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Food Scientists Set Out to Make Us Eat More

June 22, 2009: 10:01 AM EST
A former FDA chief who tackled big tobacco has turned his attention to how the food industry manipulates us to eat more. His new book, “The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite” (Rodale), describes how food manufacturers create foods in a way that “taps into our brain circuitry and stimulates our desire for more”. Food scientists “work hard to reach the precise point at which we derive the greatest pleasure from fat, sugar and salt,” he says. But he “isn’t convinced that food makers fully understand the neuroscience of the forces they have unleashed”. His book offers practical advice for combating the desire to eat more.
TARA PARKER-POPE, "How the Food Makers Captured Our Brains ", NY Times, June 22, 2009, © The New York Times Company
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Weight Watchers Releases New Chocolate Dessert

June 18, 2009: 09:20 AM EST
Weight Watchers is appealing to chocolate lovers who also have an eye on their waistlines by releasing a new Rich Chocolate Dessert that costs only one Weight Watchers’ point. Made under license by Yoplait, the dessert contains dark Belgian chocolate and has a rich, creamy texture. The weight-loss company’s chilled yogurts and desserts are growing at 2.2 percent a year, are worth £54 million and have 21 percent value share in the sector in the UK market.
"Weight Watchers Launches Rich Chocolate Dessert ", Food Ingredients First, June 18, 2009, © CNS Media BV
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Calcium Might Not Be a Help in Weight Loss

June 16, 2009: 04:37 AM EST
Doubts have been raised over calcium supplements for weight loss, following a recent study by the National Institute of Health, reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Overweight subjects who took supplements over two years showed no appreciable weight loss. One limitation of the study was the absence of a high-dairy calcium diet – some research has indicated that such a regime helps weight loss – and most of the subjects were women.
Kristina Fiore, "Calcium Not Helpful for Weight Loss", MedPage Today, June 16, 2009, © MedPage Today, LLC
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Beverages Add Uncounted Calories to US Diet

June 15, 2009: 11:32 AM EST
Research pointing to the link between drinking sweetened calorific beverages and negative health impacts was to be reviewed at a workshop in Boston June 15. Numerous studies suggest “an upward trend in the consumption of sweetened caloric beverages combined with an accelerated shift toward inactivity, poor diet and obesity”. Americans concerned about weight control should take their consumption of sweetened drinks into account, says Barry Popkin, PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Soft drinks contribute about 10 percent of the calories in the US diet, and it seems that people are drinking more while at the same time there has been no reduction in food intake, and little change in water consumption.
Joanna Cosgrove, "New Hope for High Cholesterol", Nutraceuticals World, June 15, 2009, © Rodman Publishing
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Italian Study Backs Heart Benefits of Whole Grains

June 15, 2009: 05:01 AM EST
An Italian study has added weight to the claim that wholemeal wheat foods help to control cholesterol levels. People who consumed wholemeal wheat products for three weeks reduced both total and “bad” cholesterol levels compared with a group eating refined grains, according to research team leader Rosalba Giacco. Eating whole grains could help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and type-2 diabetes, the researchers said. The research team came from Italy’s National Research Council (CNR), Federico II University (Naples), Barilla G&R F.lli. SpA (Parma), and the University of Parma.
Stephen Daniells, "More support for heart healthy wholegrains", Bakery and Snacks, June 15, 2009, © Decision News Media
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Vitamin D Increase Related to Increased Weight Loss

June 15, 2009: 12:47 PM EST
A small study has shown a link between vitamin D levels and losing weight. Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that people who showed incremental increases in both a precursor form of vitamin D and an active form lost more weight. Lead author Dr. Shalamar Sibley, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota, said that “a more controlled trial” is needed to determine if vitamin D supplementation would have similar effects. The report does not say how or why vitamin D levels increased in the study subjects, but 750 calories were deducted from their diet each day.
Jeannine Stein, "Could vitamin D be a key to successful dieting?", LA Times, June 15, 2009, © Los Angeles Times
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Sweetened Beverages Linked to Heart Disease, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome

June 15, 2009: 09:49 AM EST
New research showing links between increasing consumption of “sweetened caloric beverages” and metabolic syndrome was to be presented at the XV International Symposium on Atherosclerosis on June 15, according to a media release. Several speakers highlighted concerns about the increased consumption of sweetened soft drinks, fruit drinks, energy drinks, vitamin and other functional beverage waters. Studies have shown that the beverages are linked to an almost 49 percent increase in the risk of coronary heart disease in women, and a significantly increased risk of diabetes, as well as the link to metabolic syndrome.
"New Research Suggests Strong Link Between Sweetened Caloric Beverages and Metabolic Syndrome ", PRNewswire, June 15, 2009, © PR Newswire Association LLC
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New Trends in Low-Carb Diets Show that Old Wisdom Is not Always the Best

