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All Boards >> Irritable Bowel Syndrome Research Library

HeatherAdministrator

Reged: 12/09/02
Posts: 7677
Loc: Seattle, WA
Low-carb diets increase demand for laxatives
      05/10/04 12:59 PM

Low-carb diets increase demand for laxatives

Sales of fiber supplements soar as irregularity spreads

The Associated Press

Updated: 5:48 p.m. ET March 30, 2004 PITTSBURGH - The mass of dieters doing away with carbohydrates may be changing the demographics for companies that traditionally have marketed fiber laxatives to the silver-haired crowd.

In an advertising campaign appearing at newsstands, GlaxoSmithKline is offering a “zero-carb solution to a low-carb problem,” referring to the irregularity suffered by some people on the Atkins and South Beach diets.

It was the first shot in a marketing blitz that has pharmaceutical companies seeking out consumers who might traditionally be more familiar with hair gel products than fiber laxatives.

GlaxoSmithKline said it is responding to a bump in sales and a surge in calls over the past year to consumer lines regarding Citrucel, its fiber laxative.

Just days after the GlaxoSmithKline ads appeared, Proctor & Gamble fired back, promising in advertisements that their brand, Metamucil, allows users to “Stay regular. The 0 net carb way.”

Labels on Citrucel caplets now let the low-carb crowd know the fiber laxative won’t set them back. The caplet form has no carbohydrates and can “help you get back on track,” according to magazine ads appearing in March editions.

Patrick Seiffert, brand manager for Citrucel, said GlaxoSmithKline is targeting consumers who follow a particular lifestyle and not an age group, but acknowledges that the target audience for the product may be changing, largely because of low-carb dieters.

“About 20 percent of the population is now on a low-carb diet and about a third experience changes in regularity,” Seiffert said. “That’s about 13 million people. That’s significant for us.”

The estimated number of people on low-carbohydrate diets varies widely, as does the number of people who suffer adverse effects from eating more meats and cheeses, hallmarks of the diet.

Yet Internet forums dedicated to Atkins and South Beach are clogged with the woes of people who have not replaced the fiber that was once part of their diet.

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4633283/

--------------------
Heather is the Administrator of the IBS Message Boards. She’s the author of Eating for IBS and The First Year: IBS, and the CEO of Heather's Tummy Care. Join her IBS Newsletter. Meet Heather on Facebook!

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Subject Posted by Posted on
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