HEALTH

Walgreens partners with Shine America on original ‘Biggest Loser’ webisodes

BY Michael Johnsen

 LOS ANGELES — Walgreens and NBC’s hit weight-loss competition series "The Biggest Loser" on Wednesday joined forces to launch a new web series that follows former contestant Filipe Fa’s journey to lose weight and keep it off once and for all.

“The Biggest Loser is changing how American’s view health and wellness, and together we are highlighting Walgreens ‘Way to Well Commitment’ by sharing Felipe and Sione’s dramatic stories,” stated Megan McCambridge, divisional VP customer relationship marketing for Walgreens.

“We are deeply proud of our contestants whose weight-loss journeys continue long after their time on the ranch, and are thrilled to partner with Walgreens to share Filipe’s inspiring story,” stated Vivi Zigler, president of Shine 360° & Digital at Shine America. “Walgreens shares our passion for encouraging people to live their healthiest lives.”

Through eight original episodes, fans can follow the journey of the former season seven "The Biggest Loser" contestant, who is pushed to get fit by his cousin Sione Fa, also a contestant from season seven of the hit TV series and who is now a personal fitness trainer at The Biggest Loser Resort in Utah.

The web series is inspired by the Walgreens "Way To Well Commitment” program that focuses on improving on everyday health through prevention and early detection of today’s leading diseases, like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. This program along with the company’s recently launched "Steps with Balance Rewards" program that allows members to participate in health-related activities to earn rewards points. 

Since appearing on the NBC series, the two cousins have gone down two dramatically different fitness paths.

Sione Fa, who shed over 146 pounds on “The Biggest Loser,” has been able to keep off his excess weight while helping others through his new career as a trainer. Filipe, who lost 135 pounds on “The Biggest Loser,” has struggled with his weight since leaving the show. He has gained more than 119 pounds and reverted back to a weight of nearly 350 pounds.

 

 

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Chattem launches pair of topical anti-itch solutions under Allegra brand

BY Michael Johnsen

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Chattem on Thursday announced the launch of Allegra Anti-Itch Cooling Relief Cream and Allegra Anti-Itch Intensive Relief Cream.

"We identified an opportunity in the topical anti-itch category and leveraged our experience with Allegra Allergy to introduce a new product for common skin irritations that not only helps stop the itch but also provides a moisturizing benefit," stated John Stroud, EVP marketing, Chattem. 

Both products are indicated to provide temporary relief from the pain and itching associated with insect bites, minor skin irritations, sunburn, rashes due to poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac, and minor cuts and scrapes. They also temporarily protect and help relieve chapped or cracked skin.

Allegra Anti-Itch Cream is indicated for adults and children ages 2 and up. The suggested retail price is $4.99-$6.99.

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Congress leaders call out energy drink marketers to list caffeine content in investigative report

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON — Three Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday released a report that found inconsistencies in the labeling and classification of energy drinks, extensive marketing to adolescents and young adults through social media and events, and high caffeine levels that exceed what is considered safe in soda by the Food and Drug Administration. The report was compiled using responses from 14 energy drink companies received by Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Sens. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., from their investigation into the industry.

The three lawmakers called on energy drink makers to be better corporate citizens by following recommendations to improve transparency and protect consumers from deceptive advertising or undisclosed ingredients. “We’re pleased to see that most of the recommendations in the report … are consistent with CRN’s recently issued recommended guidelines for caffeine-containing dietary supplements," stated Steve Mister, Council for Responsible Nutrition’s president and CEO. Acting on the issue proactively, CRN earlier this month had issued marketing guidelines for caffeine to its membership base, comprised predominantly of dietary supplement manufacturers. 

In a report titled "What’s All the Buzz About?", the Congress leaders found that nearly identical drinks are being classified as either conventional beverages or dietary supplements at the discretion of the supplier. "For example, the company Arizona produces several similarly sized and packaged drink products with comparable claims, yet appears to arbitrarily assign classifications to the products," Markey noted. Accordingly, caffeine disclosure is uneven and nearly always above the FDA’s safe level for soda beverages. 

“It’s time for energy drink makers to stop masking their ingredients, stop marketing to kids and start being more transparent with their products,” Markey said. “It’s time for the FDA to crack down on these drink makers and for the FTC to investigate advertising practices of these companies to ensure that kids and parents are not being subjected to deceptive marketing practices."

“In local convenience and grocery stores around the country, energy drinks are sold right next to soda and other well-known beverages. Any consumer would assume that the high levels of caffeine, and novel ingredients in energy drinks have been rigorously tested by the FDA to ensure safety. Unfortunately, that is rarely the case,” added Durbin. “While the FDA is undertaking a review of energy drink safety, its time energy drink companies … tart making meaningful changes to their labels that clearly show these are not your typical sugary drinks.”

"CRN agrees with the report’s recommendations to label products with the total amount of caffeine added to the product from all sources, as this provides consumers with important information with which they can make informed decisions," Mister said. "[CRN] will continue to call on FDA to finalize its Draft Guidance on distinguishing liquid dietary supplements from beverages, as CRN believes that will provide further clarity as to how companies can determine whether to market their energy drinks as supplements or conventional foods," Mister continued. "For consumers, what’s most important is not which category these products fall into, but the fact that both categories have rules and regulations that help ensure consumers can purchase safe products.”

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