June 12, 2009: 08:30 PM EST
Conventional thinking about the links between cognitive function, vitamin intake, obesity, carbohydrate intake and calorie consumption and other common dietary factors should not be taken for granted when considering healthy eating, as seven new research studies show. One of the studies examines the "eco-Atkins" diet – and despite all the intricate details, shows that the traditional Atkins diet definitely works. Vitamin D is shown to be linked to better memory and is effective in guarding against skin diseases.
Jimmy Moore, "7 riveting new diet and health research studies for you to think about", Examiner.com, June 12, 2009, © Clarity Digital Group LLC d/b/a Examiner.com
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Discount Stores Open Doors to Healthier Purchases

June 8, 2009: 11:11 PM EST
Discount stores have a direct positive effect on people’s weight, according to a research project being undertaken by Charles Courtemanche of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and Art Carden. Writing in Forbes, Carden says people have more purchasing power now, despite the recession, because of heavy discounting by groups such as Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Costco and BJ's Wholesale Club, and other outlets. If prices drop, but income doesn’t, then people have more purchasing power, he argues, and the data collected in the study suggest that people buy healthier food when they are, comparatively, richer.
Art Carden, "Wal-Mart's Weight Effect", Forbes, June 08, 2009, © Forbes.com LLC
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Plant Protein Diet More Effective than High-Carb Diet

June 8, 2009: 09:33 AM EST
The plant-protein based Eco-Atkins diet worked better than a high-carb diet at reducing levels of low-density lipoprotein or LDL, according to a research team lead by Dr. David Jenkins of St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto in Ontario. The diet also showed signs of lowering blood cholesterol, the researchers said. The traditional Atkins low-carb diet has been shown to help lower triglycerides and raise "good" cholesterol, but it also tends to raise bad cholesterol levels. The Eco-Atkins diet is high in vegetable proteins from gluten, soy, nuts, fruits, vegetables, cereals and vegetable oils.
""Eco-Atkins" diet lowers heart risks: study", Reuters, June 08, 2009, © Thomson Reuters
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Homegrown Foods Rival Exotic Types for Antioxidant Power

June 4, 2009: 09:50 AM EST
Many homegrown fruits and foods in the US contain equal amounts of antioxidants as exotic superfruits, as shown by the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) values, drawn up by the federal Department of Agriculture. The agency recommends an intake of at least 3,000 ORAC units a day – and ground cloves have the highest value, at 314,000, while acai berries have 161,000. Nutrition experts say that bioavailability – the processing method and form in which the ingredients are eaten, is important for effectiveness. Among domestic fruits that have high ORAC values are blueberries, cranberries and plums.
Diane Toops, "Superfruits: Back to Basics", Foodprocessing.com, June 04, 2009, © Food Processing
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School Diets Fall Short on Whole Grains in US

June 2, 2009: 10:04 AM EST
School food-service directors in Minnesota are having difficulty in increasing the amount of whole grain in school food. Research lead by Len Marquart, assistant professor at the University of Minnesota's food science and nutrition department, shows that the directors aren’t always sure if a product meets whole-grain criteria, and find it hard to source suitable products. Most US school children get only one serving of whole grains a day, short of the recommended three. The university is engaged in a series of projects aimed at increasing the amount of whole grains children eat each day.
"Study says confusion reigns over whole-grain claims in school lunches ", University of Minnesota, June 02, 2009, © Regents of the University of Minnesota
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Review Dispels Myths about Aspartame, says Leading Manufacturer

June 2, 2009: 10:57 PM EST
Aspartame is not associated with adverse effects in the general population, and nor does it have an effect on appetite or food intake when used as a sweetener, says Brendan Naulty, president of Ajinomoto North Americam, a leading global manufacturer of the artificial sweetener. Naulty was commenting in a media release on a review of research posted on the American Dietetic Associaiton (ADA) Evidence Analysis Library web site. Lisa Carlson, a Chicago-based registered dietitian, said the study “adds meaningful, science-based information that will help registered dietitians respond to questions from consumers”. The ADA managed all aspects of the review, which was funded jointly by the ADA and Ajinomoto.
"Evidence-Based Analysis of Aspartame Research --Questions Put to Rest ", CNBC.com, June 02, 2009, via PR Newswire, © PR Newswire
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Neck and Waist Size are Major Factors in Children's Sleep Disordered Breathing

