Valuable new tool that examines associations between overall beverage quality and cardiometabolic risk described in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Researchers at Virginia Tech have developed a new scoring method for assessing beverage intake, the Healthy Beverage Index (HBI). In a report published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics they describe how this tool can be used to more accurately evaluate dietary consumption of all types of fluids. They found that higher HBI scores were associated with more favorable lipid profiles, decreased risk of hypertension; and, among men, better C-reactive protein (CRP) levels.
Water consumption is associated with numerous health benefits and beverage recommendations exist, but few have evaluated overall beverage intake quality. Beverage intake guidelines have been suggested and although the 2010 US Dietary Guidelines recommend “drinking water instead of sugary drinks,” no tools existed that measure overall beverage intake quality.
 “A Healthy Beverage Index (HBI), similar to the Healthy Eating Index, could be used to evaluate overall beverage intake quality and to determine if improvements in beverage intake patterns are associated with improvements in health,” explained Kiyah J. Duffey, PhD, of the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg VA. “A great deal of attention has been directed at sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) intake, and a broader focus beyond just SSBs is needed.”
Duffey and co-investigator Brenda M. Davy, PhD, developed the HBI, a 10-item scoring index that captures total energy from beverages, total fluid requirements, and recommended limits for beverage subgroups, such as low-fat milk, fruit juice, and alcohol. They weighted some components of the HBI more heavily because of their recognized contributions to good health, such as water contributing at least 20% of total fluid intake, and others less heavily, for example, consuming no more than 8 oz. of fruit juice.
Using dietary and health data from over 16,000 adults who participated in the nationally representative National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (2005-2010), Duffey and Davy calculated HBIs and correlated those with cardiometabolic risk factors such as obesity/overweight, hypertension, high fasting insulin, high fasting glucose, high low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and high CRP. The HBI score ranges from 0 to 100, with a higher score indicating better adherence to beverage guidelines and a healthier beverage intake pattern in both men and women.
The average HBI score was 63±16 out of 100 for the sampled population. Their analysis considered age, sex, race/ethnicity, level of education completed, marital status, household size, total daily energy intake, and physical activity as possible confounding factors.
Duffey and Davy found that people with better HBI scores had more favorable cardiometabolic outcomes. Among normal weight males, a 10-point higher HBI score was associated with an average 36% lower odds of having a high waist circumference and 7% lower odds of having high CRP levels. For overweight/obese males, each 10-point increment higher in HBI score was associated with 4% lower odds of having high fasting insulin and high LDL cholesterol levels and 3% lower odds of having high total cholesterol. The odds of having high CRP were also lower with each 10-point higher in HBI score in this group. Irrespective of weight status, each 10-point higher HBI score was associated with 4% lower odds of having hypertension.
Among all females, regardless of weight status, each 10-point higher HBI score was associated with an average 4% lower odds of having high fasting insulin levels, an average 3% lower odds of high LDL cholesterol, an average 5% lower odds of having low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and an average 3% lower odds of having hypertension.
For the “typical” person, there are three factors that lower the HBI score. SSB consumption of, for example, soda or a vanilla latte, deducted 15 points. More than 10% of daily energy requirements coming from beverages reduced the score by another 20 points. Finally, failure to meet total fluid requirements lost another 3 points for the typical person.
Davy emphasized that, “There is flexibility in the system, and there are some beverage categories that an individual could choose not to consume at all, for example, diet sodas or alcohol, yet they would still receive the maximum number of points for that category.”
The authors would like this technique to be developed into a rapid assessment tool that might be used online to provide patients, doctors, and dietetics practitioners with accurate consumption information that could be used to encourage better eating behaviors. Also, they will continue to refine the index over time as new information about healthy beverage choices becomes available.
Published in Health and Wellness
US demand for beverage containers is expected to increase 1.9 percent per year to 283 billion units in 2019, valued at $31.5 billion.  Proliferation of different package sizes, new product introductions, and increased consumption of healthier beverages such as bottled water, ready-to-drink (RTD) tea, and nondairy milk alternatives will drive increases despite weakness in critical markets such as carbonated soft drinks and beer.  Plastic bottles and metal cans will continue to dominate demand, with over 80 percent of the total.  However, faster growth is expected in newer formats such as aluminum bottles, bag-in-box products, aseptic cartons, and pouches. These and other trends are presented in Beverage Containers, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

Plastic containers
Plastic containers will remain both the largest and fastest growing product segment, with gains supported by increased consumption of bottled water, the primary outlet for plastic bottles and the leading market for beverage containers by 2019.  According to analyst Katie Wieser, “Going forward, though, growth will slow somewhat as environmental concerns lead some consumers to favor filtered tap water or to use reusable bottles for on-the-go consumption.”  Plastic is expected to gain ground in newer uses including RTD tea, RTD coffee, and larger size alcoholic beverages.  Plastic pouches will also continue to see increased use outside of juice drinks with new introductions in sports drinks, wine, and flavored alcoholic beverages taking advantage of the convenience and low cost of this package format.

Metal containers
Metal containers are the second most prevalent package type within the beverage container industry, but demand for cans is expected to show only minimal growth through 2019 due to continued weakness in carbonated soft drinks and beer, the two key markets for aluminum cans.  Nevertheless, the growing popularity of smaller cans in the carbonated soft drink market, as well as increased can use in growing markets such as wine and sparkling beverages, will help metal cans maintain a sizable market share as producers take advantage of their light weight and recyclability.  Glass bottle demand will continue to decline through 2019, although the rate of decline will level off.  Glass has already been phased out in most nonalcoholic beverage markets and is starting to experience competition in alcoholic beverages as well, especially for products where cost and convenience are valued over image and tradition.  Demand for paperboard containers will post above average gains through 2019 as healthy growth for aseptic and bag-in-box containers offsets declines in the gabletop carton format.

Beverage Containers (published 06/2015, 320 pages) is available for $5300 from The Freedonia Group, Inc. www.freedoniagroup.com.
Published in Marketing

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