Snack World - August 2011 - (Page 10)

Defending the Potato In the Eye of the Storm Experts take exception to a study that relates potato consumption to obesity. BY BOB GATTY n the aftermath of a study by Harvard University researchers that focused on weight gain factors, the Snack Food Association (SFA) strongly stressed the importance of balance in food consumption and exercise to burn calories consumed and stated that the potato should not be blamed. “This is really about common sense,” said Lisa Katic, RD, nutrition adviser to the snack food industry. “Consumers know if you eat more of any food than your body needs, then you will gain weight.” The study, “Changes in Diet and Lifestyle and Long-Term Weight Gain in Women and Men,” published June 23 by The New England Journal of Medicine, listed a number of foods that researchers found contribute to weight gain as well as those that help consumers shed pounds. Potatoes were among those listed as contributing to I increased pounds, along with sugary soft drinks and red meat, while nuts and yogurt were identified as foods that could help reduce weight. Widespread media reports focused on potatoes, raising the specter that eating spuds in any form could cause consumers to gain weight faster than if they ate other foods. Ms. Katic took sharp issue with that conclusion. “It is a shame how this was reported,” she observed. “The study discussed many factors about obesity. Americans are overeating, underexercising and watching too much TV Our . industry has been saying for years that obesity is a multi-factorial issue and needs to be dealt with in a comprehensive way.” Like all foods, snack food products are a source of calories, said Jim McCarthy, SFA president and CEO. “SFA’s members support many programs that help to combat obesity, including the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, which promotes ways to help people achieve a healthy weight through energy balance — calories in and calories out,” he noted. Also, Mr. McCarthy pointed out that SFA member companies have provided numerous better-for-you options in the salty snacking category for many years and continue to develop and market baked, low-fat, low-sodium and transfat-free products. Because snack products come in many different sizes, he said it is easy to exercise portion control if a consumer chooses. “For several years, the food and beverage industry has spearheaded efforts to address obesity by reformulating products and implementing communitywide initiatives,” he added. “Yet single foods remain the blame for obesity, even as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged in 10 Snack World August 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Snack World - August 2011

Snack World - August 2011
Letter from SFA -- Addressing the Issues
Supplier’s Corner -- Get Involved
Calendar of Events
Defending the Potato -- In the Eye of the Storm
Legislative Summit Update -- SFA Goes to Washington
Conference Update -- Acrylamide: A Comprehensive Approach
Processing Systems -- Cookie Conundrum
New Snacks
Products & Services
Ad Index

Snack World - August 2011