HEALTH

NIH division director dispenses diabetes advice in advance of National Diabetes Month

BY Michael Johnsen

BETHESDA, Md. — For the more than 30 million people in the U.S. with diabetes, the director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases division of the National Institutes of Health urged people to eat better as part of a best practice in taking care of their condition.

"People with diabetes need to make healthy food choices, stay at a healthy weight, move more every day and take their medicine even when they feel good," suggested director Griffin Rodgers in a blog posted Wednesday, the first day of National Diabetes Month. "It’s not easy, but it’s worth it – research has shown that these efforts can dramatically lower the risk of many diabetes-related health problems, including heart, kidney, nerve and eye diseases," he said. "[And] having a network of support can help people with diabetes cope with the daily demands that come with diabetes and help them be more successful in managing their health."

Rodgers noted that the NIH is currently researching a "precision medicine" approach to managing diabetes, where a person’s genes, environment, lifestyle and other factors all help determine the best treatment for that person. "The ongoing Glycemia Reduction Approaches in Diabetes: A Comparative Effectiveness Study is comparing four drugs as additions to metformin, the most common first-line type 2 diabetes medication, to determine which drug works best to manage the disease in different people," he noted.

Even as NIH seeks better pharmacological disease-state management tools for diabetes, people can take better charge of their condition by eating better and exercising, he said. "As we learn more about how to treat and someday prevent all types of diabetes, we hope you’ll use this National Diabetes Month as a chance to take charge of your health," Rodgers concluded. "Go to health visits with questions you may have. Start making small changes to your lifestyle. Learn more about diabetes with free health information from the NIDDK. Find even more ways to improve your diabetes health with the National Diabetes Education Program, a joint program of NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
 

 

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LifeStyles again partners with Movember Foundation in support of men’s health

BY Michael Johnsen

ISELIN, N.J. — LifeStyles on Tuesday announced a partnership with the Movember Foundation and its Skyn brand of condoms for the third consecutive year in North America. With a shared commitment to men's health, Skyn will reintroduce their special Movember edition condoms, which are available for purchase at major retailers across the U.S. and Canada.

As part of the partnership, LifeStyles will donate $0.50 from each sale of its 12-count custom Skyn Condoms box to the Movember Foundation (up to $50,000).

"Our continued partnership with the Movember Foundation has given us a larger platform to drive awareness for men's health year after year," stated Jeyan Heper, CEO LifeStyles. "By working with the Movember Foundation for the third year in a row and donating proceeds from sales of our special edition Skyn Condoms, we are supporting men's health and keeping it top of mind, both in and out of the bedroom."

In addition to the availability of Skyn Movember edition condoms at major retailers across the U.S. and Canada, Skyn will also distribute thousands of Movember edition sample packs at college campuses leading up to and throughout the month of November.

Participants who join Skyn's Movember network and raise $50 or more for Movember are automatically entered into the Skyn sweepstakes for the potential to win a three-night trip for two to either: Sedona, Ariz.; Aspen, Colo.; or Jackson Hole, Wy.

"Movember partners have played an extraordinary role in a mission that has helped the Foundation create more than 1,200 men's health projects in 21 countries," commented Adam Garone, co-founder and U.S. Country director at the Movember Foundation. "Our partnership with Skyn Condoms will allow us to expand our brand awareness, reach new audiences – all in an effort to ultimately help men live happier, healthier, longer lives."

The Movember Foundation is the only global charity focused solely on men's health, funding over 1,200 innovative projects across 21 countries. The Foundation raises vital funds for men's health programs supporting these critical areas: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.

 

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Winter is coming, and so is cough-cold season

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Winter is coming, and with it the sneezes and sniffles, the wheezes and coughs that typically make for a robust cough-cold season. According to a Neilsen blog post from Wednesday, more than half (59%) of annual over-the-counter cold and flu medications were purchased between November 2016 and January 2017, according to Nielsen retail measurement sales for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 26, 2017.

Overall, dollar sales grew 7% during last year's 2016-17 cold and flu season, compared to the 2015-16 period, Nielsen reported.

"When it comes to OTC cold flu medications, products with a label claim around coughing grew 11% in dollar sales compared to the prior cold/flu season, while products without the claim grew only 4%," Nielsen noted in its blog post. "But some consumers are looking for more than functionality in their cold/flu OTC medications; they’re also paying attention to transparency claims in the OTC aisle. Though OTC cold/flu products with a natural claim only grew 2% in dollars, those free-from artificial colors and flavors grew 74% compared to the previous cold/flu season."

But exactly who is purchasing natural and free-from cold/flu medications? Compared to the average household, households with young children are the top purchasers, while households with five or more members spend more of their cold/flu dollars at  warehouse club, dollar and supercenter merchants than the average shopper.

Retailers looking for synergistic merchandising adjacency or an out-of-the-box product line to include in this year's cough-cold end-caps might look to tea, the blog post noted. According to Nielsen, during the cold/flu season, consumers spend 28% more on herbal teas compared with the average month. Sales rise so much during this time that November, December and January making up 32% of annual dollar spend on herbal tea.

What's more, compared with the average month, consumers spend 42% more dollars on herbal tea with an immunity claim on the label, with sales up 22% compared with the previous season. Herbal teas with a natural claim drove 29% more dollars sales compared with the average month, with dollar sales up 32%, Nielsen reported.
 

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