BEAUTY CARE

Cos. help diabetics brush up on importance of oral care

BY Antoinette Alexander

When one thinks of oral care, a bright, white smile and fresh breath might be the first things to come to mind, but it is critical not to forget the relationship between oral health and diabetes. This is especially important today, as the economy may be forcing many consumers to put off dental visits.

Research has shown that if blood glucose levels are poorly controlled, diabetics are more likely to develop serious gum disease and lose more teeth than nondiabetics. Like all infections, serious gum disease may be a factor in causing blood sugar to rise, and may make diabetes harder to control. Other oral problems associated with diabetes include thrush, an infection caused by fungus that grows in the mouth, and dry mouth, which can cause soreness, ulcers, infections and cavities.

Coming off the heels of American Diabetes Month, several oral care manufacturers and retailers once again have stepped up to drive home the importance of proper oral care and the link to diabetes. Such efforts are vital as, according to the American Diabetes Association, 23.6 million children and adults in the United States—or 7.8% of the population—have diabetes.

Diabetes also pressures an already fragile U.S. healthcare system with a hefty price tag estimated at $174 billion—the total cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States in 2007—according to the ADA.

Colgate-Palmolive, which has high penetration in the Hispanic market, has teamed up with the ADA to reach out specifically to Hispanics, a high-risk community. Roughly 2.5 million Hispanic Americans suffer from diabetes or prediabetes.

As part of this year’s outreach, Colgate-Palmolive targeted Hispanic Americans via in-store activities, educational materials and participation in the ADA’s 3rd Annual “Feria de Salud Por Tu Familia” festival. In addition, Colgate Total spokeswoman and journalist, Myrka Dellanos, supported the initiative by sharing her own experience living with diabetes and the importance of oral health.

On the retail side, Rite Aid, for example, announced in September the kickoff of its annual campaign on diabetes management by supporting the ADA and dLife, an online diabetes resource. At the core of Rite Aid’s awareness campaign is a free 16-page educational diabetes guide. But there also is, among several other resources, interactive content available year-round at www.riteaiddiabetes.com. Topics highlighted on the site include oral hygiene.

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Unilever to close Calif.-based manufacturing plant

BY Antoinette Alexander

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. Unilever is shuttering its manufacturing plant in City of Industry, Calif., which manufacturers such personal care brands as Dove, Suave and Axe, and shifting the production to other company facilities in the United States, the company announced on Thursday.

The plant’s closure will affect 61 salaried and hourly employees.

Production from City of Industry will be transferred to Unilever sites in Jefferson City, Mo., and Raeford, N.C., in several phases beginning by the second quarter of 2010 and to be completed in the third quarter 2010.

City of Industry plant production is expected to finish during the third quarter of 2010, with the final plant closing expected to occur during that same time period.

“Continually achieving greater efficiencies across our supply chain network is essential to our business,” stated Dennis Myers, supply leader. “An extensive and careful analysis has shown that greater efficiencies can be achieved by shifting production to other company plants in the United States. This decision was not easily made, and in no way reflects the dedication or performance of our colleagues at the City of Industry facility.”

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Unilever’s CFO to leave company by year-end

BY Antoinette Alexander

LONDON Unilever CFO, James Lawrence, will leave the company at the end of the year, the company announced on Thursday. A successor has not yet been named.

Lawrence, who joined the company in September 2007, will make himself available in the New Year to facilitate a smooth transition.

“It’s been an excellent time for me and I have made many good friends among my colleagues in the company. I’m delighted that Unilever is in such great shape for our shareholders and, having seen the company through an important period of transition, I’m now looking forward to pursuing new opportunities,” Lawrence stated.

Added Paul Polman, Unilever CEO, “We’d all like to thank Jim for the valuable experience and perspective he brought to Unilever during an important period in the company’s development. We wish him well in his future endeavours.”

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