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Health & Wellness Insight Alert Archive

Have a look at some of our recent alerts. These give broad coverage of the industry - if you want something more specific create your own here.

<<78910111213141516>> Total issues:151

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January 01, 2011, to January 15, 2011

Energy Drink Consumption When Young Could Cause Mental Health Problems Later In Life

Dr. Conrad Woolsey of Oklahoma State University says that the consumption of energy drinks when young may cause behavioral changes later in life by manipulating the pleasure-reward and stress neurotransmitters, partly because it takes 25 years for a human brain to develop fully. Tolerance for the pleasure inducing ingredients can lead to addictive behavior as shown by a study that found college students drinking 3-4 energy drinks a week were a higher risk for abusing amphetamine-based medication. Ingredients stimulating stress neurotransmitters can also cause young people to develop anxiety and depression. A survey of college students also linked regular consumption of energy drinks with a higher risk of alcohol dependency. Representing energy drink companies, the American Beverage Association has replied by saying the association between higher energy drink and alcohol consumption does not mean energy drinks caused the alcohol drinking. The ABA maintains caffeine in energy drinks is safe but has not commented on other ingredients.

Food Industry Experts Discuss Health Claims Labeling Rules In Webcast

In a recent webcast, several food industry experts shared their insights into U.S. regulations governing food and supplement health claims and into consumer purchase preferences. Attorney Anne Maher pointed out that food and supplement ad categories that are the most closely monitored have to do with treatment/cure prevention claims, immunity claims, products for children’s health/performance and weight loss. As to consumer buying trends, food marketing professor Nancy Childs said that nutrition is important to consumers but most important is taste. Citing data from FMI Research, she noted that health claims as a purchasing influence slid from 29 percent in 2008 to 25 percent in 2009. However, functional foods are still important despite the recession, because they “provide value and justify higher/holding prices to consumers.”

PepsiCo Opens Nutrition Research Laboratory, Aims For Healthy Foods Market

PepsiCo has opened a nutrition research laboratory at the Science Park in New Haven, aiming to find ways to make its snack products healthier. The laboratory is manned by eight full-time scientists and includes up to date equipment, such as spectrometers and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machines. Although some people distrust PepsiCo’s healthy-foods credentials, the company claims it is part of its efforts to develop and market healthful products. The company’s chief scientific officer, Mehmood Khan, was hired in 2007 and aims to reduce sodium and added sugar by 25% and saturated fat by 15% from PepsiCo’s leading products. Also, the company has awarded the Yale Medical School’s graduate and post-graduate studies department a $250,000 fellowship for students working on topics about nutrition and obesity-related diseases, the acceptance of which has attracted criticism from inside the university.

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