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Period: January 1, 2016 to January 15, 2016
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
Companies, Organizations  

Special K Backs Away From Dieting Message, Now Stresses Nutrition

J. Walter Thompson will continue the ad theme created by predecessor Leo Burnett for Special K cereal that emphasizes broad nutritional benefits for women rather than just weight loss. Sales of the brand have dropped off in recent years, and it became apparent to Kellogg’s that women wanted more than calorie counting. Still the biggest player in breakfast cereals, Kellogg’s nevertheless saw its share of the global market fall over the last five years from 30 percent to about 28 percent while PepsiCo and Post Holdings gained ground. Sales picked up last year when more freeze-dried strawberries were added to Special K, the company’s biggest brand, and the company got the message: “strong is the new skinny.”

"Special K Recipe for 2016: New Cereal Promoted By New Agency", Advertising Age, December 29, 2015

Oprah Winfrey’s Midas Touch Reverses Weight Watchers’ Stock Slide

An endorsement, investment, and advertisement from Oprah Winfrey were apparently just the shot in the arm that Weight Watchers needed to reverse its recent stock slide. In October, Winfrey bought $40 million worth of the company’s stock after it announced its new mission: healthy weight loss and wellbeing, rather than deprivation. Her investment doubled in value almost immediately. Now the company’s brand ambassador, Winfrey also launched a video campaign on Twitter targeting her 30 million followers. The stock climbed 30 percent after the campaign began. Winfrey’s stock is now valued at about $150 million, a 375 percent gain.

"Weight Watchers stock prices soar following Oprah Winfrey campaign", The Drum, December 31, 2015

Research, Studies, Advice  

“Healthy” Foods Can’t Be Making People Fat, Can They? They Sure Can!

Three experiments conducted among groups of American college students have found that junk food isn’t the only culprit in the obesity epidemic. So-called “healthy” foods – as depicted on packaging and labels – can also make people fat because people generally perceive them to be less filling, and end up overeating them. When packages portray a food as healthy, consumer judgment and behavior are affected: it’s healthy, so it’s less filling. They feel less hungry after eating foods depicted as healthy because they tend to order larger portions and end up eating more. The tendency to overeat can be reversed by portraying a food as “nourishing” instead of healthy, the researchers said.

"Eating Healthy or Feeling Empty? How the" Healthy = Less Filling" Intuition Influences Satiety. ", The Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, December 28, 2015

Bad Diet Habits Contribute To Excessive, Prolonged Pain After Surgery, Injury

Poor diet worsens and lengthens chronic pain after surgery or injury, according to new U.S. research. In fact, the study in mice shows a direct link between poor diet quality, obesity and increased and prolonged pain. The mice were fed a version of the so-called “Total Western Diet (TWD):” high in calories from carbohydrates and saturated and monounsaturated fats, and low in calories from protein. After 13 weeks, the TWD mice were fatter and had higher levels of inflammatory compounds. Obese people have the same metabolic profile. In addition, hypersensitivity to heat and touch was greater and lasted longer. The findings indicate that patients with chronic pain who eat poorly are likely to experience “exaggerated pain responses and recovery from injury or surgery.”

"Total Western Diet (TWD) alters mechanical and thermal sensitivity and prolongs hypersensitivity following Complete Freund’s Adjuvant in mice. ", The Journal of Pain, December 30, 2015

High-Fat, Low-Carb Diet May Be Effective In Treating Schizophrenia

A diet effective in treating epilepsy may also work in controlling symptoms associated with schizophrenia, Australian researchers report. The ketogenic diet – high in fats, low in carbs – has also become a weight-loss regimen for bodybuilders. The researchers believe the diet works by providing alternative energy sources (ketone bodies) formed when the body breaks down fat. The ketones help to circumvent abnormally functioning cellular energy pathways in the brains of schizophrenics. The diet has so far been tested only in mice, whose schizophrenic behaviors were mitigated by the high-fat regimen. In humans, the diet would comprise butter, cheese, salmon, etc., and would supplement medication in a clinical setting where a patient's diet could be controlled. The researchers are planning a clinical study to test their hypothesis.

"Ketogenic diet reverses behavioral abnormalities in an acute NMDA receptor hypofunction model of schizophrenia. ", Schizophrenia Research, December 31, 2015

MIND Diet Targeting Dementia Ranked Among Top Overall Diets

Rush University’s (Chicago, Ill.) MIND diet was recently ranked among a news magazine’s choices for easiest diet to follow (No. 1), best overall diet (No. 2), and best diet for healthy eating (No. 3), but was near the bottom of the list (No. 21) for weight loss. MIND is a hybrid of the Mediterranean and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diets, and its goal is to delay or prevent dementia. The diet has been shown to lower the risk of Alzheimer's by 53 percent in participants who adhered rigorously, and by 35 percent in those who followed it moderately well. The diet includes whole grains, green leafy vegetables and other vegetables daily, wine, beans, poultry, nuts, and blueberries. Dieters should avoid butter, sweets, pastries, whole fat cheese, and fried food.

"U.S. News Best Diet Rankings", U.S. News & World Report, January 08, 2016

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