HEALTH

Balance Bar kicks off anti-resolutions pledge campaign

BY Michael Johnsen

RONKONKOMA, N.Y. — Balance Bar on Thursday asked Americans to join them in taking the Balance Bar Pledge, an anti-resolutions pledge that encourages people to skip the tradition of setting overly ambitious and sometimes unachievable goals and instead make one small step each month that supports their health, wellness and overall happiness.

Making small lifestyle changes, even one per month, can lead to a more balanced life in 2014. Balance Bar has teamed up with lifestyle expert Laurel House, known as the QuickieChick, to create a year’s worth of monthly, realistic and achievable tips. These tips are available at Balance.com, along with videos on Facebook featuring House and her "balanced" advice.

"The idea behind the Balance Bar brand is to be your best you — and that involves setting yourself up for success," said Katia Facchetti, chief marketing officer for Balance Bar. "The purpose of the anti-resolution campaign, and the whole spirit of Balance Bar, is to make small decisions that have a positive impact every day that benefits the longer term. For a snack, do you choose a bag of chips or do you choose a nutritionally-sound Balance Bar? Not a life-changing decision, but a small one that can have benefits today and down the road."

Balance Bar also has launched a Facebook tab dedicated to the Balance Bar Pledge, and a microsite where fans can publicly declare their intentions to live their best 2014 and join the community of anti-resolutioners. They can enter to win a grand prize fitness resort vacation at New Life Hiking Spa in Killington, Vt. Five fans also will win a Balance Bar 2014 calendar, which features each of House’s monthly tips, a case of Balance Bar bars and Yurbuds sports headphones.

Balance Bar and House will be hosting a live, one-hour Twitter chat on the topic on Thursday, January 9 at 2 p.m. ET. Yurbuds, as well as bloggers from Mommy’s Memorandum and Leslie Loves Veggies, also will join the discussion. 

"I love the idea of focusing each month on a small, achievable step," House said. "For example, in May, I want you to surround yourself with motivating people. And in August, it’s all about taking care of your body. On their own, these may seem small, but they add up and build on each other, giving you the best and most balanced life by next December."

 

 

 

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Report: DXM abuse down among high school seniors

BY Michael Johnsen

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Abuse of the cough ingredient dextromethorphan among high school seniors is down, according to this year’s Monitoring the Future survey, which measures drug use and attitudes among the nation’s eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders. Approximately 5% of seniors reported abuse of dextromethorphan, down from 6.9% in 2006, the first year it was measured by the survey.

“The results of this year’s Monitoring the Future survey demonstrates that prevention efforts do make a difference," stated Scott Melville, president and CEO of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. "We are pleased to see this decreasing trend, but understand there is a continuing need for parent and teen education to prevent the growth of cough medicine abuse rates," he said. “Through the efforts of our parent-focused education campaign Stop Medicine Abuse and our teen campaign with the Partnership at DrugFree.org, we have reached millions of parents and teens about the dangers of DXM abuse. Our goal is to dissuade potential abusers by reaching teens directly about the risks and by mobilizing parents to take action — to talk to their teens and safeguard the medicines in their homes."

In addition, since launching the Stop Medicine Abuse legislative action center in June, CHPA’s campaign has mobilized advocates to send more than 27,000 emails to the Senate, urging passage of the Prevent Abuse of Cough Treatments Act, which would enforce a federal age-18 sales restriction of DXM.

There is mixed news regarding abuse of prescription medications, however. The survey found continued abuse of Adderall, commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, with 7.4% of seniors reporting taking it for non-medical reasons in the past year. However, only 2.3% of seniors report abuse of Ritalin, another ADHD medication. 

Abuse of the pain reliever Vicodin has shown a marked decrease in the last 10 years, now measured at 5.3% for high school seniors, compared with 10.5% in 2003. 

Cigarette smoking continues to decline as well. For the first time, the percentage of students in all three grades combined who say they smoked in the past month is below 10% (9.6%) compared with 16.7% 10 years ago and 24.7% in 1993. 

Daily smoking of cigarettes is now at 8.5% for 12th-graders, 4.4% for 10th-graders and 1.8% for eighth-graders. However, 21.4% of seniors report smoking tobacco with a hookah in the past year, more than 3% above the rate teens reported in 2012 (18.3%).

 

 

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Rite Aid, GNC extend partnership through 2019, allowing at least 300 new ‘store-within-a-store’ locations over five years

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — The long-standing partnership between Rite Aid and nutritional products retailer GNC is being extended through the end of the decade, Rite Aid said Thursday.

Rite Aid said the partnership, which started in 1998, has been extended through 2019. The extension allows Rite Aid to add at least 300 GNC LiveWell store-within-a-store locations over the next five years. Currently, there are more than 2,200 such locations throughout the Rite Aid chain.

"Rite aid’s strategic partnership with GNC is a point of differentiation, both in the chain drug industry and with our customers," Rite Aid president and COO Ken Martindale said. "With the extension of our retail agreement with GNC, we will be able to continue bringing our customers the outstanding lineup of highly popular GNC products they trust while delivering in our mission of helping our customers meet their unique health and wellness needs."

Tom Dowd, EVP, general manager and chief merchandising officer of Pittsburgh-based GNC, called the partnership an important part of his company’s growth strategy.

"As a leading global specialty retailer of vitamins, minerals and herbal supplement products, sports nutrition products and diet products, GNC shares Rite Aid’s commitment to improving the health and wellness of its customers," Dowd said. "We look forward to working together to bring our successful store-within-a-store to more Rite Aid pharmacies over the next five years, making it easier than ever for people to live well."

 

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