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New research shows eating low-fat popcorn as a daily snack can curb hunger, support weight loss

10/11/2010 @ 2:49pm

ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) one of North America's leading food makers, announced today new research indicating that a daily snack of Orville Redenbacher's 94 percent fat-free SmartPop!(R) popcorn can help dieters maintain reduced calorie eating plans while still feeling full and satisfied. In the study, 94 percent of participants said the daily 100-calorie snack of 100 percent whole grain popcorn helped satisfy hunger and 85 percent credited SmartPop! with helping them stay on track with weight loss.

Orville Redenbacher's 94 percent fat-free SmartPop! popcorn is 100 percent whole grain and a good source of fiber. (Photo: ConAgra Foods)

The study, conducted by leading cardiologist Dr. James Rippe and his research team, was presented Saturday at the 2010 Annual Scientific Meeting of the Obesity Society in San Diego, Calif., where renowned leaders in the obesity field revealed cutting-edge research.

"When compared with other 100-calorie snacks, popcorn has several distinct advantages for controlling hunger which in turn can help prevent overeating and make losing weight easier," said Dr. Rippe, founder and director of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute. "Orville Redenbacher's SmartPop! is 100 percent whole grain, a good source of fiber and low in fat. It's also a high volume food meaning you can actually eat more since six cups of Smartpop! has less calories and fat than one cup of regular potato chips."

While any reduced calorie diet can lead to weight loss, a key for sustaining momentum is satisfaction with the eating program. "Most interesting to us was that even after eating SmartPop! popcorn daily for 12 weeks, people were highly satisfied with it and attributed part of their dieting success to the snack," said Kristin Reimers, PhD, Nutrition Manager, ConAgra Foods. "The simple act of seeing the large amount of popcorn in a 100-calorie serving helped study participants maintain their weight loss programs without feeling like they were on a restrictive diet."

The research study found that participants who consumed a 100-calorie portion of Orville Redenbacher's 94 percent fat-free SmartPop! Butter or Kettle Corn varieties every day for 12 weeks, as part of a reduced calorie diet with moderate cardiovascular exercise, lost an average of 13 pounds, reduced waist circumference two inches, lowered body mass index two points, and reduced body fat by two percent. At the end of the study, 97 percent of participants reported healthier snacking habits and 73 percent said that snacking on popcorn helped them feel more emotionally satisfied than their usual snacks.

This study is part of ConAgra Foods' ongoing research into the benefits of using popcorn as a smart snack choice for weight management. Snacking on popcorn is a simple dietary improvement that is a convenient and great-tasting way to help people stick with reduced calorie diets while also increasing their consumption of whole grains and fiber.

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