Nutrition: December 2006 Archives

HealthTeacherNASHVILLE, Tenn.-(Business Wire)-December 27, 2006 - today announced the availability of a new health tool that will quickly allow consumers to find the trans fat content in everyday foods including major fast food chains.

"The move by New York City last week regarding the ban on trans fat was bold and we think NYC is only the first of several cities that will enact such legislation," said J. Tod Fetherling, president of Relegent, owner and operator of the HealthTeacher site. "We believe it is important to highlight the foods with the highest trans fat and do so in a very simple, easy to use format for consumers and students. Hopefully, by providing this information, many teachers and students will be able to make quicker changes in their habits of consuming trans fat."

Universal Studios parks ban trans fats

trans fatUNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. - The early reviews are mostly positive at the Universal Studios theme park in Hollywood, where the menu changed on Christmas Eve to cut unhealthy trans fats from many junk food favorites.

Jack Xu, 12, noticed something different about his french fry. "It tastes drier and not too salty," he said, then added: "I still like it."

The self-described junk food addict, an exchange student from Beijing who has visited the park before, was on a field trip this week and enjoying a basket of chicken tenders and fries.

Universal Parks & Resorts, home to movie-inspired thrill rides, is the latest theme park operation to ban artery-clogging trans fats and offer healthier menus at its three domestic attractions in California and Florida. The action follows entertainment giant Walt Disney Co., which announced in October it will serve more nutritious kids' meals and phase out the artificial fats at its resorts.

Nutrition A Newsmaker In 2006

nutrition newsThere certainly was no shortage of nutrition stories this year. Surprises were few -- thankfully no apparent flip-flops as in previous years when new evidence shook up the scientific world. Many of the reports simply reinforced the wisdom of the ages such as getting in your quota of fruits and vegetables and opting for whole grains over refined ones.

Awareness about problems with the food supply, both in processed and fresh foods, heightened. And the state of the health of our youth continued to take centre stage.

Here are some updates on a few of the year's major stories.

The Year in Diet and Nutrition

being healthyNEW YORK, Dec. 22 -- The ban on trans fats in this city was the highest profile event during the year in diet and nutrition, as Americans continued to struggle against ever-expanding waistlines and foods deemed unhealthy.

The following summary reviews some of the highlights of the year in diet and nutrition. For fuller accounts, links to the individual articles published during the year in MedPage Today have been provided.

Big Apple Action

Earlier in the year, a review article found trans fatty acids to be a major villain in cardiovascular disease in the United States. The investigators reported that reducing trans fat intake could avert 10% to 19% of coronary heart disease events. Also, the FDA instituted new food labeling requirements for disclosing trans-fat content in January.

internetAtlanta - More Americans are turning to the Internet for nutrition and diet advice than ever before.

Fifty-one percent of the 147 million adults who use the Internet look for nutrition information, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

Nutrition seekers tend to be women, college-educated and have six or more years of using the Internet. The Pew survey calls these people "power users" who are motivated to find information that relates to actions they might need for specific medical issues in their lives and those of their family and friends.

As you make your New Year's resolution to eat more healthfully, consider some free nutrition advice provided on reputable websites. I stress the word reputable because nutrition quackery thrives on the Internet.

yogaIndia plans to introduce yoga in schools to fight rising obesity among middle-class youngsters, even as the country continues to battle widespread malnutrition and "shameful" infant and maternal mortality.

Health minister Anbumani Ramadoss said the country faced a "galloping" rise in heart disease, diabetes and cancer as India's 300-million-strong and increasingly wealthy middle class ate more junk food and lived more sedentary lives.

At the other end of the spectrum, the country had some of the worst infant and maternal mortality rates in the world, he told medical experts at a workshop.

eurobarometerThe European Commission published in November an extensive survey on EU citizens’ views regarding obesity and health. According to this survey, a majority of European consumers believes that healthy eating includes a balanced and varied diet rich in fruit and vegetables.

