Industry signposts - April 2010

Gluten-free on the rise
Market research firm Datamonitor has seen a steady increase in the number of new products with a gluten-free claim: from 0.7 percent in 2000 to 10.4 percent last year. "Gluten free has had a huge run-up since around 2005 — the numbers have doubled since that time period," says Tom Vierhile, director of Datamonitor's Product Launch Analytics. "And the growth from 2008 to 2009 is also impressive."

Going mobile
Andrea Grimes, a PhD candidate at the Georgia Institute of Technology's College of Computing has developed a system, known as EatWell, that uses mobile phones to share audio stories. The idea is that people can encourage each other with their stories of how they've successfully overcome temptation in an effort to live a healthier lifestyle.

Tense over hypertension
The prevalence of hypertension has increased by 25% in the US over the last decade, and with the ageing of the population, the number of people with hypertension has increased to 73 million. It is the second-leading preventable cause of death in the US, following only smoking, according to a recent study released by the Institute of Medicine. It is especially common among African Americans.

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