CDC reports historic lows in flu activity
ATLANTA The flu news coming out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week is that there is no flu news to speak of, at least relative to flu seasons past.
For the week ended Jan. 23, influenza activity remained at approximately the same levels as last week, the CDC reported, which is below historical levels for January.
The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness was 1.7%, falling below the national baseline of 2.3%. Only 2-out-of-10 regions (the Southeast and Southwest) reported ILI equal to their region-specific baseline. No states reported widespread influenza activity, five states reported regional influenza activity and nine states reported local influenza activity. Three states reported no influenza activity.
Brynwood acquires Balance Bar biz from Kraft
GREENWICH, Conn. Brynwood Partners recently announced its acquisition of the Balance Bar Co. from Kraft Foods. This transaction, completed late last year, marks Brynwood’s first investment.
Brynwood will base the company in the Northeast and has recruited its own management team to operate the business, the investment firm stated. According to the statement, the firm has a successful investment track record in the food industry having managed prior investments in Lincoln Snacks, Signature Snacks, DeMet’s Candy Company and Richelieu Foods.
“Brynwood is pleased to announce this exciting transaction,” stated Hendrik Hartong III, senior managing partner of Brynwood. “Balance Bar is a great brand with a very loyal consumer following. We plan to increase the focus on the brand and expand the business through increased marketing and new product innovation.”
Hartong will serve as chairman of the Balance Bar Company.
Brynwood Partners, founded in 1984 and currently investing capital for its sixth fund, is a private equity fund which makes control investments in lower middle market companies targeting the consumer products, light industrial manufacturing, specialty retailing and business services sectors.
Study finds vitamin D may cut risk of colorectal cancer
NEW YORK Vitamin D may improve bone health, but it also may lower one’s risk of colorectal cancer, according to a new study.
The study, published in the Jan. 21 online edition of BMJ, surveyed more than 520,000 people in 10 Western European countries, all of whom provided blood samples and filled out diet and lifestyle questionnaires between 1992 and 1998. During the follow-up, 1,248 were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, who were compared with the same sample size of those not diagnosed with the disease.
The scientists also noted that participants with the highest levels of vitamin D in their blood had as much as a 40% lower risk for developing colorectal cancer than those with the lowest levels, though they pointed out it is unclear whether or not consuming large amounts of vitamin D poses a risk on one’s overall health.