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Consuming junk food during pregnancy may create ‘addiction’ in children, study finds

BY Alaric DeArment

BETHESDA, Md. — There are many reasons not to eat junk food, but researchers in Australia have found one reason why pregnant mothers especially might want to avoid it.

According to a study published in the March 2013 issue of The FASEB Journal, pregnant mothers who consume junk food can cause changes in the brain chemistry of their babies, thereby making them less sensitive to opioids, the hormones released upon consumption of foods high in fat and sugar. Children born with such high tolerance to junk food need to eat more of it to achieve a "feel good" response. In other words, pregnant mothers who consume junk food may turn their children into junk food addicts.

"The results of this research will ultimately allow us to better inform pregnant women about the effect their diet has on the development of their child’s lifelong good preferences and risk of metabolic disease," University of Adelaide FOODplus Research Centre researcher Beverly Muhlhausler said. "Hopefully, this will encourage mothers to make healthier diet choices which will lead to healthier children."

Muhlhausler and a team of researchers studied the young of two groups of rats, one of which had been fed normal rat food during pregnancy and another of which had been fed human junk food. After weaning, the young — known as pups — were given daily injections of an opioid receptor blocker, which prevents the release of the hormone dopamine to lower the intake of fat and sugar. Results indicated that the opioid receptor blocker was less effective at reducing fat and sugar intake in the pups of rats who had eaten junk food, showing that the neural pathways involved in opioid signaling were less sensitive than for those whose mothers had eaten normal rat food. 

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Dr Pepper Snapple Group acquires Nev. bottling company

BY Alaric DeArment

PLANO, Texas — Dr Pepper Snapple Group has purchased a company that bottles its beverages for much of the West, the company said.

The soft drink maker announced the acquisition of the assets and territory of the Reno, Nev.-based Dr. Pepper/7-Up Bottling Company of the West, including rights to the territory and ownership of distribution centers in Reno, Chico, Calif., and Boise, Idaho. The bottling company serves a territory that includes northern Nevada, parts of northern and southern California and Idaho, distributing Dr Pepper, Snapple, 7Up, Sunkist, A&W, RC Cola and allied brands such as Fiji, Neuro, Rockstar and Vita Coco.

"Since 2006, Dr Pepper Snapple has acquired a number of bottling businesses to strengthen our route to market in the United States and support efforts to build and enhance our leading brands," DPS president for packaged beverages Rodger Collins said. "As with previous acquisitions, bringing Dr Pepper/7Up-West into DPS enables us to leverage the power of our integrated business model to drive executional excellence, improve customer service and get our brands into consumers’ hands with greater efficiency."

 

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YoKids drinkable smoothies hit store shelves

BY Jason Owen

LONDONDERRY, N.H. — Stonyfield recently launched two drinkable yogurts just for kids, each made with real organic fruit and vegetable purees: Strawbana and Very Berry.

 

Strawbana is a mix of organic carrot, strawberry, banana and yogurt ,while Very Berry is made up of organic sweet potato, raspberry, strawberry and yogurt. Smoothies also offer one-third of the recommended daily allowance for calcium and are an excellent source of vitamin D making them a smarter snack choice.

"Yogurt is an excellent snack food for all children," explained America’s pediatrician, Dr. Bill Sears. "Kids love to snack and should graze on healthy foods during the day. I often recommend that they snack on yogurt because it’s high in protein, it’s high in calcium, and it satisfies them."

"When it comes to feeding kids food that’s good for them, there are two big challenges — having it handy when kids are hungry and finding nutritious food that tastes good to little ones," shared Stonyfield vice president of marketing and mom of twins, Kristen Deshaies. "So we crafted a delicious recipe that uses real fruits and veggies, poured it into kid-sized bottles that are convenient for moms and dads, and YoKids Smoothies were born! Kids love the fruity taste and parents love that their kids are being nourished in such a healthy way."

Like all Stonyfield yogurts, YoKids Smoothies are certified organic, so they do not contain any artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners or preservatives and are produced without the use of toxic persistent pesticides, antibiotics, synthetic growth hormones and genetically engineered ingredients (GMOs).

YoKids Smoothies are available nationwide in 3.1oz. six-packs with a suggested retail price of $3.69.


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