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    Pasta Plays Up Health Angle

    New program highlights role of noodles in balanced diet

    The National Pasta Association (NPA), the New York-based trade association for the U.S. pasta industry, has launched its 2011 communications program, “Pasta Fits,” with the aim of making consumers aware that carbohydrates such as pasta are an important part of a nutritious diet.

    “Americans love pasta, but fad diets and misinformation have led to consumer confusion,” noted Peter Smith, NPA chairman and CEO of Bentonville, Ark.-based Ebro North America. “We have created a comprehensive program to set the record straight -- pasta is an important and healthy part of any eating plan. We’ll provide consumers with knowledge and tools to enjoy pasta meals knowing that the nutritional value is as great as the taste.”

    Leveraging scientific research on the importance of carbohydrates in weight control, the program will emphasize that eating pasta raises energy levels, satisfies hunger, tastes great and can be included in many tasty low-calorie dishes. Additionally, it’s one of the least expensive meals options available to U.S. consumers.

    “There have been a number of diet trends that severely limit carbohydrate intake in favor of protein, but research shows that long-term weight control is not about proteins vs. carbs, but about energy balance,” observed Sarah Wally, registered dietician and NPA consultant. “We want to debunk diet myths and teach consumers that carbohydrates are an integral part of healthful eating plans. Pasta is a perfect foundation for nutrient-dense, low calorie meals and can be successfully integrated into any weight loss plan.”

    Founded in 1904, the NPA consists of manufacturing, industry supplier and allied industry representatives.
     

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