HEALTH

Survey: Americans practice bad cold etiquette

BY Michael Johnsen

EAST HANOVER, N.J. — As many as 56% of Americans who suffer from a cough or cold are still working out at the gym, jumping on public transportation and liberally shaking hands, according to a Mondelez survey in support of its Halls brand. And 43% of Americans continue to go to work when they have a cough or cold. 

And it’s not just sick people with unhealthy habits. According to the survey, 23% of healthy Americans make no effort to stay away from cough and cold sufferers.

Mondelez accompanied release of the survey with the introduction of Halls Extra Strong Menthol Flavor, a throat drop made with higher menthol levels than the classic flavors (15 mg vs. 5.8 mg). In support of the launch, Mondelez created the web site UnlockYourCool.com, where consumers can enter for a chance to win a prize.

"From our findings, we know that people aren’t practicing good habits. So for those who inevitably fall victim to a cough, Halls can provide temporary soothing relief," stated Farrah Bezner, director marketing, Halls. "Our new Extra Strong Menthol Flavor throat drop can help you let the cool in, when you’re not feeling your best."

 

 

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Study: Allergies more prevalent across Southeast U.S.

BY Michael Johnsen

BALTIMORE — A study being presented this week at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found hay fever is more prevalent in children living in the southeastern and southern states, ACAAI announced Friday.

“The study found more than 18% of children and adolescents have hay fever in the United States, with the highest frequency in the southeastern and southern regions of the country,” stated allergist Michael Foggs, ACAAI president-elect. “While the reason is unknown, it is most likely due to climate factors.”

Environmental influences, such as temperature, precipitation and UV index in the southern regions seem to be responsible for the increase in allergy sufferers. 

“According to the study, wetter regions with average humidity were associated with a decreased number of children with hay fever,” Foggs said. “The study also found areas of the south with warm temperatures and elevated UV indexes seem to harbor more hay fever sufferers.”

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, most commonly occurs in the spring and fall months, but can last year round for some of the 50 million Americans with allergies.

ACAAI warns allergens are difficult to avoid, and parents shouldn’t consider moving to help their children find allergy relief.

“An allergy sufferer may escape one allergy to ragweed for example, only to develop sensitivity to other allergens, such as grasses, in a new location,” said allergist Stanley Fineman, ACAAI past president. “Allergens, such as pollen, can be found in virtually all regions, including Hawaii, Alaska and Maine, making avoidance nearly impossible. This study shows that climate truly influences allergens which can ultimately trigger symptoms in those affected.”

 

 

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ADA pushes nutrition therapy

BY Michael Johnsen

Supermarket pharmacy operators last month received validation for the growing number of diabetes educators and dietary nutritionists walking their aisles. In the Oct. 9 issue of Diabetes Care, the American Diabetes Association recommended all people with diabetes make nutrition therapy a part of their treatment plan.

(For the full category review, including sales data, click here.)

This position statement replaces the nutrition therapy recommendations for the management of adults with diabetes published in 2008. The 2013 statement provides a set of recommendations based on review of recent scientific evidence. It calls for all adults diagnosed with diabetes to eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods in appropriate portion sizes as part of an eating plan that takes into account individual preferences, culture, religious beliefs, traditions and metabolic goals. Since people eat food and not single nutrients — such as carbohydrates, protein and fat — the report includes a new section on eating patterns.

That’s much more complicated than a one-size-fits-all plan, which makes a trusted nutrition resource at the local supermarket all the more valuable.

“Just because you have been diagnosed with diabetes does not mean you can no longer enjoy the foods you love or your cultural traditions,” stated Alison Evert, coordinator of diabetes education programs for the University of Washington Medical Center, Diabetes Care Center. “Ideally, the person with diabetes should be referred to a registered dietitian or participate in a diabetes self-management education program soon after diagnosis.”

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