HEALTH

Vitamin Angels hosts annual fundraiser to benefit world hunger

BY Michael Johnsen

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. Vitamin Angels will host its annual Celebration of Angels fundraiser Oct. 16, at the Harvard Club in Boston, to coincide with the Natural Products Expo East, the organization announced Thursday.

“Vitamin Angels is an intricate part of solving the worldwide hunger problem,” stated founder Howard Schiffer. “This year, with the support of many concerned individuals and companies in the natural product industry we surpassed our goal of reaching 4.5 million children and were able to reach 7 million. … But we can’t stop here. Casting a wider net of awareness will not only elevate Vitamin Angels’ impact but will bring us closer to solving the problem of malnourishment in children under the age of 5.”

Last year, vitamin A was recognized by the United Nations Children’s Fund as one of the key strategies responsible for cutting early childhood deaths to below 10 million per year, a “first” in modern history. Vitamin Angels, is the only nonprofit organization solely dedicated to providing vital nutrition to those in need internationally and domestically.

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Walgreens gives customers direction on cough-cold OTC dosing for children

BY Jenna Duncan

DEERFIELD, Ill. Walgreens has said that it will advise its customers on the proper, safe use of over-the-counter cough and cold remedies by adding in-store signage to shelves and making its pharmacists available for consultations.

After the announcement from the CHPA Tuesday that cough-cold remedies should not be administered to children under age 4, many cough-cold remedy makers are revising their product labels to reflect the new dosing recommendations before the upcoming cold season. Walgreens has made a commitment to make sure the most current labeled cough and cold remedies will be available during the label-upgrading swap, and newly labeled products will be on shelves as soon as they are available.

The FDA has issued a statement that parents should take precautions when administering cough-cold medicines to children, including, checking active ingredients on the Drug Facts product labeling, avoiding given children two products with the same active ingredients at the same time, following directions, using the appropriate measuring instruments, selecting cough-cold medicines with child-proof caps, recognizing that cough-old remedies do not shorten the length of illness but only treat symptoms, not using cough-cold products for sedation and calling a doctor or pharmacist if any adverse reactions occur after administering.

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Survey concludes supplement users will continue with regular routine despite economy

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON Consumers of dietary supplements don’t intend to cut back on their supplement regimen, a new survey conducted by Ipsos-Public Affiairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition that was released last week found.

According to the survey, 51 percent of supplement users indicated that the economy will likely not change their supplement-purchasing habits. Survey results also showed that of the 51 percent who don’t plan on cutting back their supplement routine, 13 percent of dietary supplement consumers went further to say that supplements are “an essential part of my wellness regimen, and I cannot do without them.”

“It’s encouraging to see that, despite the current economic climate, such a large percentage of adults are continuing to invest in their health by including dietary supplements as a part of their wellness regimen,” stated Judy Blatman, senior vice president, communications, CRN.  “Engaging in preventative health measures today, such as incorporating supplements into a healthy lifestyle, may help avoid potential healthcare costs down the road.”

Although survey results showed that most supplement consumers don’t plan on cutting back on their supplement routine regardless of economic anxieties, some may alter their purchasing habits.  In fact, nearly a third of supplement users surveyed (30 percent) indicated that, while they will continue to purchase dietary supplements, price will become a more important factor in the purchasing process.  Further, an additional 13 percent responded that, given the potential downturn in the economy, they will continue to purchase, but will likely purchase less in the future. 

And while the overwhelming majority of supplement users plan to continue with their supplement regimen in one way or another, a small portion of the survey respondents said they might suspend their supplement usage altogether should the need arise.  Survey results showed that six percent of supplement users consider dietary supplements a luxury and believe they can do without them during economic hardships. 

“Times are tough for many Americans right now, and countless families are faced with the difficult position of cutting back on items that are not of absolute necessity when trying to balance higher costs in gasoline, groceries and other daily necessities,” Blatman said. “We were pleased to see that an overwhelming majority of supplement users recognize the value of taking vitamins, minerals and other supplements, and are making a concerted effort to invest in their health long term.”   

The 2008 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, formerly known as the CRN Consumer Confidence Survey, was conducted Aug. 20-25 online and included a national sample of 2,013 adults aged 18 and older from Ipsos’ U.S. on-line panel. The survey has been conducted annually since 2000.

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