HEALTH

American Diabetes Association continues to raise awareness as celebratory month nears

BY Allison Cerra

ALEXANDRIA, Va. American Diabetes Month will be celebrated this November, and the group leading the fight to end the disease is encouraging others to join the movement.

 

Shortly after announcing that "Celebrity Apprentice" winner and Poison frontman Bret Michaels joined its "Stop Diabetes" movement, the American Diabetes Association has launched the "Share Your Vision to Stop Diabetes" video contest, and has asked Americans to:

  • Become advocates for the cause;
  • Learn how to survive the holidays;
  • Give their time and passion; or
  • Donate funds to support diabetes research, information and advocacy programs.

 

With nearly 24 million children and adults afflicted with the disease in the United States — and an additional 57 million at risk for Type 2 diabetes — diabetes has reached epidemic proportions, the association said.

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Weis kicks off Little Ones program

BY Michael Johnsen

SUNBURY, Pa. Weis Markets on Monday announced the launch of its new Weis Little Ones program, allowing customers to donate diapers, baby wipes and other infant care products to babies and families in need throughout its market area.

“According to a recent study, 1-in-3 moms does not have enough diapers or other basic baby supplies to take care of her baby,” stated Karen Buch, Weis Markets director of lifestyle initiatives. “This is a particularly challenging issue. While parents in financial need may be eligible to apply for government funds through [Women, Infants and Childern] or [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] to offset food and formula costs, these supplemental funds cannot be used to purchase the other essential infant care items. With the support of our customers, we will help local food banks meet this critical need.”

Customers also can make monetary donations by purchasing $1, $3 and $5 vouchers. Weis Markets will match these customers’ donations, which then will be used to purchase Huggies diapers as part of the company’s Every Little Bottom program. All donations will be forwarded to local food banks that have agreed to dispense infant care items to families in need.

The program will run in Weis Markets’ stores Oct. 17 through Nov. 27.

Huggies Every Little Bottom study of 2,000 mothers in the United States and Canada noted that families who are unable to afford an adequate supply of diapers face difficult choices. Diaper need results in babies being kept in dirty diapers for longer periods or in them wearing washed disposable diapers, which result in increased irritation and make infants more prone to severe diaper rash.

The report found that mothers struggling with diaper needs miss school and work more frequently or they keep their child out of day care, which usually requires a day’s supply of diapers. In the report, one mother said, “Having a clean diaper not only keeps their child healthy and well, but lets them know that they’re cared for. I think it would be great if food banks and soup kitchens offered diapers also to those in need.”

Other major Weis Little Ones sponsors include Johnson’s, Weis Bear Essentials and Aveno Baby. Over the next six weeks, customers can purchase diapers, baby wipes, baby lotions, rattles or baby toys, baby shampoos, teethers, baby detergent and bibs or burp clothes, and can place them in designated donation carts.

A list of recipient organizations is available at WeisMarkets.com.

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SymphonyIRI: Consumers turn to OTCs to curb healthcare costs

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO Spurred by a difficult economy, over-the-counter medications increasingly are playing a dual role for consumers looking to minimize healthcare expenditures, the SymphonyIRI Group found in a new research paper titled “Over-the-Counter Medications: State of the Industry 2010” that was released last week.

 

“The down economy has reinforced and escalated consumers’ quest for ‘the good life,’” stated Susan Sakach, SVP healthcare solutions at SymphonyIRI. “Consumers have long worked to establish and maintain wellness in order to have a high quality of life; however, today they are motivated by something else, too. Consumers are looking to stay well in order to alleviate burdensome medical expenses.”

 

 

This has prompted greater interest in self-care — more than one-third of consumers today are visiting the doctor less frequently and self-treating to save on medical expenses. Nearly all of these consumers (88%) will continue to do so even as the economy improves, SymphonyIRI found. 

 

 

This has generated a greater consumer interest in overall nutrition, for example, with 74% of consumers indicating they are trying to eat better these days. While many consumers are using nutrition to achieve a specific goal, such as losing weight or controlling a special condition, 81% of consumers indicated that they are eating better because they want to stay healthy and avoid unnecessary medical expenses.

 

 

Along with the greatest interest in overall nutrition comes an increasing awareness around supplementing a diet with vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements. Two-thirds of consumers regularly use vitamins, while one-quarter and one-third of consumers take herbal supplements and omega-3s, respectively, SymphonyIRI found.

 

 

Prevention similarly is a common theme among OTC consumers. For instance, 16% of consumers indicated they take allergy medication to prevent allergies even though proactively taking allergy medication simply treats symptoms but doesn’t actually prevent an allergy. This disconnect is one example of an opportunity for allergy medication manufacturers to educate consumers about true prevention strategies, SymphonyIRI suggested.

 

 

“For many consumers, OTC medications are a tool that allows them to maintain their hectic schedules despite having a chronic condition, such as allergies, or acute ailments, such as achy muscles,” Sakach said. “OTC marketers are wise to consider this perspective when developing their communication strategy. Education provides fo another level of communication with consumers.”

 

 

SymphonyIRI is offering a free webinar called “Over-the-Counter Medications: State of the Industry 2010,” on Oct. 28 at 1 p.m. EST. Click here to register.

 

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