HEALTH

Study finds Americans need education about essential vitamins and minerals

BY Michael Johnsen

MADISON, N.J. While the majority of Americans believe they are very or somewhat knowledgeable about multivitamins (67 percent), many do not know which vitamins and minerals are essential for the body or what vitamins and minerals are responsible for specific functions in the body, according to a survey released by the not-for-profit National Women’s Health Resource Center Tuesday and underwritten by Wyeth Consumer Healthcare.

“When it comes to ensuring people get the vitamins and minerals they need in their daily diet, we were concerned by their lack of knowledge—especially among women, who are more likely to take an active role in promoting their family’s health,” stated Elizabeth Battaglino Cahill, executive vice president of NWHRC. “We want people to have the knowledge and resources to understand what their bodies should have and to help them choose a multivitamin that fits their needs if they are not getting the right nutrients from their diet.”

In fact, about a quarter of Americans believe they get the vitamins and minerals they need by diet alone. And while 51 percent of the individuals surveyed said take a multivitamin, most of them do not know which vitamins and minerals are essential for their bodies.

The survey also uncovered that 49 percent of Americans are very or somewhat concerned about LDL or bad cholesterol.

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TABS Group examines political leanings of vitamin and supplement users

BY Michael Johnsen

SHELTON, Conn. The marketing and research company TABS Group, on Tuesday released survey results of voting preferences based on purchase behavior of vitamin and nutritional supplements. “These results provide interesting insight into vitamin and supplement users and how their usage patterns can predict and explain voting behavior. The stereotype of the typical user being a hippie, earthy-type just does not hold, as heavy category users skewed significantly more Republican than Democrat,” noted TABS Group president Kurt Jetta.

“Furthermore, the results hold meaningful political, policy and marketing implications for political candidates and supplement manufacturers,” Jetta added. “First, the political parties should consider why heavy users are more likely to support one party in greater numbers than the other particularly with respect to regulatory questions that arise. Second, candidates can gain guidance into media avenues that may be more efficient vehicles to reach their target audience. Conversely, manufacturers should take note of the more conservative political leanings of much of their heavy user base and adjust their media plans accordingly.”

Among the findings:

  • Regular vitamin users are significantly more likely to be Republican than Democrat. 50 percent of Republicans claimed to purchase at least 3 types of supplements versus only 43 percent of Democrats;
  • Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats or Independents of being very heavy users of the category, defined as purchasing at least 6 supplement types (8 percent for Republicans versus 4 percent for Democrats and Independents);
  • Among likely voters in the Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton had a higher percentage of the preference among regular users versus non-users (44 percent as compared to 40 percent). Conversely, Democratic hopefuls Barack Obama and John Edwards had slightly higher preference among non-users than regular users. The split was 25 percent/23 percent and 14 percent/10 percent, respectively.
  • Among likely voters in the Republican primary, there was a clear difference in preference of non-users versus regular users. Non-users tended to favor the more socially conservative candidates, the TABS Group stated, including Mike Huckabee (22 percent) and Fred Thompson (15 percent). Conversely, the support of regular users dropped substantially: Huckabee with 16 percent and Thompson with 10 percent.

The survey was fielded across three days, Jan. 9 through Jan. 11, polling 1,000 nationally representative households.

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Former CHPA vp Kraushaar joins Triadvocates

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON Kevin Kraushaar, former vice president of government relations for the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, accepted a position as managing principal of the Washington, D.C., office of Triadvocates, the government relations consulting practice of Quarles & Brady beginning in January, the association stated in a e-newsletter Friday.

“Kevin was highly dedicated to the interests of our member companies, and has a wealth of experience and insight from 14 years on the job here at CHPA,” stated Andy Fish, senior vice president, legal & government affairs and general counsel. “We are grateful for his service to the association and its members and wish him well in his new venture.”

Kraushaar joined CHPA in 1993 as assistant general counsel and director of state government relations. He was named vice president, government relations in 1998.

Prior to CHPA, Kraushaar served as the legislative director to former Michigan Rep. Carl Pursell, who was the ranking Republican on the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies.

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