June 1, 2009: 11:05 PM EST
Metabolic factors are associated with childhood sleep disordered breathing, just as they are for adults, says a report in the journal SLEEP. The conventional assumption that tonsil size is a major factor was found to be wrong. US researchers found that waist size, though not neck size, and body mass index are strong indicators of sleep problems in children. The study found that 1 percent of children had moderate difficulties, 25 percent had mild snoring and 15 percent had primary snoring.
"Waist Size and Body Mass Index are Risk Factors for Sleep Disordered Breathing in Children ", Nutrition Horizon, June 01, 2009, © CNS Media BV
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Link Between Diet and ADHD Poorly Understood

June 1, 2009: 10:18 AM EST
Much has been written about the relationship between diet and ADHD, but as yet there is no definitive study that answers the question of whether or not some food additives and nutrients affect symptoms of the disorder. The best that can be said is that a subset of children with ADHD might be affected. There is no consensus over the effects of synthetic dyes, flavors, and preservatives added to food on ADHD. Nor is there agreement on the role of omega fatty acids. Trials on the effects of vitamin and mineral supplements have also produced inconsistent results. There is, however, consensus on one topic: Children with ADHD should be encouraged to eat the same healthy diet as everyone else.
"Diet and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder", Harvard Health Publications, June 01, 2009, © Harvard University
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100-Calorie Packs Lose Steam as Dieters Turn to Satiety

May 26, 2009: 10:28 AM EST
Satiety may be replacing calorie control as the next big trend in dieting. Consumers are turning away from 100-calorie packs, amid concerns about price, efficacy, taste and sustainability. IRI says sales of 100-calorie packs are down, and Datamonitor says the segment “has run out of steam”. Food analyst Phil Lempert says “newly frugal consumers have figured out how to measure out 100-calories by themselves”. There is also increasing evidence that the low-cal packs aren’t effective for weight control: people tend to eat more smaller packs, and show more restraint when snacking from a full-size package. The dieting trend is now also moving toward satiety, based around consuming more protein to make people feel full for longer, but this may itself be slowed because protein products tend to be more expensive.
Elaine Wong , "100-Calorie Packs Pack It In", Brandweek, May 26, 2009, © Nielsen Business Media
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“Nordic Diet” Touches All the Bases for Healthy Living

May 19, 2009: 07:48 PM EST
The “Nordic Diet” may be just as healthy as the Mediterranean diet, according to work at Copenhagen University. The traditional Scandinavian diet and lifestyle adds up to good health, researchers say. Mainstays are eating seasonal food, using locally sourced ingredients, and a balance of protein, carbohydrate and fat. Vegetables, grains and fish feature strongly, with meat about once a week. Report author Trine Hahnemann says some of the “old dishes” were “heavy and repetitive” and doesn’t believe everything was better in the old days. But the outdoor lifestyle, a connection with nature and using bicycles as a major form of transport do combine with the diet to keep people healthy. People also tend to “eat together around a table”, adding a valuable social component to the food.
Trine Hahnemann, "Coming Late 2009, The Nordic Diet ", Medical News Today, May 19, 2009, © MediLexicon International Ltd
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UK Sticks to 2012 Date for Salt Reduction Guidelines

May 18, 2009: 08:42 PM EST
The Food Standards Authority in the UK is sticking to its aim of reducing the daily adult salt intake to 6 grams (two-tenths of an ounce) a day by 2012. In its latest guidelines, the agency says that the level children should vary between 2 grams and 6 grams, depending on age. The existing average daily adult intake is put at 9 grams (three-tenths of an ounce), a 10 percent drop over the past eight years which has saved more than $2 billion in health costs. About 20,000 premature deaths a year would be avoided with a 6 gram average, says the FSA.
"Agency publishes 2012 salt reduction targets", Food Standards Agency (UK), May 18, 2009, © Crown
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Nestlé to Launch Jenny Craig in UK Market in Bid to take on WeightWatchers

May 13, 2009: 04:35 AM EST
Nestlé is gearing up to launch Jenny Craig in the UK. It has appointed its corporate marketing and communications director, Jonathan Walsh, as country business manager to shepherd the launch. No date has been set for what will become a direct battle with WeightWatchers. Jenny Craig operates in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, selling weight-loss plans and ready-made meals. Nestlé acquired the business for $600 million in 2006 as part of its strategy to become a diversified health, nutrition and wellness company. Walsh has been responsible for promoting a number of Nestlé brands, including Nescafé, Gold Blend, Aero Hot Chocolate, Maggi, Kit Kat, Yorkie, Aero and Rowntree.
Camille Alarcon, "Nestlé prepares for launch of weight-loss brand in UK", Marketing Week, May 13, 2009, © Centaur Media plc
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Thailand Finds Health Benefits for Mangosteen

