Wednesday, December 01, 2010

State of the Nutritionist 2010

2010 in Review.

Three Topics That Dominated the Public Health Landscape
  • Recalls, Warning Label Modification, Drug Rejections
    Recalls of eggs, children's medicine (Tylenol, cough medicine, and more), Lipitor, Similac infant formula, Hyland Teething Tablets, among others dominated the media. The optimist in us thinks the reason for this is the FDA is doing a better job of testing and delivering punishment.

    Rotarix Vaccine, Reflux Meds, Zocor, Bone Drugs, and Asthma Meds were just a few of the many drugs that received more severe warning label adjustments from the FDA. It is encouraging to see the FDA taking steps to make prescription labels more transparent concerning the potential dangers that can occur.

    There were more high profile rejections of new drug applications for lack of safety than we can remember in recent years. The FDA forcing the removal of Meridia was also shocking.

  • Patient Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
    While this piece of legislation proved to be incredibly polarizing, it did deliver with regards to promoting prevention. Whether or not Americans take advantage of it remains to be seen. To find out how this legislation can help you from a nutritional as well as overall health standpoint, click here.

  • Gluten-Free Is Hip.
    Whether the gluten-free diet went mainstream for the right reasons or not, we are happy that it is getting so much attention. The mere fact that Big Food is creating more variety/alternatives is a win-win for those who actually have gluten intolerance and celiac disease. However, two negatives produced by the trend are that many of the gluten-free products are of poor quality and/or ingredients. In addition, people are putting themselves on gluten-free diets without the guidance of a health professional, which can have detrimental effects on their calorie and nutrient needs.

    The reality is that those with celiac disease and gluten-intolerance is up four-fold over the last decade. In our opinion, this is a conservative estimate. Add to the equation that it is not just gluten in wheat that can be dangerous (read The Wheat Bombshell), we have a very hard time justifying eating wheat (especially whole wheat) at all.

Wellness Victories.
It always makes us proud to see wellness principles that we have touted forever become mainstream.

  • Low fat diet finally gets the boot. Even the American Dietetic Association is giving in. Read what the experts at their 2010 annual meeting had to say, as well as two other research studies that put low fat to bed.

  • These supplemental nutrients appeared over and over in prestigious research journals from all over the world, touting myriad benefits (for a list of studies, perform a search by typing the nutrient in the search box at the top left corner of our blog).

    • CoQ10
    • Iodine
    • Magnesium
    • Multivitamins
    • Potassium
    • Probiotics
    • Quercetin
    • Vitamin D
  • The amount of locally grown food consumed in the United States this year jumped by 20%.

  • Two of our favorite researchers studying the origin of humans and diet, Boyd Eaton and Loren Cordain, reaffirmed that from a dietary standpoint, we are no different from our ancestors. Their February research study further enhanced what they already published in 2000.
  • Tai Chi, Meditation, and Yoga takes their place at the table for overall health and stress reduction. While in the past it seems like these therapies were on the outside looking in, copious amounts of data now confirm their effectiveness and they should not take a back seat to any other forms of wellness therapy.

  • Sales of vitamin D supplements and the non-caloric sweetener stevia were up 91% and 255% respectively.

  • Testing of Hemoglobin A1C is now mainstream for more accurately identifying prediabetes.

  • The FDA made a statement warning against taking quinine for leg cramps.

  • Taking too much, taking alone, and/or taking a poor source of calcium can do more harm than good.
  • The School Lunch Program is now considered a threat to national security because the ramifications of its unhealthy nature affects the capability of youths to defend our nation. This statement, along with First Lady Michelle Obama's proposed legislation, started to make an impact this year.

  • The government announced that they will start to go after Big Pharma executives on criminal charges because multi-billion dollar settlements have not deterred them from consistently breaking the law.
The Battles Still Rage On.
  • The IOM's new recommendations for vitamin D intake tripled, but fell far short of what Americans need. Here are our comments.

  • The 2010 Dietary Guideline Recommendations presented by the DGA Commission were an absolute joke. Once again, pandering to special interest dominated the recommendations. Click here to read Bonnie's analysis.

  • Environmental allergy is on the rise due to: 1) pollen content is at its worst level in years 2) there is virtually no discussion from the allergy community or the media about avoiding cross-reacting foods to reduce allergy severity.

  • Despite the FDA studying statin medication's negative effect on memory, an FDA rebuke for Pfizer for failing to report serious adverse effects from Lipitor, several disparaging high-profile studies on its adverse effects, and experts suggesting statins' preventive effect may be dubious, millions more around the world are taking them. It has gotten so crazy that a British study are suggested that they be given out free with fast food. All of this pales in comparison to the most egregious act: since the 1980's, Merck has sat on a patent for a statin/CoQ10 combination, ignoring the negative affects this decision has had on patients taking statins.

  • H1N1 never materialized into the pandemic it is made out to be. One study found that complications from H1N1 were the same as the regular flu. An investigation found that experts making recommendations to the World Health Organization were linked to vaccine manufacturers. Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of unused vaccine supply had to be destroyed. Yet the WHO and the CDC have been mum on culpability.

  • Despite the continued rise of prescription-related deaths, prescription drug use continues to explode in the US, even though there are many other alternatives for treatment that exist.
What Did We Accomplish in 2010?
We celebrated our 25th year in business. Enough said.

Our Client Appreciation Event at the beginning of the year was a blast. We were honored for the second year in a row by Constant Contact for our eNewsletter content excellence. Our NCI Media Channel featuring Brand Buzz Video and Bonnie Unplugged drew thousands of views. Our clientele as a whole saved a ton of money from the first year of our NCI Well Rewards Loyalty Program. We made a much more concerted effort to have our clients submit our services for insurance reimbursement with much success. We could not be happier with the reaction to our subscription-based eNewsletter, NCI Insider.

What's in Store for 2011?
  • FDA Comes After Dietary Supplements Hard
    FDA will crack down on meds and dietary supps. May use European action as model for taking them down once and for all. The one constant holding them back has been the consumer and his/her right to choose.

  • Big Pharma Gets More Involved in the Supplement Business.
    Look for Big Pharma to get deeper into the supplement business. “If you can’t beat em, join em.”

  • Food Labels Get New Look
    A push from the Department of Health and Human Services spurred retailers to place simplified nutrition labels on the front of their food packaging beginning early 2011. Until we see the prototype, we will reserve comment.

  • Eat for Longevity.
    You’ll be hearing this phrase a lot in 2010, especially after a recent study found that subjects with the best diets reduced their risk of death by up to 25 percent over a 10-year period. What better impetus could there be to eat well?

  • Focus on Mental Health.
    Nearly one in five adult Americans experience mental illness, according to a new SAMHSA government survey, with women, the unemployed, and young adults more likely than others to be affected. Among those, one in five -- representing 45 million Americans -- also had substance dependence or abuse problems in the previous year. This issue cannot be swept under the floor any longer.

Have a Happy, Healthy Holiday & New Year,

Bonnie, Steve, Carolyn, Sharron, and Lilo

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