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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RDN… Hmm, Interesting

Every RD is a Nutritionist. But NOT every Nutritionist is a RD.

What is this new credential they are calling a “RDN”?

Well, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) Board of Directors and the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) have recently approved the optional use of the credential “Registered Dietitian Nutritionist” (RDN) used by Registered Dietitians now.

The new optional RDN credential will not affect licensure or other state regulations. Plus many state licensure/certification laws already use the term “Nutritionist” (i.e.: LDN or CDN)

Many people, and especially RDs, are wondering why the Academy is offering this new credential. The reasoning behind this is to further enhance the RD brand and more accurately reflect to consumers who RDs are and what they do. This makes sense, when the Academy puts it like this…

This will distinguish the demanding credential requirements and focus that all RDs are Nutritionists but NOT all Nutritionists are RDs.  

The inclusion of the word “Nutritionist” in the credential itself, communicates a larger concept of wellness and treatment of conditions. This option is also consistent with the inclusion of the word “nutrition” in the Academy’s new name. Again, this makes sense and definitely seems innovative for the future of the Academy.

There is an increased awareness of the Academy’s role as a key organization in food and nutrition by media, government agencies, allied health organizations and consumers. This provides additional rationale for the incorporation of the word “nutrition” into the RD credential resulting in the optional RDN credential.  

But, here lies a substantial question… Was there any AND member input considered?

In 2010, the Academy began exploring the option of offering the RDN credential. It was supported by participants in the 2011 Future Connections Summit and most recently by the Council on Future Practice in its 2012 Visioning Report. The recommendation was shared and discussed in the House of Delegates at the Fall 2012 meeting. The 2013 joint meeting of the major organizational units (CDR, Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND), Council on Future Practice, Education Committee, and Nutrition and Dietetics Educators and Preceptors (DPG)) supported moving forward.

But here is my question- Do RDs have to use the RDN credential now?

No. The RDN credential is offered as an option to RDs who want to emphasize the nutrition aspect of their credential to the public and to other health practitioners. Plus, the new RDN credential has the exact same meaning and legal trademark definitions as the RD credential.

The credentials should be used, identical as a RD credential.

So, for example: Jess Brantner, RD = Jess Brantner, RDN. —-> (In time my friends… In good time)

The new RDN credential should be prioritized just like a RD credential, when other credentials are involved. So, 1st– Graduate degree credential, 2nd– RDN or RD, 3rd– special certifications with the CDR (CSSD, CSO, CSP, CSG, CSR), 4th– licensure designation or other certifications like Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE).

Here is the twist to my story- the CDR registration identification cards WILL include both the RD AND RDN credentials. So, be on the lookout for your 2013-2014 CDR registration identification cards, because it will have both credentials listed! But, don’t worry about costs, because there will be no additional fee for all these changes.

The opportunity to use the RDN credential is offered to RDs who want to directly convey the nutrition aspects of their training and expertise.

“This option reflects who Registered Dietitians are and what we do,” says Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics President Ethan Bergman. “The message for the public is: Look for the RD – and now, the RDN – credential when determining who is the best source of safe and accurate nutrition information,” Bergman says. “All Registered Dietitians are Nutritionists, but not all Nutritionists are Registered Dietitians. So when you’re looking for qualified food and nutrition experts, look for the RD or RDN credential.”

AND RDN

Happy RDN Day?