May 12, 2009: 06:15 AM EST
Thai scientists say they have found that mangosteen extracts can boost the body's immune system and cure some (unspecified) diseases without side effects, adding that they have developed extracts for use in food as well as in health and beauty supplements. An export drive is being launched and a private company, Asian Phytoceuticals, has agreed to buy 2,000 metric tons of the fruit this year, which will be increased tenfold to 20,000 metric tons in 2010, from farmers in a number of outlying regions.
"New research reveals mangosteen effects", Bangkok Post, May 12, 2009, © Bangkok Post Publishing
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Vitamins May Counter Good Effects of Gym Workouts

May 12, 2009: 04:39 AM EST
Taking vitamins C and E after heavy exercise might counter the positive effects that exercise has in fighting diabetes and boosting the metabolism, says a study by US and German researchers. They found that exercise such as gymnastic sessions leads to surges of free radicals and processes carbohydrates more efficiently. However, antioxidants block the surge of free radicals, says the report in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"Vitamins 'undo exercise efforts'", May 12, 2009, © BBC News
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DASH Diet Linked to Better Heart Health in Women

May 11, 2009: 06:04 AM EST
The DASH diet might also reduce the risk of heart failure in women, says a new study. Researchers in Boston studied data on women for seven years, finding a definite link between reduced heart failure and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet. Previous research has found that the diet reduces systolic blood pressure. The diet specifies a high intake of fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and whole grains, resulting in high potassium, magnesium, and calcium and fiber consumption.
Robert Preidt , "DASH Diet Has Extra Benefits for Women's Health", HealthDay News, May 11, 2009, © ScoutNews, LLC
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DASH Diet Slashes Heart Failure Rate in Women

May 11, 2009: 06:04 AM EST
The DASH diet appears to lower the risk of heart failure in women, according to a study at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. The diet – Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension – showed that women in the top 10 percent of DASH diet scores had half the rate of heart failure of those with the lowest DASH diet scores. The diet is high in potassium, magnesium, calcium and fiber, moderately high in protein, and low in total fat and saturated fat. It is based on high consumption of whole grains, low-fat dairy products, vegetables and fruits. Researcher Emily B. Levitan said that the diet “may contribute to prevention of heart failure in some cases because it effectively reduced blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol levels in clinical trials.”
Robert Preidt , "DASH Diet Has Extra Benefits for Women's Health", HealthDay News, May 11, 2009, © ScoutNews, LLC
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Calories, Not Inactivity, Account for Weight Gain in US

May 8, 2009: 06:29 AM EST
An Australian study is challenging the belief that lack of exercise is behind the “obesity epidemic” in the US. Exercise is still important, says lead researcher Boyd Swinburn of Australia’s Deakin University, but increased calorie consumption accounted for 8.6kg of a predicted 10.8kg average weight gain over the 30 years from the 1970s to the 2000s. Increases in physical activity over the 30 years may have “blunted” the impact of the surge in calorie intake, he said. Children are eating about 350 more calories a day than they did in the 1970s, and adults about 500 – equivalent to a can of soda for children and a large hamburger for an adult.
Alaric Dearment, "Food intake may contribute more to obesity than lack of exercise, study suggests", Drugstore News, May 08, 2009, © Drugstorenews.com
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Probiotics Help New Mothers Regain Normal Weight

May 7, 2009: 10:07 AM EST
As little as one probiotic yogurt a day could help new mothers regain their normal body weight, Finnish researchers say. The University of Turku researchers said that “friendly bacteria” make it harder for the body to digest some foods and cut down on the amount of fat the body stores. Researcher Dr Kirsi Laitinen said that one year after childbirth women taking probiotics “had the lowest levels of central obesity, as well as the lowest body fat percentage” among the 256 women they tracked. The researchers are now studying to see if the children born while their mothers were taking probiotics have also benefited.
Jenny Hope, "Probiotic yoghurt can help mothers shift their post baby fat", Dailymail.co.uk, May 07, 2009, © Associated Newspapers Ltd
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High Fiber, Low Cal Breakfast Keeps Calorie Consumption Down

May 7, 2009: 10:02 AM EST
People eating a high fiber, low calorie breakfast consume fewer calories over breakfast and lunch combined than people who eat a low fiber breakfast cereal, says G. Harvey Anderson, PhD, Professor, Nutritional Sciences and Physiology, University of Toronto. The difference was mostly in the lower calorie breakfast, as all study participants consumed about the same number of calories at lunch. Researchers used General Mills’s Fiber One® cereal as the high fiber component of the breakfast. Previous research shows that Americans eat only half the recommended amount of fiber.
"New Study Reveals a High-Fiber Breakfast Keeps Hunger and Calories in Check", PR-inside.com, May 07, 2009, via Business Wire, © www.earthtimes.org, The Earth Times
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Wellness Program Based on Blood Analysis, Tailored Regimes