Main findings of the study are:

  • one in five Europeans has changed what he or she eats within the last year
  • 31 percent of respondents consider that is not easy to eat a healthy diet
  • 58 percent of EO consumers find indeed that eating a healthy diet involves above all “eating more fruit and vegetables”
  • 45 percent thinks that eating too much fat food is incompatible with healthy eating.
  • the most frequently mentioned change is eating more fruit and vegetables 155 percent).
  • a very clear majority of Europeans (85%) is in favour of Government action to promote a healthy diet.
source - Freshfel Europe
nestleNestle SA, the world's biggest food and drink company, will buy the medical nutrition unit of pharmaceutical company Novartis for $2.5 billion, the companies said Thursday.

Nestle will acquire such brands as Boost and Resource nutritional supplements, and Optifast dieting products. There had been media reports that Nestle might also acquire Gerber Products, Novartis' baby-food unit, but the deal does not include that unit.

The deal still needs to be approved by regulatory authorities but is expected to be completed during the second half of 2007, Nestle said in a statement.
FDA WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned Nestle S.A. (NSRGY) that a sample of its Good Start infant formula failed to meet minimum nutrition standards for calcium and phosphorus.
The Nov. 27 warning letter was posted Tuesday on the FDA's Web site.
The letter stemmed from a May inspection of a Nestle facility located in Eau Claire, Wis.
The FDA said on May 26, 2006, it collected a sample of Nestle brand Good Start Infant Formula with Iron, 13 fluid ounces, and tested it. The agency said the formula fell just short of the required FDA standards for calcium and phosphorus and also was less than the amount stated on the formula's label.

Weight loss ops for fat children

obese childControversial guidelines that could see children offered weight loss surgery have been published by the Government's health watchdog.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) report is the first of its kind from the body aimed at tackling the obesity crisis in England and Wales.

The guidance focuses on the prevention and treatment of obesity in adults and children and will be sent to NHS professionals, schools, local authorities, employers and town planners. Nice said there was a need "for urgent action" to stem the rising tide of obesity.

school nutritionCommercial activity permitted in schools, such as soft drink ads; the use of Channel One broadcasts in classrooms; sales incentives from soft drink bottlers; and exclusive beverage contracts may discourage a "nutrition-friendly" environment for students, say researchers.

Dr. Claudia Probart, Penn State associate professor of nutritional sciences who led the study, says, "Schools' newly created wellness policies as mandated by the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 provide ideal opportunities to examine school environments for advertising that might conflict with their goals for a healthy climate for students."

The study is detailed in the current (December) issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in a paper, "Existence and Predictors of Soft Drink Advertisements in Pennsylvania High Schools." The authors are Probart; Elaine McDonnell, project coordinator, Penn State; Lisa Bailey-Davis, director of operations, Pennsylvania Advocates for Nutrition and Activity; and J. Elaine Weirich, project manager at Penn State.
Lipid NutritionRecently declared a separate entity from parent Loders Croklaan and with a new CEO at the helm, the Lipid Nutrition is aiming to grow sales volumes by making its products attractive for food uses and to extend geographically.

Katinka Abbenbroek became CEO of Lipid Nutrition on December 1 on the retirement of Aat Visser, who held the post for seven years. Visser worked for Unilever – which sold Lipid Nutrition in 2002 – and Loders Croklaan for 42 years in total.

Abbenbroek told that when she started with the company eight years ago, it was a relatively small outfit. Now it has a staff of 75 (excluding production), who have brought on board considerable expertise in R&D, regulatory, patents and marketing.

FSA food labelThe Center for Science in the Public Interest is asking the Food and Drug Administration to develop one national set of easy-to-use symbols as a value of supplement to the current nutrition facts label. Simply stated, the Center wants to bring uniformity to what the consumer organization calls a hodgepodge of commercially-driven labeling by a variety of food companies.

The group sites the United Kingdom system that uses green, yellow and red dots to rank fats, sugar and salt as low, medium or high.

The Center's proposal has already drawn the endorsement of incoming Senate Ag Committee Chairman Tom Harkin of Iowa. The Senator says a uniform system of nutrition symbols can help consumers make sense of diverse and often conflicting nutrition information and advice.

UCD increases wheat nutrition

WheatResearchers at UC Davis, the United States Department of Agriculture and Israel's University of Haifa say they have found a way to increase the nutritional value of wheat through genetic cloning.

The modified wheat could offer a solution to nutritional deficiencies affecting hundreds of millions of children around the world, the researchers said in a press release.

Study of nutrition labels eye-opening

nutrition labelStudents in the science classes at the SIUE E. St. Louis Charter School are studying the significance of nutrition labels.

