New website puts focus on healthy vision and emphasizes the role of nutrition in preventing eye diseases

Eye on Nutritiontm (, developed in conjunction with Roche Vitamins and available from the American Optometric Association, provides online dietary assessment for optometrists and their patients

(July 17, 2002) – Roche Vitamins Inc., the worldwide leader in nutritional ingredients for healthful foods and beverages, has sponsored numerous consumer studies indicating that healthy eyesight is the leading health concern among Americans. Moreover, in one study conducted by HealthFocus®, it was found that 28% of shoppers are aware of the link between eye health and two key nutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin. Additionally, in a survey conducted by Gallup, it was found that 77% of adults over the age of 40 believe that a nutritious and balanced diet can be effective in preventing or relieving eye problems.

Helping to further inform consumers about the benefits of healthy nutrition and its association with the prevention of eye diseases is a new interactive website called “Eye on Nutrition.” The user-friendly website, which was introduced to rave reviews at the American Optometric Association’s AOA Congress trade show in June 2002, provides online dietary assessment to assist optometrists and their patients in determining if a person’s diet includes the right nutrients to help protect against eye diseases such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

After logging onto Eye on Nutrition, the user is asked about their eye health history (i.e., Has anyone in their family been diagnosed with AMD?) and also about certain behaviors that can affect eye health (i.e., smoking). The user is then asked how often and how much they eat particular foods. After completing the Eye on Nutrition assessment, the user receives an evaluation of their eye health along with a diet analysis that utilizes data from USDA’s Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals. In addition, the user receives personalized tips on how to improve their diet in order to help protect the health of their eyes.

Over 22 million Americans above age 60 have either cataracts or AMD. Another 500,000 have significant and irreversible vision loss from late-stage AMD. Studies have suggested that six nutrients are correlated with maintaining eye health – the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene; the antioxidant vitamins C and E; and the mineral zinc. For developers of foods and beverages fortified with these ingredients, the opportunities for increasing sales and profits are growing rapidly as more and more consumers utilize tools such as Eye on Nutrition to learn about the vital role that nutrition can play in preventing eye disease.

For further information about Eye on Nutrition and how Roche technical experts will work closely with dietary supplement developers to create new products that address growing consumer awareness of eye health, please contact Roche Vitamins Inc. at 45 Waterview Boulevard, Parsippany, New Jersey, 07054-1298. Phone: 1-800-526-0189, ext. 8338 Fax: 973-257-8472. Website:

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