business news in context, analysis with attitude

MSNBC reports on a new study by California’s Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute that has found that a reduction in carbohydrate intake seems to cause a corresponding improvement in cholesterol levels.

Researchers are not suggesting that people looking to lower their cholesterol levels should go on restrictive plans like the Atkins Diet. However, they do say that even paying a minimal cutback in simple sugars and carbs can improve people’s health.

• The Washington Post reports that a new consumer survey conducted by the International Food Information Council Foundation - an organization funded by food, beverage and agricultural companies – suggests that “more than half of consumers reported having improved their diets in the past six months by eating fewer calories and by adjusting the foods they ate. Nearly two of every three who made improvements said they had done so after talking with a health professional or family and friends, or simply after reading food labels.”

However, there are areas in which consumer still seem to need help:

1. Almost 90 percent of consumers polled said they have no idea how many calories they should be consuming to maintain their weight, and only a third of those polled seem to understand how extra calories contribute to weight gain.

2. Forty percent of those polled said that while they understood that saturated fat and trans fat are bad for them, didn’t understand that certain kinds of fats are in fact healthy and good for them.

3. Nearly a third of respondents who said they were at an ideal weight were actually overweight, while 75 percent of those who said they were overweight were actually obese.
KC's View:
This all plays into one of our mantras – that to be successful as a modern food retailer, it is important to make a shift from being a source of product to being a resource for information. The problem is that retailers are leery of this, because it is hard to get a slotting allowance for information.