May 6, 2009: 09:48 AM EST
A new wellness program is attracting criticism as well as compliments. Tagged “Metabolic Balance”, the program creates regimes tailored to individual needs, based on blood analysis, at a cost of about $1.40 per day. The aim is to keep insulin and blood sugar levels as low as possible, says the program’s creator, German nutritionist Wolfgang Funfack. Followers eat three meals a day at five-hour intervals, and no snacking is allowed. Critics say Funfack’s claims cannot be proved, and that good health can be achieved by following a few simple and inexpensive rules.
"Metabolic Balance - new mantra for weight loss", China Daily, May 06, 2009, © China Daily Information Co (CDIC)
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Study Launched on Using Probiotics for Weight Control

May 4, 2009: 07:38 PM EST
Chr Hansen, a global biotechnology company, and the University of Copenhagen have combined to study the use of probiotics to control weight. The aim is to develop a way of triggering the feeling of fullness among slightly overweight and normal weight people. Researchers are studying the effects on the small intestines of pigs, which are similar to those in humans. The World Health Organization has identified overweight and obesity as one of the biggest threats to public health, with 1.6 billion people over the age 15 overweight. Commentators point to the potential for probiotics in managing weight as part of the general shift from dieting to using healthier and functional foods as one component of a broader healthy lifestyle.
"Probiotics May Be Able to Help You Stay Fit", NPI Center, May 04, 2009
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Joint Study Aims to Develop Weight-Control Probiotics

May 4, 2009: 10:09 AM EST
The potential of probiotics to help people maintain their weight may be unlocked in a new joint study by Chr. Hansen and the University of Copenhagen. The study is aimed at developing “scientifically documented probiotic solutions” to be used in foods and nutraceuticals. Focusing on people who are of standard weight or slightly overweight, the study is already attracting interest from the commercial sector. The project “will significantly improve our understanding of the bacterial intestinal flora’s importance in individual weight management,” says Professor Arne Vernon Astrup, MD, DMSc, University of Copenhagen in a press release. Earlier research indicated that some specific derivatives of probiotics have a satiety effect.
"Probiotics May Be Able to Help You Stay Fit", Chr. Hansen, May 04, 2009, © New Hope Natural Media
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Stevia Juices From Earthly Delights Deliver High Antioxidant Dose

May 2, 2009: 07:48 AM EST
Earthly Delights has launched a Stevia-enriched range, each of which, according to the company, contains a full daily allowance of vitamin C. The juices are also said to contain an antioxidant/oxygen radical absorbance capacity of 5,000 per serving along with half of the sugar of pure pomegranate juice.
"Earthly Delights™ Launches Their Stevia Sweetened Juice Blends Featuring a Full Day's Serving of Antioxidants", PRWEB , May 02, 2009, via PRWEB, © PRWEB
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Older People Not Eating Their Vegetables, say UK Researchers

May 1, 2009: 10:48 AM EST
Older people in the UK are not getting their daily fruit and vegetables, says the Changing Ageing Partnership (CAP). Researchers Dr Katherine Appleton from the School of Psychology at Queen's University Belfast and Dr Jayne Woodside found that 22 percent of respondents to their survey were not aware of government guidelines recommending they eat five servings of fruit and vegetables a day. Some thought that two servings were enough. Older people should eat more fruit and vegetables for psychological as well as physical health, Dr Appleton said. The researchers plan to test ways to increase older people’s awareness of the need to eat a healthy diet.
"Older People Are Not Getting Their Five-a-day", Queen's University Belfast, May 01, 2009, © Queen's University Belfast
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FDA Spurs Recall of Weight-Loss Supplement

May 1, 2009: 08:00 AM EST
A supplement widely used by dieters and body builders has been taken off the market at the request of the FDA. The product, Hydroxycut, has been linked to cases of liver damage, including one death. It is made by a Canadian company and distributed in the US by Iovate Health Sciences, headquartered near Buffalo, N.Y. Health officials aren’t sure which of the ingredients cause the problems, which reportedly include conditions ranging from jaundice to liver failure. One medical journal report, however, has pointed the finger at hydroxycitric acid, derived from a tropical fruit. Dr. Linda Katz of the FDA's food and nutrition division said the FDA has no authority to review supplements before they hit the market. The agency can look at them only after they reach the market, and in the case of Hydroxycut, the cases of liver damage were rare and difficult to track. The death of a teenager in 2007, apparently linked to the product, was not reported to the FDA until March this year. Reporting is voluntary.
Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar , "FDA Takes Diet Supplement Off the Market", Time.com, May 01, 2009, © Time Inc.
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FDA Endorsement Boosts Future of Stevia in US

