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New study says eating cereal for breakfast promotes healthier lifestyle

BY Melissa Valliant

MINNEAPOLIS A new study from The General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition in Minneapolis reports that eating cereal for breakfast may help manage people’s weight and encourage a more healthy eating regimen throughout the day. Published in the Nov. 21 issue of Nutrition Research, the “Consumption of Breakfast Cereal” study referenced data from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s “Growth and Health” study, which recorded the daily diet of 2,379 girls aged between nine and 10 from 1987 to 1997.

Researchers hypothesized that cereal ingredients were linked to positive health results, foods eaten with cereal (e.g., milk) were possibly connected to positive health results and cereal eating may significantly contribute to positive health results. The study’s data proved that cereal eaten at breakfast contains healthier ingredients and less fat, protein, sugars and carbohydrates than foods eaten during non-cereal breakfasts. More milk is consumed with cereal than without, thereby connecting cereal breakfasts with higher calcium intake. Cereal breakfasts were also found to be associated with eating better throughout the day, an increase in physical activity and a decrease in soda consumption.

Researchers concluded that eating cereal for breakfast may contribute to maintaining a healthy diet and physical activity among girls. 

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Parkay brings back talking tub to TV commercials

BY Jenna Duncan

OMAHA, Neb. ConAgra has brought back its Parkay “talking tub” to promote the spreadable, squeezable butter substitute, reports said.

A TV and Web commercial aired Monday featuring the personable spread. In a 15-second commercial, the Parkay tub moos and explains that a new version of Parkay is now made with nonfat milk, “for a fresh and creamy taste.”

The reintroduction of the talking tub comes just in time to commemorate its 25-year birthday. The first Parkay talking tub TV commercial aired in 1973.

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Report says European soft drink market struggling

BY Melissa Valliant

BASINGSTOKE, England Soda companies have been struggling with the poor U.S. economic conditions, but they’re not facing pressure from this continent alone. European soft drink sales are drastically falling, and many industry stakeholders are questioning the category’s stability, according to a new, 2008 third quarter review, published by beverage researcher Canadean.

Western Europe showed a 1 percent increase over last year in the soft drink category, and Canadean predicts the worst is yet to come for the Western European market, with the exception of the Netherlands and Norway. France showed a 1 percent decrease in the soft drink market; the UK, a 2 percent decrease; and Denmark, a whopping 6 percent decrease, with the country’s market officially in recession and soft drinks less popular than ever.

Eastern Europe isn’t dragging quite as much as its next-door neighbor. Third quarter numbers showed a 2 percent increase, with Canadean predicting a 3 percent increase for end-of-year results.  Poland and Romania fared better than most, with a double-digit boost, though Russia suffered a 7 percent drop.

According to the market, this is most likely not the beginning of the end, despite the fact that the market is anything but thriving. “The Soft Drinks market has achieved substantial growth over a long period of time. Despite the severity of the present economic situation Soft Drinks markets have not collapsed or declined to the extent that some other industries have. The expectation is that the soft drinks industry will recover as, and when, economies recover,” the report said.

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