Stomach This
Elizabeth Fuhrman
Managing Editor
If reports on calorie-laden soft drinks weren’t in the media enough, the new angle seems to have the media weighing in on diets. In June, the American Diabetes Association reported at its annual meeting in San Diego that in a study conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, researchers found that those consuming diet sodas gained more weight during the study period than their counterparts consuming regular soft drinks.
The study followed more than 600 people for as long as eight years, and found that approximately 33 percent of those drinking one to two regular soft drinks per day became overweight or obese, with that figure jumping to 47 percent if they consumed more than two. Those numbers jumped to 54 percent for diet soft drink consumers having one to two cans per day, and 57 percent if partaking in more than two.
The researchers were quick to point out that diet soft drinks do not cause obesity. Hello, most diet sodas have zero calories. They did hypothesize several theorizes. First, although a diet soda tastes sweet to the palate, the body still recognizes that it is nutritionally empty, so by consuming diets people wind up sending their bodies searching for more calories. Another take is that consumers develop a certain mindset that rationalizes that because diet sodas are calorie-free, they have a right to eat other foods more liberally.
The study may raise more questions than it answers but USA Weekend columnist Tedd Mitchell, an M.D. and medical director at the Wellness Program of Dallas’ Cooper Clinic, summed it up the best: “If we fill our diets with unhealthful foods, our choice of beverage is unlikely to make up the difference.” A healthy diet requires paying attention to what goes in the glass and on the plate.
Colorado brews for U.S. biz
In June, David Rehr, National Beer Wholesaler Association (NWBA) president, hosted a U.S. Chamber of Commerce gathering for 150 U.S. business leaders at the historic Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo. Odell Brewing, Bristol Brewing, New Belgium Brewing and Left Hand Brewing shared their Colorado beer with the NBWA and U.S. Chamber of Commerce leaders while discussing the benefits the beer industry provides to the Colorado economy – from jobs to taxes paid into state and local coffers.
Leap frog
This year, Señor Frog’s, the Cancun spring break party landmark, is entering the States at Myrtle Beach’s “Broadway at the Beach,” followed by openings in Honolulu and Las Vegas. The restaurant chain is bringing with it Señor Frog’s ‘World Famoso’ Yard Glass – a 16-inch beer that has spread the restaurant chain’s popularity.
Working up a sweat
NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth joined Virginia Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade John Sternlicht, Wythe County Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Wythe Sharitz and officials from The Gatorade Co. to break ground this summer on a new manufacturing and distribution facility in Wythe County, Va. The facility, which will be the company’s eighth plant, will produce both Gatorade Thirst Quencher and Propel Fitness Water, starting in September 2006.
Real energy
Lance Collins, founder and chief executive officer of Fuze Beverage, and Lisa Gastineau of the “Gastineau Girls” reality TV show on E! Entertainment Television, were on hand to celebrate the third annual Energy Up! program in New York City. Fuze is a sponsor of the Energy Up! program that emphasizes a healthy lifestyle.
Hennessy VIPs
Chicago’s hip-hop DJs Mike Love and The Diz were recognized by Hennessy V.S. as part of Hennessy V.S. V.I.P. Access Weekend with hip-hop superstar Common. Hennessy delivered an open bar featuring Hennessy Sidecar, Piña de Hennessy and Hennessy VIP. One guest who entered and won the Hennessy VIP Access Weekend contest promotion will join one of their local DJs and a friend for a trip to France to see Hennessy production and for a private concert with Common in Paris.
Dedicated brewing
Spoetzl Brewery, Shiner, Texas, maker of Shiner Bock and Shiner Light, honored John Hybner for his contributions to the world of brewing after 40 years of service. A celebration for almost 200 toasted Hybner, who also received a letter of congratulations from President Bush. Carlos Alvarez, owner of the Gambrinus Co. and the Spoetzl Brewery, announced that the Texas Department of Transportation had approved the renaming of Shiner’s East Brewery Street to John Hybner Way.