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A study by the prestigious Harvard Medical School has shown that daily consumption of 1 oz. of peanuts can reduce risk of death from all major health causes by as much as 20 percent, says John Powell, executive director of The Peanut Institute, Albany, Ga., who discussed the findings at the annual meeting of the Mississippi Peanut Growers Association at Hattiesburg.
BRAD HENSARLING, from left, Richton, Miss.; Doug Berry, Mississippi AG Co., Jackson, Miss.; Ryan Nobles, Hattiesburg, Miss.; and Jerid Hensarling, Richton, Miss., were among those attending the annual meeting of the Mississippi Peanut Growers Association.
Additional health benefits
Another study, conducted jointly by the Washington University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School, showed that young girls who consumed a serving of peanut butter or peanuts at least twice weekly reduced their risk of benign breast disease in young adulthood by up to 39 percent.
“This gives parents even more reason to pack a peanut butter sandwich in their kids’ lunch,” Powell says. “It’s really rewarding for these studies to confirm that our products are not only great-tasting, but that they can make a difference in the health of kids and adults.”
Health promotion programs over the next 12 months will focus heavily on nutrient density, Powell says. “It’s something we’re going to hear a lot about in health promotion programs.
“Peanuts and peanut butter will meet at least 20 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance of major nutrients, and 80 percent of others,” he says. “There’s not another nut as nutrient-dense as peanuts, and peanuts and peanut butter are the lowest cost of all nuts. This is the message we’ve got to get to consumers.”
Planters, America’s leading snack nut brand, is launching a campaign, “Harness the Power of the Peanut,” to remind people that peanuts are quite powerful for health benefits, Powell says.
In the integrated campaign, the familiar “Mr. Peanut” character, voiced by Emmy Award-nominated actor and former “Saturday Night Live” star Bill Hader, is featured in three TV and four digital spots.
In announcing the media campaign, Peter Cotter, brand manager for Planters, said, “Showcasing Mr. Peanut creates a fun and entertaining platform that's consistent with the Planters style — wit and charm while still communicating the wholesome benefits of peanuts.”
Planters also created a microsite (www.PowerOfThePeanut.com) that humorously depicts how protein and nutrients from peanuts can help reshape every aspect of peoples’ lives, from career to relationships to overall wellness. The site features “Successtimonials,” in which people share their success stories of how they've used the power of the peanut — both personally and professionally.
Powell says, “One of the first things we did as an institute, because of the concerns and national publicity about peanuts, was to sit down with manufacturers of peanut products and agree to work together to get a health label for peanuts. Working with the Food and Drug Administration, we were able to accomplish this. We now have heart healthy language labeling for many peanut products.
‘This was a major accomplishment, and most of the peanut companies are now using this language on their products.”