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Latest news on obesity statistics, obesity research, and obesity reduction strategies

The obesity problem

Obesity rates have ballooned in the US in recent years – 15% of the population was obese in 1980, compared to more than a third of US adults today, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These swelling figures – along with the rising cost of healthcare for obesity-related diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease – have put pressure on government and industry to find a solution.

Gallup: Americans still avoid fat over carbs; RD says still too much federal emphasis on low fat

Nearly twice as many Americans say they are actively trying to avoid fat in their diet (56%) as those who say they’re actively avoiding carbohydrates (29%), according to a Gallup...

Sugary drinks are less appealing with images of sugar cube content

Consumers have more negative views towards sugar-sweetened drinks, and show less preference for them, when they come with concrete images of the amount of sugar they contain, suggest researchers.

Senomyx expects PepsiCo or Firmenich to commercialize sweet taste modifier S617 in 2014

Senoymx says it expects either PepsiCo or flavor house Firmenich to commercialize proprietary sweet taste modifier Sweetmyx S617 in 2014 but is tight-lipped over who will be first to market.

Ice cream co engaged in ‘David & Goliath’ lawsuit vs Nestlé alleging unfair competition

Ice cream co in ‘David & Goliath’ lawsuit v Nestlé: Is it time for a rethink about the way shelf-space is allocated in US supermarkets?

As Kraft’s CEO recently observed, smaller, more agile players seem to be better at coming up with exciting new products than many CPG giants, for whom innovation is often more...

This does not prove that stevia isn't ready for prime time, say experts

There are lessons to be learned from Coca-Cola's Vitaminwater u-turn, but they are not necessarily about stevia

There are lessons to be learned from Coca-Cola’s abortive attempt to introduce a new ‘natural’ sweetening system to selected Vitaminwater products, say formulation experts. But they are not necessarily about...

Sugar is sugar, say bakers, our bodies don't distinguish between 'naturally occurring' and 'added' varieties

Should ‘added sugars' be listed on the Nutrition Facts panel?

A row is brewing over the merits of including ‘added sugars’ on the Nutrition Facts panel, with critics arguing that our bodies don’t distinguish between ‘naturally occurring’ and ‘added’ sugar...

Mediterranean diet is associated with lower weight in children but has become less common, says study

A diet that is very similar to the traditional Mediterranean diet is associated with lower body weight and fat percentage in children; however such diets are not common among children...

House bill would mandate soda tax; voluntary efforts not cutting it, rep says

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) on Wednesday introduced a bill that would require a mandatory tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in a contentious move aimed at curbing the “dual” crises of obesity...

How much fast food do children eat?

A custom algorithm developed by University of Washington researchers that breaks down fast food restaurants (FFRs) by segment and meal type finds that children get most of their fast food...

Added sugars account for 14.1% of total energy intakes for Americans

What are the biggest contributors of added sugars to the US diet?

While we tend to assume that fast food outlets (the bottomless soda cup) contribute a disproportionate amount of added sugar to the US diet compared with store-bought groceries, new data...

Children see, children do: Will Mexican kids slim down by watching less candy ads?

Just a week after Mexico banned commercials for soda, snacks and confectionery products during cinema showings of children’s movies and during children’s TV programming, Mexican authorities say ads for Nestlé,...

A third of youth misjudge their weight status; focus on weight not helpful, expert says

Nearly one in three (30%) children and adolescents in the US misperceive their weight status—the equivalent of 9.1 million youth, according to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination...

The RD's perspective

Mexico restricts junk food ads; time for rethink on advertising?

Mexico announced last week that it was restricting television advertising on high-calorie food and soda in an effort to stem the rising tide of obesity. Registered dietitians weigh in on...

Find out what's hot and what's next in the beverages aisle

From almond milk to tea for kids: Last chance to register for FoodNavigator-USA's beverage entrepreneurs forum!

Will tea replace 100% juice in your child's lunchbox? And what's the next $1bn beverage brand? Find out what our panel of beverage entrepreneurs thinks at our free-to-attend online forum...

Proposals don't consider a product's overall nutritional value, says professor

Former FDA commissioner: Nutrition Facts overhaul doesn’t go far enough

FDA proposals to overhaul the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels are “strong” and “likely to make an important contribution”, says former FDA commissioner David Kessler, M.D. “But I believe they...

Behavioral scientists: Changing serving sizes on Nutrition Facts label could have unintended consequences

FDA proposals to change the way serving sizes are calculated to better reflect real-life eating behavior could encourage some people to eat even more unless the wording is changed or...

Register for the Foodnavigator-USA beverages entrepreneurs forum on July 23

Can natural sweeteners pull diet soda out of its funk?

Is diet soda in the doldrums because shoppers are suspicious of aspartame, or because they are just bored of Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi? And will naturally-sweetened products such as...

Guest article

Does Unilever’s Slim-Fast fail signal the end of weight management as we know it?

Fourteen years after Unilever spent $2.3bn (€1.7bn) to buy Slim-Fast, it has sold up for an undisclosed sum to a private equity player. Analyst and author Julian Mellentin tracks the...

News in brief

Unilever sells Slim Fast to private equity firm Kainos Capital for undisclosed sum

Unilever has sold its Slim Fast weight management brand to private equity firm Kainos Capital, but will retain a minority stake in the business. 

ASPEN IDEAS FESTIVAL 2014, COLORADO

‘Who are you, Mother Teresa?’ We are American. We eat chips and drink soda!’: PepsiCo boss Indra Nooyi on investor ‘who took me to the cleaners’

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi says she didn’t want a short-term ‘cut, slash and burn’ policy that would have seen the company make enormous earnings from 2006 despite the upset her...

Dispatches from IFT 2014

RD: There’s a health continuum for every food; what pillars do you want to stand on?

What is the future of ‘naturality’ on product labels? Are sin taxes and warning just policy tools disguised as a consumer advocacy? And should health and wellness be part of...

Bloomberg’s big soda cap is dead

New York’s highest court has refused to reinstate New York City’s controversial limit on the sale of large sugary beverages, effectively killing the city’s final appeal. 

Stevia First CEO: Game-changing enzymatic enhancement process could transform economics of stevia production

A novel ‘enzymatic enhancement’ process that can convert low grade stevia extracts into high purity Reb A could transform the economics of stevia production and help California-based Stevia First stand...

What’s the next coconut water? Find out at the FoodNavigator-USA Beverage Entrepreneurs Forum

Will Keurig Cold really turn the soft drinks market on its head? Can natural sweeteners pull diet soda out of its funk? And what’s the next coconut water?