Nutrition labels provide consumers with important information about the content and effects of products.

Science teacher, Darius Pikes received a grant to teach students about nutrition. The students in Mr. Pikes' classes are studying food labels and beginning to pay more attention to the fats, saturated fats, and cholesterol intake. They are also learning about how many servings are in the food they eat and how many they are supposed to have.

Emilyn LooFunny. A press-release claiming that Nestle is working on customers' well-being and proper awareness. At the same time Nestle's Enviga appears to be a fraud. Read about growing profits of Nestle below.

NESTLE Nutrition, a division of Nestle Malaysia, expects its healthcare nutrition business to continue a double-digit growth this year, driven by greater awareness on health and well-being in Malaysia.

Nestle Nutrition business manager for healthcare & performance nutrition, Emilyn Loo, said healthcare nutrition registered between 30 and 40 per cent growth in sales over the past six years.

enviga by NestleWASHINGTON - December 4 - Enviga, a new carbonated green tea beverage, claims that it burns more calories than it provides, resulting in “negative calories.” But the nonprofit food watchdog group, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), says that Enviga burns money, and over the long term is more likely to result in a negative bank balance than negative calories. Today CSPI served notice on Coca-Cola and Nestlé, the companies behind Enviga, that it will sue them if they continue to market the drink with fraudulent calorie-burning and weight loss claims.

Enviga is bolstered with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant that occurs in green tea, and caffeine. The companies claim that those substances speed up metabolism and increase energy use. Enviga’s web site and other advertising further claim that there is a “calorie burning effect from a single can,” that it is “much smarter than fads, quick-fixes, and crash diets,” and that it keeps “those extra calories from building up.” CSPI says that the evidence that Enviga has even a minor effect is weak and inconsistent at best, and that the claims violate federal food law and state consumer protection laws.

elderlyDecember 4, 2006 — Nutritional status is a key factor to help prevent or delay disability in elderly patients, according to the results of a longitudinal study reported in the November 27 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

"Although there is consensus that poor nutritional status is a potential factor, there is a lack of studies investigating its role in the development and course of disability," write Benedetta Bartali, RD, of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and colleagues. "Our previous studies and other reports suggest an association of poor nutritional status with reduced physical function and disability. Most of these findings, however, are cross-sectional, and a causal role cannot be established."

breast feedingby Dr. Kendall Sprott at New Jersey Medical School

Q: I have a 3-year-old son and am expecting a daughter in February. I only nursed my son for a short while, because of work, which required quite a bit of travel. I will be working from home when my daughter is born and have forgotten some of the issues with breast feeding. I was wondering about the need to give her additional water. My son doesn't drink plain water at all, preferring juice, soda and milk. Is there a certain amount of water that children need?

A: Breast milk is the ideal food for newborns. Breast milk production is stimulated by nursing, which empties the breasts. Babies are born with a suck reflex, and will suck and swallow when anything similar to a nipple is placed in their mouth. The first few days of nursing are the most important for establishing successful breastfeeding. 

glanbiaGlanbia is stepping up its presence in Asia Pacific with the establishment of its first nutritionals facility in the region, which is likely to expand it company’s activities from infant formula into vitamin and mineral premixes.

The Irish dairy firm opened an office in Shanghai eighteen months ago, and its main activity has been the supply of lactose for infant formulas.

The facility, to be located in Suzhou, just outside Shanghai, is expected to be completed in 2008. Spokesperson Geraldine Kearney told that the company is not yet discussing its function in detail, but that it is likely to offer similar vitamin and mineral premix solutions to existing facilities in Germany and California.

FDA Urged to Develop Nutrition Ratings

FDAFor many, grocery shopping today is more about hunting for bargains; it's about finding the healthiest offerings on the shelves.

Labels play a big part in helping shoppers separate the healthy choices from the junk. But with dozens of apparent ratings systems out there -- from Kraft's "Sensible Solution" accolade to the American Heart Association's "Heart-Check" endorsement, consumers may be left wondering how much weight these approvals carry.

Now, the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is petitioning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to design a national set of symbols to help consumers quickly identify healthier foods.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Nutrition category from December 2006.

Nutrition: November 2006 is the previous archive.

Nutrition: January 2007 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.