HEALTH

First Years touts 2009 line of baby care products

BY Michael Johnsen

OAK BROOK, Ill. RC2 Corporation on Wednesday highlighted a number of new product introductions across its First Years brand of baby-care products for 2009. The new product introductions include the First Years miPump Breast Pump, a compact breast pump that is 60 percent lighter than comparable pumps on the market, according to the company.

The company will also be introducing its Colic Massage Pad, a natural solution for helping babies with symptoms of colic. A battery-operated soft pad helps calm babies with a circular massaging motion, gentle vibration, and soothing white noise.

The First Years is also expanding its American Red Cross wellness and safety line with a full compliment of products which includes the new American Red Cross Soothing Baby Scale with large digital readout, memory recall and music option.

Additionally, RC2 will expand its personal body care product lines this year with Lamaze Body Care and Bella B Baby Bee lotions and creams.

“We spend a good deal of time listening to expectant and new mothers to better understand their parenting needs,” said Pete Henseler, president of RC2 Corporation. “We have used all of these insights to help us put forward one of our most aggressive new product lines in several years. With moms’ insights as our guideposts, we are pleased to deliver products that cut through the clutter and provide product enhancements designed to address the needs of today’s families.”

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NutriSystem partners with Costco to help dieters eat healthy

BY Michael Johnsen

HORSHAM, Pa. Taking its next step to showcasing its home-shipped meals at retail, NutriSystem on Monday announced a partnership with wholesale retailer Costco—which will present the NutriSystem program at its 384 U.S. locations.

“We are thrilled to be working with Costco,” said Will Auchincloss, NutriSystem’s senior vice president of business development. “We see Costco as a great partner during these tough economic times, and are excited to leverage our direct-to-consumer model in the retail channel with Costco. Through their gift card program, Costco will allow us to expand our existing customer base in the retail channel and capitalize on our strong consumer brand.”

Costco members will be able to shop the NutriSystem program through highly visual in-store displays, after which they can either call the toll-free number or go online to place their order for home delivery.

Costco members who purchase the plan will receive 35 days worth of food from the NutriSystem favorites menu, free shipping, and a meal planner at the price of $259.99 for women and $284.99 for men.

“We believe so strongly in this collaboration that we are offering Costco customers the opportunity to lose weight while saving significant amounts of money,” Auchincloss said.

NutriSystem first introduced its concept at retail through GNC in 2007.

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Black tea helps support immune system, study shows

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK Black tea may be effective in boosting the body’s immune system, the Tea Council of the USA announced Monday, citing resent research.

According to published research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard University, theanine, an ingredient found naturally in tea, helps boost the immune system. One cup of tea contains on average at least 20 mg of theanine. Drinking five cups of black tea a day in as little as two weeks boosted the body’s immune defense system by four times, according to the results of a human clinical trial.

Tea also contains flavonoids, which are naturally occurring compounds known for their antioxidant properties, the Council stated.

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