HEALTH

Mentholatum Co. sponsors triathlete Belinda Granger

BY Michael Johnsen

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. As part of a new strategy to target the active, athletic consumer who works hard and plays hard, the Mentholatum Co. last week announced its sponsorship of 11-time Ironman triathalon winner Belinda Granger in support of its Rohto Eye Drop line.

Granger wore the Rohto logo on her jersey in pursuit of her 12th Ironman win at the 33rd annual Ford Ironman World Championship triathalon this past weekend in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.  She will continue to wear the brand’s logo in subsequent races through 2011, and her name/likeness will be incorporated across all marketing efforts for the brand, including advertising, in-store merchandising, public relations and digital media.

“Eye irritation is a daily issue for athletes, particularly for triathletes, given the intense exposure to sun, wind, water, salt, chlorine — practically every environmental element,” stated Todd Cantrell, director of the eye care and pain management divisions at Mentholatum. “We’re excited to align with Belinda because she is an extraordinary, inspiring athlete who speaks to the benefits of Rohto Eye Drops in a way that resonates with our target consumers who pursue active lifestyles.

This announcement follows the recent news of Mentholatum’s partnership with the Ironman organization to introduce a line of Ironman-branded topical pain relief products. Granger’s likeness will be used on select Ironman product packaging, as well.

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CDC: Recent influenza activity exceeds average flu season rates

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA Visits to doctors for influenza-like illness continued to increase in the United States for the week ended Oct. 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday, and are higher than levels expected for this time of the year.

For patients between the ages of 5 and 49, hospitalization rates from April through October have already exceeded average flu season rates for that period.

A total of 37 states are reporting widespread influenza activity at this time and almost all of the influenza viruses identified so far are of the 2009 H1N1 influenza A viruses. Only Washington, D.C., Hawaii and Vermont reported less than regional influenza activity.

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Study finds probiotic use by pregnant women curbs eczema in children

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK Dutch researchers found that supplementing with probiotics may help pregnant women prevent eczema in children with a family history of allergies, according to published reports.

During the first 3 months of life, the parents of six in 50 of the subjects who received probiotics reported eczema in their children, compared with 15 or 52 of the placebo group, according to a report of the study in the journal Allergy.

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