CRN: Supplementing with eye health supplements lutein and zeaxanthin would save $3.9 billion annually
WASHINGTON — An average of $3.9 billion per year in avoidable healthcare utilization costs would be realized if all U.S. adults older than 55 years diagnosed with age-related eye disease were to use lutein and zeaxanthin dietary supplements at preventive intake levels, according to a new economic report released Thursday by the Council for Responsible Nutrition.
“Smart prevention is protecting your health and also protecting your wallet. Age-related eye disease poses risks that are debilitating and expensive, so supplementing with lutein and zeaxanthin can help reduce those risks,” stated Duffy MacKay, SVP scientific and regulatory affairs for CRN.
The report, “Smart Prevention – Health Care Cost Savings Resulting from the Targeted Use of Dietary Supplements,” was compiled by Frost & Sullivan, which conducted a systematic review of scientific studies that focused on studies that looked at the relationship between lutein and zeaxanthin supplementation and the risk of an ARED-attributed event. The firm then projected the rates of ARED-attributed medical events across U.S. adults over the age of 55 with ARED and applied a cost benefit analysis to determine the cost savings if people in this targeted population took lutein and zeaxanthin supplements at preventive intake levels.
MyFitnessPal: Mobile and social combines to drive powerful health outcomes
SAN FRANCISCO — The combination of mobile and social may be a powerful driver of positive health outcomes. MyFitnessPal on Thursday published its first user data study, uncovering a new trend in which people share health-related goals, activities and personal health content with their friends, colleagues and relatives, online and off. The report found that dieters who formed their own “Fitness Tribes” lost twice as much weight as their non-social dieting peers. The data analysis also showed the larger the Fitness Tribe, the more weight social dieters were likely to shed. Users who formed Fitness Tribes of 10 or more people lost up to four times as much as peers who did not build or partake in Fitness Tribe support groups.
“Mobile and social allow us to connect with each other in ways that help people form and sustain healthy habits. This generation of health-seekers are instinctively coming up with a variety of ways to give and get the support they need from their real-world relationships and digital social networks,” stated Mike Lee, CEO MyFitnessPal. “This data shows that their instincts are correct: social Fitness Tribes are actually driving better outcomes in weight loss and other healthy eating and exercise goals when compared against the outcomes of users who tackle their health journeys solo.”
Fitness Tribes not only helped members lose more weight, they also inspired members to exercise harder and more frequently. About half of MyFitnessPal users reported in a survey that they work out harder with friends than they would on their own. And about 55% say they are more likely to show up and actually exercise than they would on their own.
Additional findings of the inaugural study entitled “The Rise of the Fitness Tribe” includes:
- People are sharing their health goals and efforts both online and in real life. As many as 64% tried to lose weight together in the last 12 months, and 54% have shared status updates or check-ins on Facebook that made it clear they were at the gym or exercising. (By contrast, only 32% of respondents reported having posted a relationships status updates to their Facebook pages);
- The majority of MyFitnessPal users surveyed (56%) said they prefer to exercise in some social context, whether with a friend (33%), a relative (11%) or in a group exercise class (12%);
- Giving and getting inspiration appears to be a primary motivator for sharing health goals, as 50% of respondents said that if a friend or relative lost 20 pounds, they would be inspired to lose weight, too; and
- More than half of respondents (60%) said they’d make healthy food choices in a restaurant if the friends they were eating with did.
The company also announced a new feature for its smartphone app called Steps, available now for iPhone 5S. Steps can help raise awareness of how even small efforts like taking the stairs or walking to lunch can become healthy habits. This always-on steps tracking feature on the MyFitnessPal app will hopefully inspire users to become more engaged in their health and fitness activities overall.
As MyFitnessPal continues to expand the universe of data it collects with Steps, the company took a deep dive into its existing data with its Fitness Tribes study. The study consists of data from MyFitnessPal’s more than 50 million users plus a deep-dive survey of 2,220 users, and shows that people who track their health and fitness activities and involve their social and physical networks experience greater positive results and change in behavior, compared to those who do not.
Bloomberg: Bayer bids $14 billion for Merck Consumer Care
NEW YORK — Bayer is negotiating for Merck’s consumer health business in a deal worth $14 billion, according to a Bloomberg report published Friday, citing people with knowledge of the matter.
According to the report, an announcement is likely to come in the next few days. "While the two sides have agreed to a deal in principle, they are still working out details and haven’t formally reached an agreement," Bloomberg reported. "The terms would include cash and an exchange of pharmaceutical assets, possibly structured as a joint venture."
Other suitors for the Merck consumer care business include Reckitt Benckiser, Procter & Gamble and Sanofi, though Reckitt has withdrawn from the bidding because Merck’s consumer business had become too expensive, Bloomberg reported.