HEALTH

CRN ensures its voice is heard on the Hill

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON – The Council for Responsible Nutrition last week notched its 12th "Day on the Hill," where 75 senior supplement industry executives spend a day with legislators and their staffers discussing the predominant supplement issues of the day. 
 
"For CRN, it's always been a priority to ensure that our messages are being heard, that we let members of Congress know that there is a mainstream, responsible dietary supplement industry and to get those people in front of members of Congress," Mike Greene, CRN VP government relations, told Drug Store News. "[Last week] we reminded members of Congress and their staff that dietary supplements are regulated. We talked about all of the regulation that the responsible industry has been involved in, whether it be working with the Senate to get a serious adverse event report law on the books to provide post-market surveillance for dietary supplements, or, just last year working with Senators and the House of Representatives on the Designer Anabolic Steroid Control Act, which gave DEA more authority to remove anabolic steroids from the market and … anabolic steroids masquerading as dietary supplements."
 
In related news, the three proposed amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act regarding supplement regulation among the nation's military that CRN had characterized as duplicative of current laws, unnecessary and burdensome were not included in the final write-up of the bill, the association reported. 
 
"We know the amendments could be brought up at a later date, and CRN intends to continue building our relationships on the Hill, including keeping the lines of discussion open with Sens. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and making the case for getting illegal supplements off the market without interfering with the use and sale of legitimate dietary supplements," Greene said. "But for now, we credit this victory to all five trade associations working together to make sure that military access to supplements was not hindered.”
 
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Clif Bar to host first ‘CykelScramble’

BY Michael Johnsen

EMERYVILLE, Calif. – Clif Bar on Tuesday announced its first-ever company-hosted cycling event: Clif Bar CykelScramble. Inspired by company founder Gary Erickson’s love of cycling, CykelScramble is a free all-day bike relay race and family-friendly festival with gourmet food trucks, a beer and wine garden and a yet-to-be-announced headliner band. The event will take place at the Marin County Fairgrounds in San Rafael, Calif., on Saturday, Sept. 26.
 
“Clif Bar was born on a bike and CykelScramble is a reflection of what we stand for – athletic adventure, delicious food and a commitment to sustainability,” said Kevin Cleary, Clif Bar CEO. “We are thrilled to bring the community together at Clif's premier event.”
 
Fans will cheer on teams made up of four riders and one bike as they wind through the festival grounds on a mixed-terrain course featuring more than a dozen obstacles designed with input from Team Clif Bar athletes Hans Rey, Kirt Voreis, Katerina Nash, Todd Wells and Barry Wicks. Upon application, 60 teams will be selected based on originality of the team name and description. To encourage cyclists of all-levels to participate, riders can apply for either coaster (beginner), toaster (intermediate) or roaster (expert) competition classes by visiting www.CykelScramble.com now through July 15.
 
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Study: Chronic disease rates being fed by steady rise in obesity

BY Michael Johnsen

ST. LOUIS — New research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that an escalation in the number of those considered obese or overweight in the United States continues, signaling an ongoing upward swing in chronic health conditions as well.
 
The study points out that because clinical practice for the prevention and treatment of chronic conditions has focused on screening high-risk populations, people in higher-weight categories are more likely to be diagnosed with weight-associated diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis and some cancers. The study was published online Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.
 
Compared with a similar study published in 1999 that estimated 63% of men and 55% of women age 25 and older were overweight or obese, the new data from 2007-12 indicate that nearly 75% of men and 67% of women now are overweight or obese.
 
“This is a wake-up call to implement policies and practices designed to combat overweight and obesity,” the study’s first author, Lin Yang, a postdoctoral research associate in public health at the School of Medicine, said. “An effort that spans multiple sectors must be made to stop or reverse this trend that is compromising and shortening the lives of many.”
 
Adult Americans who are obese now outnumber those who are considered overweight, according to the new findings, which estimate that 67.6 million Americans over the age of 25 are obese and an additional 65.2 million are overweight.
 
Parsing the data in the new study, the researchers found that African-Americans have the highest rates of obesity, with 39% of black men and 57% of black women considered obese. The researchers also found that 17% of black women are extremely obese, meaning their body mass index is over 40, as are 7% of black men.
 
Among Mexican-Americans in the study, 38% of men and 43% of women are obese. For whites, 35% of men and 34% of women are obese.
 
In the new study, Yang and Graham Colditz, a disease-prevention expert and deputy director of the university’s Institute for Public Health, estimated the prevalence of obesity and those who are considered overweight, by gender, age and race/ethnicity. The sample size included 15,208 men and women aged 25 and older, which is representative of more than 188 million people.
 
Colditz also was a co-author on the earlier 1999 study, which used survey data collected from 1988-94.
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