May 1, 2009: 08:04 AM EST
In December 2008 the FDA opened the door to stevia-based sweeteners in the US when it issued a “letter of no questions” that effectively acknowledged them as safe. The US now joins at least 15 other countries where stevia and stevia-sweetened products can be used. Stevia’s big advantage is that it contains no calories. It is 200-300 times sweeter than sugar, and has a wide range of applications in food and beverages. Stevia is suitable for use by diabetics, and there is some evidence that it does not cause tooth decay. The FDA’s view that stevia has GRAS status is backed by the Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), which found in June 2008 that it is safe for use as general purpose sweetener.
"Stevia Sweeteners: Another Low-Calorie Option_05-29-09", Food Insight, May 01, 2009, © IFIC Foundation
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Supplements Face Testing Times Amid Recalls, Lawsuits

May 1, 2009: 05:14 AM EST
Dietary supplements are under scrutiny following several high-profile lawsuits amid the recall of more than 60 weight-loss supplements containing traces of undeclared pharmaceuticals. In an opinion piece, Gerald Weissmann, Editor-in-Chief of the Faseb Journal, argues that the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) made it impossible for the FDA to adequately regulate and police dietary supplements, giving manufacturers almost free rein to lace them with potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals. Action can be taken only if someone blows the whistle on adverse side effects. Weissmann cites reports that indicate if dietary supplements were subject to the same rigors as pharmaceuticals, at least 472 adverse events would have been reported in the period between 1999 and 2003, caused by echinacea, ginseng, garlic, ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort, and peppermint.
Gerald Weissmann, "The Atlanta Falcon and Tono-Bungay: Dietary Supplements as Subprime Drugs", The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, May 01, 2009, © The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
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Seaweed-Based Pill “Trains” People to Eat Less

April 26, 2009: 05:47 AM EST
A seaweed-based diet pill has been launched in the UK. Appesat expands in the stomach, triggering sensors in the stomach wall that tell people they are full. The effect lasts about four hours before the product is fully digested. The pill’s maker, Goldfield, says that this trains people to want less food, particularly if used in association with a low calorie diet. In one clinical trial, obese and overweight people lost an average of 9.4k over 12 weeks, compared with 5.6kg for a group of people not taking the drug. Both groups were on a low-calorie, low-fat diet. Appesat's worst side effect is a feeling similar to having an upset stomach. It costs $44.00 for 50 capsules.
"New diet pill to fight hunger pangs", The Press Association, April 26, 2009, © The Press Association
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Up-Market Restaurants Spur Revival of Macrobiotics in LA

April 22, 2009: 12:39 PM EST
The macrobiotic diet is making a comeback, spurred on by its embracing of several key “healthy eating” trends, including whole grains, eating locally and seasonally, and avoiding or minimizing meat, dairy, and refined sugar. Restaurateurs who are making over the traditional and somewhat stodgy macrobiotic fare of a plate of cooked whole grains with a minimalist topping of vegetables and beans are spurring the revival. Several new macrobiotic themed restaurants have opened recently in Los Angeles, spearheaded by movie star Gwyneth Paltrow’s private chef, Lee Gross.
Betty Hallock , "L.A.'s new macrobiotic scene", Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2009, © Los Angeles Times
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Marine Extracts Target Weight Control, Skincare and Bone Health

April 23, 2009: 03:48 AM EST
Frutarom USA has developed a new marine peptide that it says can be used in weight-loss products. Scheduled for release in the US at SupplySide East in New Jersey from April 27 – 29, 2009, the peptide can help to increase feelings of fullness (satiety) and reduce the glycemic effects of high-carbohydrate foods. It can be used in nutrition bars and powdered beverages, and in capsules or tablets. The peptide was developed in association with Copalis, France, which makes “marine bioactive solutions” for use in functional foods, dietary supplements and nutricosmetics. Frutarom also planned to showcase at SupplySide East two other unique sea ingredients, Phoscalim, a source of calcium derived from fish, and Collactive, which provides collagen and elastin.
"Frutarom Launches Marine Bioactive Compounds Line ", Nutrition Horizon , April 23, 2009, via CNS Media BV
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Diabetes Superfoods Meet Basic Nutritional Requirements

April 21, 2009: 12:20 PM EST
The American Diabetes Association has published a list of “diabetes superfoods” that help to lower a number of factors linked to life-threatening conditions, including blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood glucose. All of the foods have a low glycemic index and provide many key nutrients often lacking in modern western diets. Sue McLaughlin, RD, CDE, President, Health Care & Education, American Diabetes Association, said that people should look for foods to provide their essential nutrients. "There isn't clear research that points to the benefits of taking vitamin supplements, so always think first about getting your nutrients from foods”, she said.
"It’s a Bird. It’s a Plane. It’s a Sweet Potato?", Diabetes Forecast, April 21, 2009, via Market Wire, © Market Wire
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EC Approves GSK's Weight-Loss Drug for OTC Sales

