fat Linked To Increased Risk Of Colon Cancer

A U.S. study in mice shows that the risk of cancer is directly proportional to the amount of fat in the abdominal cavity. Scientists have known for some time that obesity boosts the risk of cancer. But in this study, researchers tested three groups of obese mice genetically engineered to be prone to colon cancer. They found that mice who were the most obese due to an unrestricted diet had the most visceral fat and the greatest number of intestinal tumors. When the visceral fat in some obese mice was removed surgically, the mice were still obese, but had significantly fewer tumors.

"Abdominal Obesity, Independent from Caloric Intake, Accounts for the Development of Intestinal Tumors in Apc1638N/ Female Mice", Cancer Prevention Research, March 06, 2013

Natural Fish Oils Work Better Than Supplements To Reduce Blood Pressure In Lab Mice

Omega-3 fatty acids from oily fish like salmon – but not DHA found in fish oil supplements – helped lower blood pressure via vasodilation at ion channels in a mouse study. U.S. researchers showed that fish oil fatty acids regulate how ions such as sodium, potassium and calcium pass in and out of cells, affecting blood pressure. DHA in the dish oils rapidly activated the ion channels and lowered blood pressure in lab mice. In comparison, a dietary supplement, DHA ethyl ester, found in most fish oil pills, did not activate the same channels, and even antagonized the positive effect of DHA from natural sources. The findings emphasize the importance of obtaining omega-3 fatty acids from natural food sources such as oily fish.

"Omega-3 fatty acids lower blood pressure by directly activating large-conductance Ca2 -dependent K channels", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March 05, 2013

USDA Studies Probe Connections Between Stress Hormone, Decision Making And Dieting

USDA researchers are conducting studies to find out why some dieters succeed at losing – and keeping off – weight, while others fail miserably, time after time. One study is looking at patterns of decision making,another is evaluating the levels of a stress-associated hormone known as cortisol during dieting. They found that volunteers who lost the most weight had the highest scores in the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), which tests decision making, differentiating good from bad, awareness of future consequences of current actions, and resisting short-term rewards in favor of longer term benefits. They also found that cortisol levels were the highest among those with the lowest IGT scores, indicating that dieting was probably a stressful activity.

"Weight Loss, Cortisol, and Your Brain", News release, USDA, March 01, 2013

Popularity Of Almonds Is One Of Several Trends In The World Of Snacks

Global demand for almonds is increasing ten percent annually, in large part because of a growing awareness that almonds (and other nuts) in a variety of forms are a healthy snack. The Almond Board of California says the positive perception of almonds – that they are the "healthiest" nuts – is backed by scientific findings about the nut’s nutritional benefits. Consumers also give them high marks for "crunch appeal" and taste. Stuart Cantor, Ph.D., discusses almonds in an overview of current snack trends, including the fact that indulgent snacks – containing cheese, bacon, spices, and chocolate – seem to be holding their own. He also offers observations on advances in salt and hydrocolloid processing, and the emergence of the terms "air-popped" and "baked" in the snack world.

"Snack Trends 2013: Health and Indulgence Square Off", Food Processing, February 28, 2013

Higher Levels Of Sugar In The Food Supply Linked To Higher Diabetes Rates

An analysis of data on sugar availability and diabetes rates compiled from 175 countries has found an association between increased sugar in a population’s food supply and higher diabetes rates and obesity rates. U.S. researchers said the data suggest that at the population level additional factors contribute to diabetes risk besides obesity and total calories intake. For every additional 150 calories of sugar available per person per day, the prevalence of diabetes in the population rose one  percent. “Sugar appears to play a prominent role” in the onset of diabetes, researchers said.

"The Relationship of Sugar to Population-Level Diabetes Prevalence: An Econometric Analysis of Repeated Cross-Sectional Data", PLoS ONE, February 27, 2013

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