Posted by Dale Buss on July 18, 2011 03:00 PM
America’s food and beverage makers, in tandem with casual restaurants including Burger King, have stepped up their marketing offensive against federal regulators who are seeking to impose tough new “voluntary” standards about marketing to children.
Industry groups are intensifying their battle on two fronts: extending more effort on self-governing programs to offer more healthy-product options and to soft-pedal their marketing, and punching back harder against the proposal by the Obama administration’s Interagency Working Group (IWG) on marketing food to children.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 23, 2011 02:00 PM
Americans spend $5 billion annually on vitamins in a quest to feel better, but they could save a lot of cash – and be healthier – if they bought cheaper ones, the Los Angeles Times reports.
An independent study of more than three dozen leading multivitamins showed that “about one third of the brands did not contain enough of the nutrients listed on their labels,” according to the LA Times.
ConsumerLab.com “tested for the presence of several standard nutrients including folic acid, calcium and vitamin A” and figured out how long it took tablets to dissolve in liquid, the Times notes.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 21, 2011 11:00 AM
It’s somehow fitting that today, the official first day of summer in the northern hemisphere, America's Food and Drug Administration is releasing the strongest warnings against cigarette use in 25 years. Tobacco usage causes about 443,000 deaths in the US annually, according to the FDA.
Nine new cigarette package warning labels illustrate the effects of tobacco — in very graphic detail — including rotting and diseased teeth and gums; a man with a tracheotomy smoking; the corpse of a smoker; diseased lungs; and a mother holding her baby with smoke swirling around them.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 10, 2011 03:00 PM
The former chief executives who engineered the ill-fated AOL-Time Warner merger in 2000, Jerry Levin and Steve Case, are back in business together again.
This time around, they're partnering around a health and wellness venture, StartUp Health.
Levin, a board member for the health information startup OrganizedWisdom, is partnering with Startup America Partnership, a White House initiative chaired by Case to boost innovation and entrepreneurship in the US.
They're launching StartUp Health as a resource for healthcare entrepreneurs to access funding, information and education — and because health and wellness are topics near and dear to both their hearts.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 2, 2011 05:00 PM
There are a few oddities, but — as we previewed yesterday — the US Department of Agriculture's simplified new icon that replaces its food pyramid logo should help Americans understand nutritional recommendations much better than the last form of MyPyramid did.
First Lady Michelle Obama helped unveil the rebranded icon (dubbed MyPlate, it replaces MyPyramid) today, along with a website, ChooseMyPlate.gov, a move that was greeted with endorsements from just about every quarter of the food and beverage industry, the regulatory apparatus, and academia.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 2, 2011 12:00 PM
In the era of the Internet, turns out banning billboard ads for alcohol, cigarettes or drugs is ineffective.
Strictures on such traditional advertising are superseded by the ubiquity of online ads, which actually make the latter more effective according to a recent study entitled Advertising Bans and the Substitutability of Online and Offline Advertising, published in the April issue of the Journal of Marketing Research.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 1, 2011 05:00 PM
The next effort by the federal government to get Americans to eat better: junk the iconic food pyramid in favor of a new healthy-eating logo and visual systems that looks more like a dinner plate.
That makes sense. With the original pyramid conceived decades ago, consumers were supposed to favor foods depicted in the icon’s wide base, such as whole grains and vegetables – as the “basis” of a healthy diet.
The allegedly worse-for-you stuff, such as fats and meats, were relegated to smaller portions near the top of the pyramid. But not surprisingly, this confused many Americans. Isn’t the best stuff supposed to be at the pinnacle of anything? Besides, geometry is a tough subject.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 30, 2011 04:00 PM
What do Cheetos, Froot Loops, Pop-Tarts, Hostess Twinkies, Jell-O, Lucky Charms, M&M’s and Minute Maid Lemonade have in common?
They may soon be carrying warnings that their bright artificial colorings may be worsening behavioral problems such as hyperactivity in kids.
The US FDA has asked a panel of experts to sort through new evidence on possible health risks and other adverse effects in two days of hearings beginning today and make recommendations on potential policy changes, include warning labels.
Consumer advocates are welcoming the inquiry, as it has taken three years to get to this week's hearings. A petition was filed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest in 2008 asking regulators to ban Red 40, Yellow 5 and six other colorings, according to the Associated Press.Continue reading...