April 20, 2009: 11:49 AM EST
GlaxoSmithKline’s weight-loss drug alli™ is now available over the counter throughout Europe to people with a BMI of 28 or more. It is the first approval for a non-prescription weight loss product in Europe. Clinical trials have shown that alli, used as part of a reduced-calorie, low-fat diet, can help people to lose 50 percent more weight than the diet alone. The drug is being distributed only through pharmacies, and is backed by an online support program. The recommended dose is 60mg three times a day. alli has been available in the US for some time.
"GlaxoSmithKline launches alli® (orlistat 60 mg)", GSK, April 20, 2009, © GlaxoSmithKline plc
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New aLive Range Provides Healthy Cereal and Yogurt Choices

April 15, 2009: 12:47 PM EST
Fraser & Neave Dairies Sdn Bhd have entered the healthy food arena in Malaysia with the launch of its new aLive range of whole grain cereals, snack bars and low-fat yogurt. The brand, marketed under the F&N Dairies Sdn Bhd marque, is a “synergistic combination of specific foods to amplify the nutritional benefits and flavors of each ingredient”. The cereals were developed in association with Sanitarium, have up to 97 percent grain content and provide fiber, carbohydrates, protein, B vitamins, iron, zinc and other nutrients. The yogurts are 98 percent fat free and contain probiotics.
Tan Teong Li, "Lifestyle food on the go", The Sun Daily, April 15, 2009, © Sun Media Corporation Sdn. Bhd
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Oldways Revamps Mediterranean Diet After Conference

April 13, 2009: 09:01 AM EST
Not-for-profit educational group Oldways has launched a modified Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, based on changes made at an international meeting of nutritionists last November. The new pyramid places all plant foods into a single category, adding herbs and spices for the first time. This group now includes fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, seeds, nuts, olive oil, herbs and spices. The pyramid also recommends eating fish at least twice a week. A Mediterranean diet is based on using olive oil as the major source of dietary fat, low to moderate consumption of fish, poultry, cheese and yogurt, moderate wine consumption, and eating foods from the plant group at every meal.
"Oldways Unveils New Mediterranean Diet Pyramid Illustration", supermarketnews.com , April 13, 2009, © Penton Media, Inc
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Functional Foods Offer Hope of Disease Prevention Through Genes

April 11, 2009: 01:33 PM EST
Functional foods hold the promise of developing personalized diets that alter genes to prevent diseases, says Prof Charles Daly from the Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre at University College, Cork. The diets could target a range of conditions, including obesity, diabetes, intestinal diseases, cognitive failure, bone problems and stress. Institute for Food Research (IFR) scientist John Eady said about 30 percent of genes showed potential to be changed through dietary intervention. Skeptics say it would be better to focus on improving people’s diets rather than pour money into long-term research with doubtful benefits.
David Christie, "New ‘science’ food may pave way to a disease-free diet", Sunday Herald , April 11, 2009, © newsquest (sunday herald) limited
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Atkins Diet Worse than others in Maintenance Phase

April 1, 2009: 08:14 AM EST
The Atkins Diet is tougher on people’s hearts if they stay on it after they have met their weight-loss target, according to a study published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Principal investigator Dr. Michael Miller, director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, compared the effects of the Ornish, South Beach and Atkins diets on blood vessel dilation and cholesterol levels, and found that Atkins performed the worst on both counts. Atkins Nutritionals' vice president of nutrition and education Colette Heimowitz said the study was too small and the correlations were too weak to allow conclusions to be drawn.
Kathleen Doheny, "Atkins Diet Tougher on Heart After Weight Loss", Health Scout, April 01, 2009, © The HealthCentralNetwork, Inc
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Soda Drink Consumption Linked to Risk of Heart Disease in Women

March 24, 2009: 05:25 AM EST
Sugary drinks such as soda can increase the risk of coronary heart disease in women, according to a new study led by Simmons College Nutrition Professor Teresa Fung. Women who drank two or more servings a day were 35 percent more likely to suffer from heart disease than those who had one or no drinks a day. Researchers found that a number of factors were related to higher consumption of soda beverages, including smoking, lower levels of physical activity, higher body mass index, and consumption of more energy, saturated and trans fats, and less alcohol, fruit, and vegetables. The study was published in the April edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and was based on data from the Nurses’ Health Study.
"Sugary Drinks are Bad for Your Heart", Simmons College, March 24, 2009, © Simmons College
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New Products from Weight Watchers

