Will Children Be Attracted to Caffeinated Gum?

Caffeinated Gum?

Wrigley’s gum, the national gum company powerhouse, will be launching a new chewing gum next month with added caffeine. This new gum, called Alert Energy Caffeine Gum, is supposedly only to be targeted towards an adult population. We’ll see if that sticks (no pun intended)…  

The gum looks like it’s going to have about 40mg of caffeine per piece of gum. This is about half the amount of caffeine in 1 cup of coffee. So, on one hand there’s a small amount of caffeine in the stick of gum. But, on the other hand, what if you chew multiple pieces of gum per day? That’s a lot of caffeine that can add up really quick. And knowing Americans and our problems with portion control, I could see a lot of people consuming a lot of caffeine without trying even hard. It’s bad enough that healthcare providers are currently advising people to cut back on caffeine. But, with this added source- I think people really need to be careful and aware of what they’ll be consuming.

Normally people should not ingest more than 200-300 mg of caffeine per day. When people consume more than this, side effects are associated like shakiness, sleep problems, and GI disturbances.

The new gum will be sold in convenience stores and food retailers all over America. This isn’t the first caffeinated gum to hit the market though but, it’ll be the first from Wrigley’s brand and its associated marketing power behind it.  

Energy drinks have become an in-demand product over the years. According to Euromonitor International, a global market research firm, U.S. gum sales are down 3.8% since 2008, while sales of energy drinks are up 41% during the same period. Wrigley’s sales make up more than half the gum market, according to Euromonitor.

Again, Wrigley claims that it intends to market the gum to consumers age 25 and older. A warning label is placed on the back of the gum package saying it’s “not recommended for children.” The public should be concerned about this. In October, a wrongful death lawsuit was filed against energy drink maker Monster Beverage after a 14-year-old girl died of cardiac arrest. The suit charges that she had 2 of the drinks in 24 hours before her death. The FDA has also started a probe into whether there are deaths tied to another energy drink, Five Hour Energy.

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How to Control Your Eating

How to Control Your Eating?

So many different journals and magazines try to offer advice to people on tips at controlling or curbing people’s unnecessary eating habits. But, when you really break it down, how a person avoids eating those extra bites is being attentive at what they’re eating and how much they have eaten. This specific way of thinking when eating is called “Mindful Eating”.

A report recently was released revealing that implementing 3 strategies can help a person eat less throughout their day.

1-     Avoid distractions

2-     Think about your food while you’re eating it

3-     Remembering what you ate at your previous meal

The reports found that eaters who were distracted by television, radio, or reading while eating, ate more at that meal. Then, they ate even more at the next meal. The study conditions also played a role in the amount of food eaten. Participants were less aware of what they ate when they were in a dimly lit room or eating in a buffet restaurant when employees were constantly removing empty plates from their table.

The results were similar for unrestrained eaters and restrained eaters (individuals who watch what they eat to avoid gaining weight).

So, the researchers came to the theory that anything you do to enhance your memory of what you eat can help control how much you eat at that meal and especially later on. Scientists speculate that when we make decisions about eating, we draw on memories about the satiating effects of our most recent meal.

The following tips can help a person eat mindfully, and likely maintain a healthy weight…

  1. Remove eating distractions: Eating in front of the TV, while reading, checking emails, or while doing anything else takes the focus off of your food are eating. This will increase the chance you overeating.
  2. Think about food when eating: Be conscious of every bite while you are eating to help regulate how much you eat. Involve your senses to notice the smell, taste, texture and color of foods being eaten in the present moment.
  3. Cue your food memories: When you sit down to eat, recall your last meal or snack. Make a mental list of the foods you ate, how they tasted and how satisfied you felt after eating.
  4. Pay attention to hunger: It takes practice, but listening to your body’s hunger cues can help you reduce your calorie intake. Take a moment to determine how hungry you feel before you eat, halfway through a meal and after you finish eating.
  5. Slow your pace: Eating slowly forces you to savor your food and eat less. It also leads to better digestion. After every bite, put down your knife and fork. Chew thoroughly.
  6. Dine to music:  Research shows that listening to soft music can help reduce anxiety, irritability and depression, emotions that can lead to overeating.

Here is a helpful checklist to keep with you at the office or at home:

–        Am I sitting?

–        Am I eating fast or slow?

–        Am I mindlessly munching or noticing each bite?

–        Am I asking “How hungry am I?” on a scale from 1-10

–        Am I multitasking or truly focused on my meal?

–        Is my stomach rumbling or am I bored, stressed, tired, anxious, etc.?

Controlling Your Eating

Awareness Checklist

Mindful MyPlate

mindful myplate

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awareness checklist