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AMA: Obesity is a disease

BY Alaric DeArment

CHICAGO — The American Medical Association has officially recognized obesity as a disease, which could affect how healthcare professionals approach the issue, the group said at its annual meeting in Chicago.

The new policy was one of several adopted in a day of voting at the meeting, and the group said it would now recognize obesity as a disease requiring treatment and prevention.

"Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one-in-three Americans," AMA board member Patrice Harris said. "The AMA is committed to improving health outcomes and is working to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, which are often linked to obesity."

The group also voted to support Food and Drug Administration oversight over sterile compounding pharmacies, particularly those that compound drugs without first receiving a prescription and sell them across state lines, as well as state pharmacy board regulation of traditional compounding.

"As the recent meningococcal outbreak linked to non-sterile injectables illustrates, there are real concerns about the safety of pharmacy compounding practices," board member William Kobler said. "Expanding oversight and regulation of these compounding practices will help better protect public health and ensure patient safety and access."

Citing studies confirming that effective antiretroviral therapy can reduce transmission of HIV by up to 96%, the group expressed support for programs that raise physicians’ awareness of early treatment and so-called "treatment as prevention."

Other policies adopted by the group included support for banning the marketing energy drinks to people younger than 18, allowing students in schools to carry sunscreen without a doctor’s note — laws in most states ban students from carrying over-the-counter drugs without permission — and raising awareness of the potential health risks of prolonged sitting.


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Estée Lauder selects former PepsiCo HR exec to lead global HR functions

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Estée Lauder Cos., whose brands include Aveda, Bumble and bumble and American Beauty, has appointed former Heineken N.V. and PepsiCo executive Michael O’Hare to serve as its EVP global human resources.
 
O’Hare will report jointly to William P. Lauder, executive chairman, and Fabrizio Freda, president and CEO. He assumes his new position on Sept. 30.

O’Hare will succeed Amy DiGeso, who is currently EVP global human resources. DiGeso has announced her intention to retire after almost a decade of leading the global human resources function at the beauty company. DiGeso and O’Hare will work closely together to ensure a smooth transition, and DiGeso will remain with the company as EVP, senior advisor to the executive chairman and the CEO through June 30, 2014.

O’Hare joins the Estée Lauder Cos. from the Netherlands-based Heineken N.V., where for the last four years he served as global chief human resources officer and a member of the executive committee.

Previously, he spent 13 years at PepsiCo, where he held a variety of senior HR roles, culminating in the position of chief personnel officer/VP for Asia Pacific. In this role, he oversaw all HR activities in the region, across more than 40 business units and joint ventures.


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Sparkling Ice launches new website, national ad campaign

BY Jason Owen

SEATTLE — TalkingRain announced the launch of a new multimillion dollar advertising campaign and website redesign for Sparkling Ice, a growing non-alcoholic beverage brand in the United States.

"In less than two years, Sparkling Ice grew from a $10 million to a $200 million beverage brand, due largely to organic growth brought on by consumer demand for a great tasting, zero-calorie beverage," said Kevin Klock, CEO of TalkingRain Beverage Co. "With the launch of this aggressive, far-reaching campaign, Sparkling Ice will harness the momentum of this growth to reach a wider audience than ever before on our way to becoming the next billion dollar brand."

Sparkling Ice’s first venture into television advertising is a 30-second spot set to debut on June 20th. The animated ad highlights Sparkling Ice’s array of flavors with its tagline: "Bold Flavor. Zero Calories. Perfectly Possible." The commercial, dubbed "Dive In," depicts the playful personality of the brand by showcasing the brand’s ice cube logo dancing inside a bottle of Sparkling Ice, reflecting the idea of taste buds reacting to the refreshing flavors. The spot can be seen on major network, top cable and high-visibility syndication, including ABC’s "Good Morning America," NBC’s "Today Show," E!, Style, Bravo and more.

The television spots are supported with Out-of-Home advertising running from May through August in 16 major markets in the U.S., including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Washington D.C., Seattle and more.

In addition to the new advertising campaign, a refreshed and bold new website has been created for Sparkling Ice products, featuring updated graphics, a new product finder, enhanced social media connectivity and more.

The brand has been ranked as one of the top ten most successful food and beverage consumer-packaged-goods brands in both the 2011 and 2012 IRI New Product Pacesetters report, an industry-recognized benchmark analysis of exceptional CPG sales success for newly launched products.

Sparkling Ice beverages can be found in retailers nationwide and retails for $1.19-$1.29.


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