March 24, 2009: 08:13 AM EST
Thirteen new products from Weight Watchers are being rolled out. The items include sweet baked goods (chocolate brownie with real chocolate chips, banana nut muffin, peanut butter soft cookie, and petite bagels); frozen novelties (an ice cream candy bar, giant mint ice cream cone, giant mint ice cream sandwich, two-pack cups in cookies and cream and peanut butter varieties); and cheese (natural reduced-fat medium cheddar, Swiss and pepper jack slices, and reduced-fat pepper jack slices). Supporting the launch is an online and print campaign.
Karlene Lukovitz, "Weight Watchers Adds 13 New Products", Media Post, March 24, 2009, © MediaPost Communications
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Consumer Body Warns Consumers against Online Acai Scams

March 24, 2009: 01:19 AM EST
US consumer group, Center for Science in the Public Interest, is telling consumers not participate in free trials for diet products based on the superfruit acai. CSPI says there is no evidence that acai meets claims that it helps people lose weight, and there have been many complaints that consumers, once signed up, are unable to stop recurring charges on their credit cards. CSPI recommends that any consumers unable to resist the marketing of acai should use pre-paid cards with low credit limits, or some other means of protection against the scammers. Other claims for acai include energy enhancement and detoxification, and there is little or no scientific evidence for these either.
"Web-Based Acai Scams Targeting Dieters", Nutraceutical World, March 24, 2009, © Rodman Publishing
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FDA Adds More Weight-Loss Products to “Tainted” List

March 23, 2009: 01:01 AM EST
The FDA has added more weight loss products to its list of those it says are tainted with undeclared, active pharmaceuticals. The list now includes 72 products. The March 23 list adds Herbal Xenicol, Slimbionic and Xsvelten, and includes the ingredients fenproporex, fluoxetine, furosemide and cetilistat. Previous lists named sibutramine, bumetanide, phenytoin, rimonabant and phenolphthalein in other over-the-counter (OTC) weight loss products. The agency issued its first warning on December 22, 2008, and a second on January 8. Some of the products are marketed as dietary supplements and are promoted on websites, retail stores and beauty salons. They carry claims such as “herbal” and “natural”, but the FDA says they contain “potentially harmful” ingredients not listed on labels or in advertisements. It is seeking product recalls and may take other enforcement action, and is warning consumers to stop taking the products and seek medical advice.
"FDA Expands List of Tainted Weight Loss Products", Nutraceuticals World, March 23, 2009, © Nutraceuticals World
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Sugar Returns To Favor As Manufacturers And Consumers Avoid Corn-Syrup

March 20, 2009: 10:51 AM EST
After three decades in which high-fructose corn syrup had been gaining on sugar in the American diet, reaching level in 2003, the tide has turned. Department of Agriculture data shows that in 2007 American adults ate an average of 44 pounds of sugar in 2007, compared with 40 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup, and the trend looks set to continue in sugar's favor. Responding to consumer concerns, suppliers are switching to sugar, such as Log Cabin syrup, a 120-year-old brand from Pinnacle Foods Group, which announced earlier this month it had stopped using high-fructose corn syrup. The Corn Refiners Association argues consumers are being duped by misleading marketing claims and flawed science, but they face an uphill battle.
Kim Severson, "Sugar Is Back on Food Labels, This Time as a Selling Point", New York Times , March 20, 2009, © New York Times
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2008 Nutraceutical Drinks Sales Up 9% To 3.7 Billion Liters

March 18, 2009: 05:41 AM EST
The 2009 Global Nutraceutical Drinks report estimates that sales of nutraceutical drinks - which claim to deliver specific benefits such as beauty, weight management and stress relief - grew by 9% to reach 3.7bn liters in 2008. North America is the largest market, with 47% volume share, followed by Japan with 37%. The authors expect sales to reach 5.6bn liters by 2013. The report, prepared by Zenith International, highlights how innovation and growth has been boosted by the arrival of major beverage multinationals Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Danone and PepsiCo.
"GLOBAL: Nutraceutical sector on the rise in '08 - statistics", just-drinks.com, March 18, 2009, © just-drinks.com
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Research Sheds Light on How Low-GI Food Suppresses Appetite

March 18, 2009: 04:23 AM EST
Low-GI (glycemic index) foods are generally known to reduce appetite, but little was known about how this happens. Research undertaken at Kings College London and unveiled at the annual Society for Endocrinology BES meeting in the UK showed that low-GI (low glycemic index) food increases production of a gut hormone (GLP-1), which suppresses appetite and leads to a feeling of satiety. Researcher, Dr Reza Norouzy, said: “Our results show for the first time the direct effect of a single GI meal on gut hormone levels. We already know that the hormone GLP-1 and a low GI meal independently lead to suppression of appetite. This study builds on these findings by providing a physiological mechanism to explain how a low GI meal makes you feel fuller than a high GI meal.”
"Scientists Discover Why A Low GI Meal Makes You Feel Full", ScienceDaily, March 18, 2009, © ScienceDaily LLC
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