HEALTH

U.S. News & World Report releases Best Diets 2014 report

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday released its Best Diets 2014, featuring rankings and information on 32 diet plans. The DASH diet was recognized as one of the Best Diets Overall, while Weight Watchers continues to hold the No. 1 spot for Best Weight-Loss Diets. 

The Mediterranean Diet, which received attention in 2013 for boosting heart health, claimed the No. 1 spot among Plant-Based Diets and the No. 3 spot among Best Diets Overall, behind DASH and the TLC Diet. The Vegetarian (No. 11) and Vegan diets (No. 18) both fell in the middle of the pack among all diets, while the Paleo diet – the most Google-searched plan of 2013 – tied for last place with the Dukan diet.

New in 2014, U.S. News ranked three additional diets — the Acid-Alkaline Diet, the Spark Solution Diet and the Fast Diet — and added profiles of two popular diets for digestive health — the Gluten-Free Diet and the Low FODMAP Diet. 

"Best Diets 2014 is designed to help consumers identify a diet that suits their specific needs, whether they are trying to lose weight, control a chronic disease or achieve a healthier lifestyle overall," stated Angela Haupt, health and wellness editor for U.S. News. "We assembled top experts and developed the tools and rankings to provide a resource for the thousands of Americans struggling to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle."

U.S. News‘ panel of health experts, including nutritionists and physicians specializing in diabetes, heart health and weight loss, scored each diet for short- and long-term weight loss, ease of compliance, safety and nutrition. Diets were ranked in eight categories, including diabetes and heart disease prevention and control, as well as easiness to follow and likelihood of weight loss.

U.S. News Best Diets 2014 Rankings

Best Diets Overall   

  1. DASH Diet
  2. TLC Diet
  3. Mediterranean Diet
  4. Weight Watchers
  5. Mayo Clinic Diet

Best Weight-Loss Diets 

  1. Weight Watchers
  2. Jenny Craig
  3. Biggest Loser
  4. Raw Food Diet

Best Diabetes Diets 

  1. DASH Diet
  2. Biggest Loser
  3. Vegan Diet
  4. Mayo Clinic Diet
  5. Ornish Diet 

Best Heart-Healthy Diets  

  1. Ornish Diet
  2. TLC Diet
  3. DASH Diet

Best Diets for Healthy Eating  

  1. DASH Diet
  2. TLC Diet
  3. Mediterranean Diet

Easiest Diets to Follow 

  1. Weight Watchers
  2. Jenny Craig
  3. Mediterranean Diet
  4. Flexitarian Diet

Best Commercial Diet Plans 

  1. Weight Watchers
  2. Jenny Craig
  3. Biggest Loser

Best Plant-Based Diets 

  1. Mediterranean Diet
  2. Flexitarian Diet
  3. Ornish Diet

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Walgreens’ cough-cold offering to be featured on TaskRabbit app

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO — Walgreens’ latest omnichannel offering features a partnership with TaskRabbit, an online mobile marketplace that will deliver OTC cold medicines anywhere within the 19 cities in which the service exists, according to a report published by Mashable on Monday. 

According to the report, the partnership runs this week through Feb. 18. The Walgreens OTC offering will be featured in TaskRabbit’s iOS app’s Task Wheel and on the TaskRabbit website.

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CHPA: Industry efforts to promote safe OTC use through standardized dosing directions and devices is working

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — The Consumer Healthcare Products Association reported the makers of over-the-counter pediatric liquid medications have made significant progress in carrying out voluntary efforts to promote safe use through standardized dosing directions and dosing devices, as underscored by the results of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released Monday in Pediatrics.

In 2009, CHPA members approved voluntary labeling guidelines for all pediatric liquid medications in an effort to reduce the potential for dosing errors. Following reports of unintentional overdoses in 2011, the Food and Drug Administration finalized similar recommendations for standardizing labeling and dosing devices included with OTC liquid medications. 

The Pediatrics report found high levels of adherence to most recommendations provided in the final FDA guidance, as well as the CHPA guidelines.

“This report shows that our industry is making great progress, and it demonstrates our commitment to proactively working to empower consumers to safely use our products in order to reduce treatment errors in children,” said Barbara Kochanowski, CHPA’s VP regulatory and scientific affairs. “Hand in hand with our efforts to improve labeling is our commitment to educating parents about the importance of safe medicine storage. Accidental, unsupervised medicine ingestions are the leading cause of emergency department visits related to medication exposure, and reminding parents to store all medicines out of the reach and sight of young children is a top CHPA priority.”

Top-tier recommendations from the 2011 FDA voluntary guidance and 2009 CHPA voluntary guidance include the following:

  • Dosing devices should be included with all products;
  • Atypical units, such as drams or dropperfuls, should not be used;
  • Teaspoon and tablespoon units should not be used together;
  • Trailing zeros should not be used (to avoid 10-fold dosing errors);
  • Leading zeros should be used before decimal doses (again, to avoid 10-fold dosing errors);
  • Small font should be used with numerals in fractions (to avoid interpreting “1/2” as “1 or 2”);
  • Dosing devices should not bear extraneous or unnecessary volumetric units;
  • Dosing devices should not be significantly larger than the largest doses in the directions; and
  • Dosing devices should provide markings that can readily measure doses in the directions.

 

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