HEALTH

eDiets, alli partner to launch fresh meal delivery program

BY Adam Kraemer

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. and PITTSBURGH eDiets.com, an online diet, fitness, and healthy living destination, announced an agreement with GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare for eDiets to provide customized meal delivery plans specifically designed for use with the market-leading alli product for weight loss.

The only over-the-counter weight loss product approved by the Food and Drug Administration, alli (orlistat 60mg), has seen more than 2 million users since its June 2007 launch. With the combination of alli, its weight-loss tools (available at myalli.com) and eDiets’ meal delivery, dieters can gain access to a convenient new way to lose weight in 2008.

“eDiets’ freshly prepared and delivered meals are a natural extension to our program, and a wonderful convenience to our community of users,” said Steven Burton, vice president of Weight Control, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. “alli is proven effective in combination with any reduced calorie and low fat diet containing less than 30 percent calories from fat. The eDiets meal program offers consumers another convenient option for maximizing their weight loss success. This meal plan and our product can have a powerful impact on those who are committed to losing weight.”

eDiets.com, offers more than 20 personalized nutrition and fitness programs, professional advice, information, products and services to those seeking to improve their health and longevity. eDiets also provides fresh-prepared meal delivery and was rated 2007’s “#1 diet meal delivery service” by Epicurious.com. eDiets products and services are available direct to consumers or through business partnerships with brand-name companies in food, pharmaceutical, insurance, nutrition and fitness industries.

“We’re very much aware of the widespread popularity and success of alli, and our services are a perfect complement to this proven product,” said Steve Rattner, chief executive officer of eDiets. “We are excited to partner with GSK Consumer Healthcare. We believe freshly prepared, low-fat portion controlled meals are essential for effective weight loss and healthy living.”

Rattner stated that eDiets would not update its fiscal 2008 revenue guidance at this time, but may reevaluate the guidance as the company gains more insight into this opportunity.

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HEALTH

Burn fat tastefully with fucoPROTEIN bars

BY DSN STAFF

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. Garden of Life has introduced its fucoPROTEIN bar, a dietary supplement that contains fucoxanthin, a natural compound found in brown seaweed that burns fat and boosts metabolism. The bars are an extension of the company’s fucoTHIN supplement, currently the No. 1-selling supplement in the natural products industry, according to SPINSscan Natural, a market research firm.

“Many protein bars are glorified candy bars with little nutritional value,” said Garden of Life chief executive officer Jordan Rubin, author of the recently released book Perfect Weight America. “Not only are fucoPROTEIN bars a nutritious choice because they are made with organic ingredients instead of high fructose corn syrup, soy protein and artificial sweeteners, but they also can boost metabolism and assist with weight management.”

FucoPROTEIN bars are made with native whey protein, raw wildflower honey, acacia and chia seeds, which expand in the stomach and result in a feeling of satiety for hours. However, it’s the fat-burning properties of fucoxanthin that makes them unique in the market.

“FucoPROTEIN bars are an extension of our popular weight management category that includes fucoTHIN,” Rubin noted. Combined with a sensible diet and exercise program, clinical studies have shown that most people lose more weight using fucoTHIN than if they had chosen only to diet.”

For the 12-week period ended Dec. 1, 2007, fucoTHIN was the No. 1-selling product out of 225,000 products analyzed, according to SPINSscan. In clinical, double-blind human studies conducted on overweight women who followed an 1800-calorie meal plan, those taking fucoTHIN lost an average of 14.5 pounds while the placebo group lost an average of only three pounds.

Available in chocolate and peanut butter flavors, fucoPROTEIN bars retail for $2.99 while fucoTHIN has a suggested retail price of $49.99. Both products are available at health food stores nationwide.

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Blue Smarties are back, thanks to natural color additive

BY DSN STAFF

YORK, United Kingdom An all-natural coloring derived from seaweed has put blue Smarties back on the shelves following their removal two years ago in response to concerns over artificial additives.

Nestle Rowntree stopped producing blue Smarties when it promised to remove all artificial colorings from the confectionery amid concerns that they are linked to hyperactivity and may pose other health risks. The blue Smartie was replaced by a white one, while a suitable natural alternative was found to the coloring Brilliant Blue (E133).

“There were a lot of disappointed consumers when blue Smarties were taken out of the range but I am delighted to announce that they are back,” said Graham Walker, Nestle Rowntree UK Trade Communications Manager.

After an extended period of development, Nestle now appears to have found the solution in spirulina, which is produced from two species of cyanobacteria (blue-green lake algae). It is commonly used as a dietary supplement as it contains unusually high levels of protein, between 55 and 77 percent by dry weight. It also is rich in essential fatty acids, B vitamins, vitamin C, D and E, and contains potassium and other minerals.

It is not clear if the blue Smarties will maintain any of Spirulina’s health benefits.

A study had concluded that cocktails of food colourings commonly used in confectionery and beverages, and sodium benzoate, can aggravate hyperactivity in children. However, Brilliant Blue was not included in this. Manufacturers have been responding to consumer demand to reduce artificial additives on the back of health concerns and a growing trend to choose natural and organic.

Mintel’s Global New Products Database found that more than 1,000 new food products claiming to be additive- and preservative-free were launched in the United Kingdom last year, according to Mintel, representing almost a quarter of all launches and nearly three times as many as any other European country. 

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