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As Functional Food Market Booms, Dieticians Advise Caution

October 1, 2010: 12:25 PM EST

Functional foods are booming as consumers focus on disease prevention and wellness. Analysts suggest the US market exceeds $30 billion and is growing 5x faster than the overall food market. Functional or modified foods are usually augmented with things like calcium, antioxidant, and vitamins to provide added nutrient-value beyond intrinsic levels. However, these products are unregulated and dieticians believe that companies often use functional claims as a marketing ploy.  Debate continues on the benefits or otherwise of functional foods, with many dieticians advising consumer to instead opt for natural, unprocessed foods, modified or not.

Christin L. Seher, MS, RD, LD, "Modified Functional Foods — Do They Have a Place in a Healthful Diet?", Today’s Dietitian, October 01, 2010, © Great Valley Publishing Co., Inc.
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