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Squeezing Calories? New Study Finds That Low-Fat Popcorn Before Lunch Does Not Increase Total Calorie Intake
Date:4/20/2009

Orville Redenbacher's SmartPop! can help 'take the edge off,' manage intake

NEW ORLEANS, April 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A filling but calorie controlled snack, such as Orville Redenbacher's 94 percent fat-free SmartPop! popcorn, before a meal has been shown to curb hunger without increasing total calorie intake, says a new study released today.

Guided by health and nutrition guru Dr. James Rippe of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute, the study found that subjects who ate up to six cups of low-fat popcorn (100 calories) 30 minutes before lunch consumed the same amount of total calories, including the meal, as those who consumed only water. In contrast, when subjects ate a cup of potato chips (150 calories) before the meal, they ate significantly more total calories including the meal.

"Our findings suggest that some snack foods, such as low-fat popcorn, can be a satisfying and effective way to manage calories," Rippe said. "Reducing calorie consumption is absolutely essential in the fight against weight gain and obesity. Popcorn is unique because it supplies such a big volume of food for relatively few calories."

Thirty five subjects ages 20 to 50 consumed either water or a snack before the lunch and ate as much of the meal as they wished. Total caloric intake was not different and averaged 717 calories when subjects had water alone or water plus either 1 cup or 6 cups of low-fat popcorn. However, when they were given 1 cup of potato chips, total calorie intake, including the meal, jumped 12 percent and was significantly higher than all three other test conditions.

Results were presented at the Experimental Biology 2009 conference in New Orleans, attended by roughly 13,000 scientists. "We are proud to put Orville Redenbacher's SmartPop! on the front lines in the weight management battle," said Mark Toth, brand director. "The great news for those of us who watch our weight is that we can have it both ways -- good taste and good health. SmartPop! low-fat popcorn also has the benefit of being a 100 percent whole grain and a source of fiber."

Orville Redenbacher's SmartPop! offers six cups of hot and fresh popcorn per serving, which helps consumers feel satisfied on fewer calories. Orville Redenbacher's popcorn pops up lighter and fluffier than ordinary popcorn. The brand has many other nutritional benefits including being 94 percent fat free, with zero grams of trans fat and zero milligrams of cholesterol. What's more, whole grains support heart health and previous research has shown that popcorn consumers get more than twice the amount of whole grains as is typical in the U.S. diet plus 20 percent more total fiber.

For more information on Orville Redenbacher's SmartPop! popcorn, consumers can visit www.orville.com. Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popping Corn is a brand of ConAgra Brands, Inc.

About ConAgra Foods

ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America's leading food companies, with brands in 97 percent of America's households. Consumers find Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Egg Beaters, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Hunt's, Marie Callender's, Orville Redenbacher's, PAM, Peter Pan, Reddi-wip and many ConAgra Foods brands in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise and club stores. ConAgra Foods also has a strong business-to-business presence, supplying potato, other vegetable, spice and grain products to a variety of well-known restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers. For more information, please visit us at www.conagrafoods.com.


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