HEALTH

Dr. Oz suggests raspberry ketone for weight loss

BY Michael Johnsen

Television personality Dr. Oz may have become the Oprah of the diet-aid category with a recommendation made on one of his programs that users try raspberry ketone for weight loss.

(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)

The results? Phytogenix Labs Ultimate is now commanding a $24.3 million base on growth of 278.4%, according to IRI data for the 52 weeks ended Nov. 3, 2013, across total U.S. multi-outlets. Another raspberry ketone SKU marketed by Core Science Medica has reached $11 million in sales on 152.6% growth.

“[It’s] the No. 1 miracle in a bottle to burn your fat — raspberry ketone,” Dr. Oz, who reaches 3 million American viewers, said in introducing the segment. He advised weight-loss seekers to supplement with between 100 mg and 200 mg of raspberry ketone daily to achieve optimal results.

To obtain that amount of ketone from food, a person would need to consume approximately 90 lbs. of raspberries daily, reported metabolic weight-loss specialist Lisa Lynn, principle of LynFit Nutrition, who Dr. Oz interviewed for the segment. “I’d like to see people [lose weight] with diet and exercise, but it’s OK to have some help along the way,” Lynn said. “Use [raspberry ketone] for that purpose, not as a miracle pill,” Dr. Oz added.

Raspberry ketone works by helping to regulate adiponectin, a protein used by the body to regulate metabolism. Raspberry ketone causes the fat within cells to be broken up more effectively, helping the body to burn fat faster.

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GSK launches smoking-cessation program at Walmart

BY Michael Johnsen

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — GlaxoSmithKline recently tapped Emmy-nominated choreographer, “Dancing with the Stars” professional dancer and recording artist Mark Ballas to headline the company’s Blueprint to Quit smoking-cessation program. The star has been smoke-free for more than six months thanks to the comprehensive, two-part quit-smoking Blueprint to Quit resource available exclusively at Walmart.

Blueprint to Quit combines two resources for quitting smoking: online behavioral support through QuitNet and nicotine replacement therapy like Nicor-ette or Nicoderm CQ.

“Practicing the utmost discipline in so many parts of my life, I didn’t expect quitting smoking to be a struggle,” Ballas said. “The program allowed me to tackle tough cravings, stick to a plan that worked for me and seek support when I need it.” Ballas developed a series of “Quit Steps” videos to illustrate the journey he took to becoming smoke-free. They show how he was able to get through tough moments, his experiences with the NicoDerm CQ patch, the QuitNet behavioral support program and how support from his friends and family was the key to his success.

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‘Tis the year to lose weight

BY Michael Johnsen

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, leading up to January 2013, 45% of Americans made a New Year’s resolution. Of those, 38% were weight-related resolutions. In fact, losing weight was the No. 1 resolution, beating out “getting organized” and “spend less, save more.”

(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)

But this year’s resolutions may carry a little more weight with the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Not only will there be an overall emphasis on realizing and maintaining a healthy weight from employers and healthcare payers, but also Medicaid will expand weight-loss counseling to its constituents at little or no cost.

That suggests sales of weight-loss aids will be less impacted by seasonality, while the overall category continues to grow. The category currently stands at $5.4 billion on a growth rate exceeding 8%, according to DSN estimates.

And it’s a savvier consumer shopping weight loss. “[As many as] 95% in the diet category now actually research online before they buy,” noted Jeff McHarg, general manager North America for Soho Flordis. And they’re looking for clinical evidence, he said, and for a simplified regimen. “They want something they can understand how it works,” he said. “People don’t see [weight-loss products] as a magic pill anymore, they see it as a weight-loss aid.”

Nutrisystem continues to make waves at retail, joining its five-day weight-loss starter kit with more traditional meal replacement bar and ready-to-drink shake offerings. Nutrisystem is placing a lot of weight behind its retail roll out — president and CEO Dawn Zier told analysts in October that retail sales accounted for 5% of the company’s revenues in 2013. She expects that to double in 2014.

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