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Lego, Warner Bros. Consumer Products to launch construction sets based on ‘Lord of the Rings,’ ‘The Hobbit’

BY Allison Cerra

BILLUND, Denmark, and BURBANK, Calif. — A line of build-and-play construction sets based on the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and the upcoming film "The Hobbit" is coming to retail.

Lego and Warner Bros. Consumer Products said it will introduce the Lego The Lord of the Rings construction sets are slated for a global launch beginning in June 2012 in the United States, with Lego The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey scheduled for release later in the year.

"Only Lego, with their expertise in the construction category, is capable of doing justice to the incredibly imaginative environments depicted in the world of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and the two films based on ‘The Hobbit,’" Warner Bros. Consumer Products EVP domestic licensing and worldwide marketing Karen McTier said. "These films give life to amazing worlds and characters and we are thrilled to bring fans these products that deliver an imaginative play experience befitting of these beloved properties."

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Intermittent exercise may lower blood sugar in Type 2 diabetics, Canadian researchers find

BY Alaric DeArment

HAMILTON, Ontario — Short bursts of exercise appear to lower blood sugar in people with Type 2 diabetes, researchers at Canada’s McMaster University have found.

The researchers found that brief, high-intensity workouts — as little as six sessions over a two-week period — rapidly lower blood sugar levels, according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. Study participants who got 30 minutes of high-intensity intermittent exercise per week, involving a total time commitment of 75 minutes, lowered their 24-hour blood sugar concentrations, reduced blood sugar spikes after meals and increased the mitochondrial capacity of their skeletal muscles.

"These findings are intriguing because they suggest that exercising very strenuously for short periods of time may provide many of the same health benefits as traditional exercise training," McMaster kinesiology professor and lead study author Martin Gibala said. "This is the first study to show that intense interval training may be a potent, time-efficient strategy to improve glycemic regulation in people with Type 2 diabetes."

Subjects were given blood sugar tests over a 24-hour period and biopsies of thigh muscle. Their workouts involved riding a stationary bike for 10 bouts of 60 seconds at about 90% of maximal heart rate, with one minute between each burst of exercise. Including warm-up and cool-down, each training session lasted 25 minutes.

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Duane Reade to unveil unique offerings at 52nd and Broadway location

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — Duane Reade is set to put its signature “New York Living Made Easy” vision on full display on Friday with the unveiling of its expanded store located at 1657 Broadway in New York.

(Check out photos of the new store here)

The new 24-hour location, which opens Friday, will serve as an amplification of the retailer’s continued rebranding and aggressive transformation initiatives to date.

"Duane Reade will continue to be at the forefront of drug store innovation throughout the chain’s repositioning efforts where it makes sense," stated Joe Magnacca, president of Duane Reade and president of daily living products and solutions for Walgreens. “Taking this former 3,100-sq.-ft. Duane Reade Express store [and] integrating strategic retail and neighborhood-centric niche elements — thereby transforming it into its current 20,000-sq.-ft. total health, beauty and daily living destination — clearly indicates what we feel the future of drug stores will be."

New store offerings will include the debut of the UpMarket "Fro-Yo" Bar. This food offering, never rolled out before by Duane Reade, will feature eight varieties of frozen yogurt and four twists. There also will be various condiments, sauces and refrigerated toppings to choose from. The UpMarket "Fro-Yo" Bar yogurt is all-natural and produced by New York-based Ronnybrook Farms. An Upmarket "Freezee" station will also make a debut with rotating flavors of self-serve slushies.

Duane Reade’s fresh-made daily products will introduce all new entrees in ultra-fresh packaging, and a Good & Delish oatmeal station will be introduced containing three self-serve flavors of fresh instant oatmeal daily.

Offerings, first introduced at the chain’s 40 Wall St. flagship store, also will be integrated, including the Juice Market and a chef-manned sushi station featuring fresh sushi, sashimi and traditional sides.

"We are thrilled to provide this vibrant neighborhood with expanded ‘ultra-fresh’ food solutions for every meal of the day," added Paul Tiberio, SVP merchandising and chief marketing officer for Duane Reade. "Furthermore, this comprehensive store expansion has created [more than] 30 jobs, including assistant manager positions, making this particular remodel effort even more worthwhile."

The Duane Reade pharmacy will be "Powered by Walgreens Pharmacy Network.” This means it is linked to Walgreens’ pharmacy system so New Yorkers, out-of-state residents and visitors can have their Walgreens pharmacy information available at this Duane Reade location for a seamless patient experience that also will include prescription "ready" text messaging, free in-store language translation assistance and immunization services.

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