Reading List: Diet Soda Linked To Premature Birth, Vitaminwater Lawsuit and Kids Addicted to Energy Drinks

by in Food News, July 30, 2010

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In this week’s nutrition news: Logging on helps keep the weight off, recalled foods found on market shelves and Vitaminwater sued for deceptive health claims

Vitaminwater Facing Lawsuit
In January 2009 CSPI filed a lawsuit against Coca-Cola, the manufacturer of Vitaminwater for “deceptive and unsubstantial” claims on its drink. Claims include that the beverage reduces the risk of chronic disease, eye disease, promotes healthy joints and immune system. This week a federal judge denied Coca-Cola’s motion to dismiss the case. In fact, the judge frowned upon the name Vitaminwater as it implies that the product only contains those two ingredients (vitamins plus water), but it actually has a good amount of sugar too (33 grams per 20-ounce bottle). CSPI claims that Vitaminwater is “no more than a non carbonated soda” and I tend to agree.

TELL US: What’s your take on vitaminwater?

Kids Addicted to Caffeine
Coffee, tea and cola are not the only places caffeine lurks. Energy drinks are packed with the stuff and kids are gulping them down. The Canadian Medical Association Journal recently published an editorial voicing their concern over the growing popularity of these caffeine-laden drinks. Parents need to be educated about caffeine, how much these drinks contain and that they’re potentially addictive! The editorial called for clearer labeling of caffeine—something experts have been voicing in the U.S. as well.

Online Support Helps Keep Weight Off
Once you’ve lost weight, trying to keep the weight off is no easy feat. Researchers have turned to the Internet for answers. A new study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that folks who logged onto a specially designed website more often were better able to keep the weight off as compared to those who didn’t log on as often. Researchers followed 348 people who recently lost weight and gave them access for 30 months to the website that reinforced positive behaviors and promoted social support. After 28 months, 65 percent of participants were still actively logging on with 50 percent logging on at least 107 times. The end result was those who used the site most often and consistently kept the weight off better than those who didn’t log on as often.

Diet Soda Linked to Pre-Term Birth

As the controversy on artificial sweeteners continues, a new study suggests that drinking too many during pregnancy could be linked to premature birth. According to a recent report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition woman who drank at least one serving of an artificially sweetened soda a day while pregnant were 38 percent more likely to deliver pre-term as compared with women who drank none at all. Many of my pregnant clients ask about consuming artificial sweeteners and I always respond, “Is it worth the risk?” and give them these tips on how to stay hydrated during pregnancy.

Recalled Foods Still On Shelves
Supermarkets are supposed to remove recalled products from their shelves, but that’s not always the case. Here’s a story of a guy who bought recalled chicken and turkey pot pies that were still being sold and became sick with salmonella. This is a common issue with recalls—stores don’t remove tainted products from their shelves putting customers at risk. There is a need for recalls to be better communicated to consumers—until then, our food supply is not as safe as we think.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio ”

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