HEALTH

Staples survey: More employees reporting to duty sick

BY Michael Johnsen

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Nearly 90% of office workers come to work even when they know they are sick, according to the fourth annual Flu Season Survey from Staples. The findings show a growing trend when compared to last year’s findings indicating 80% of workers come to work sick, and up from 60% in the 2011 Staples survey.

“Flu season poses a big problem for businesses — each year it causes an estimated 70 million missed workdays and billions in lost office productivity. It’s critical that both employees and employers take notice and promote healthier habits,” stated Lisa Hamblet, VP facility solutions at Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples. “That can mean arming a workforce with simple products like hand sanitizer to large-scale industrial cleaning products and techniques. Diligence early in the flu season ensures health and productivity throughout the season.”

According to the survey, workers acknowledged that staying out three days when sick with the flu was appropriate. The majority of workers, however, stay out of the office for less than two days when sick, putting coworkers’ health and business productivity at risk. The primary reason most respondents cited for returning to work early was not wanting to fall behind on their workload (45%).

The survey does demonstrate that workers have a better understanding of flu prevention, however. According to the survey, 49% of respondents understand they are contagious with the flu virus for one day before symptoms develop and up to five-to-seven days after becoming sick, an improvement from 38% last year. And 57% know that flu viruses can live on a hard surface up to three days, a slight increase from last year; however, 66% of employees still only clean their desks once a week or less, up from 51% last year.

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NAD recommends Maximum Human Performance tone down its advertising for MYO-X Myostatin Inhibitor

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The National Advertising Division last week recommended that Maximum Human Performance, which markets the dietary supplement MYO-X Myostatin Inhibitor, discontinue the advertising claims and testimonials at issue in NAD’s review.

As part of NAD’s routine monitoring efforts, and in conjunction with an initiative with the Council for Responsible Nutrition designed to expand NAD’s review of advertising claims for dietary supplements, NAD requested substantiation for claims that appeared in print advertising, on product packaging and on the advertiser’s website, including: “Research has shown that a reduction in serum myostatin levels is likely to result in clinically significant muscle gains. In my work with elite athletics I have seen firsthand the muscle enhancement impact of MYO-X when used in conjunction with intense weight training. These athletes have made vast improvements in muscle size, strength, performance and improved recovery.”

The advertiser explained that MYO-X is a beverage mix dietary supplement formulated to reduce the levels of a biological molecule called myostatin, which inhibits muscle differentiation and growth. 

As support for its advertising claims, NAD noted, the company relied on scientific literature and studies that did not address whether ingesting the product did in fact reduce myostatin levels in a manner that resulted in “clinically significant” muscle gains or muscle performance benefits.

NAD noted that while the evidence in the record “shows promising results in support of the theory that ingestion of MYO-X will reduce human myostatin levels and result in a muscle enhancement impact, the evidence fails to establish the causal link necessary to support the claims at issue.”

Following its review, NAD recommended that the advertiser discontinue express claims and testimonials at issue.

The company, in its advertiser’s statement, said it “appreciated the opportunity to participate in the self-regulatory process, however, the company and the leading researcher on the benefits of Myostatin suppression disagrees with the NAD’s assessment of the underlying science and initial studies behind MYO T-12.”

However, the company said, it “will modify its claims to conform to NAD’s decision and will develop claims based on the outcome of future clinical studies.”

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Overall, Okinawa Life passes muster with ERSP

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — The Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program last week determined that Kowa Health Care America can support general performance claims for Okinawa Life, a dietary supplement marketed as providing a variety of health benefits. 

“Kowa Health Care America appreciates the opportunity to participate in the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program’s self-regulatory process, and we welcome ERSP’s decision regarding advertising for the Okinawa Life dietary supplement," the company stated. "We are pleased ERSP determined that scientific evidence demonstrates that the soy isoflavones in Okinawa Life support lower cholesterol levels, improved endothelial function and cardiovascular health. We will modify advertising for Okinawa Life in accordance with ERSP’s recommendations.”

While Kowa provided support for claims regarding the nutritional benefits of soy isoflavones, ERSP determined that claims related to zedoary and goya were not adequately supported. As a result, ERSP recommended Kowa modify its advertising to discontinue references to goya and zedoary in a context that implies to consumers that the dosages of these ingredients in Okinawa Life are nutritionally beneficial.

ERSP is an investigative unit of the advertising industry’s system of self-regulation and is administered by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The marketer’s advertising came to the attention of ERSP pursuant to its ongoing monitoring program.

 

 

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