The Father of Stevia Launches Fight Against Childhood Obesity

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Jim May, creator of SweetLeaf Sweetener®, to present at Children's Obesity Conference

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Arizona has taken a first step with the kind of common-sense action that will make our state healthier

Obesity is the top health risk in America as well as a leading cause of heart disease, diabetes and stroke, according to a June report from The U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Jim May, founder of the Gilbert, Ariz.-based company that produces SweetLeaf Sweetener®, is taking a stand against childhood obesity, a condition that defines nearly one-fifth of American children. The Department of Health and Human Services says that 1 in 3 youngsters is overweight.

May is teaming up with the Worthy Institute, WellCare Foundation and the American Heart Association to present the 2009 Arizona Children's Obesity Conference: A Community Taking Action.

May's co-sponsorship of the event represents both a personal and a professional concern over the rapidly increasing rates of childhood obesity. May is confident that there are solutions to this epidemic of childhood obesity. In its latest Scientific Statement, the American Heart Association boldly said that added dietary sugars lead to cardiovascular disease. Reducing the amount of sugary foods and beverages is an important step toward a healthier heart and greater quality of life for children and their families.

Administrators from the Arizona Department of Health Services will join with health care professionals from both the private and public sectors to share information and exchange ideas as to how the State, schools and communities can develop and implement strategies to successfully combat childhood obesity. One of the changes that the Arizona Department of Health Services has already made is to change the regulations in the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) nutrition program to promote healthier eating.

Jim May applauds this change. As the first person to bring stevia to the United States in 1982, May is known as the "Father of Stevia," and has spent his life researching and promoting the uses and health benefits of the Paraguayan plant.

"Arizona has taken a first step with the kind of common-sense action that will make our state healthier," he said. "We need more movement across Arizona and the nation to confront the obesity epidemic. I have worked 27 years to make people healthier and I have no plans to stop now."

Jim's passion for health and purity extends into his business philosophy. SweetLeaf Sweetener® is the only zero-calorie, zero-carbohydrate, zero-glycemic index sweetener that uses no chemicals or solvents in processing, making it 100%-natural and ideal for diabetics. SweetLeaf™ is made from the stevia plant, a naturally sweet plant native to Paraguay whose leaves are 30 times sweeter than sugar in its unprocessed form, which can be 300-350 times sweeter than sugar when purified. SweetLeaf™ recently achieved GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status, the FDA's designation of quality. The U.S. stevia and natural-sweetener industry is projected to expand from $100 million this year to $2 billion by 2011.

The conference is scheduled for Thursday, October 22 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Desert Willow Conference Center, 4340 E. Cotton Center Blvd., Phoenix, Arizona. Jim May will be available for interview.

For more information about SweetLeaf™, please visit http://www.sweetleaf.com .

About Wisdom Natural Brands
Gilbert, Arizona based Wisdom Natural Brands is the parent company of two highly respected consumer brands, SweetLeaf Stevia™ and Wisdom of the Ancients® herbal teas. The company, in cooperation with scientists in South America, spent more than a year developing a new and advanced processing methodology using only purified water from start to finish for the extraction of the sweet glycosides from stevia leaves in preparation for the launch of SweetLeaf Sweetener®. This all natural sweetener alternative is the best-tasting in the industry and has zero calories, zero carbohydrates and zero glycemic index. For recipes, comparison charts with artificial sweeteners and more information, go to http://www.sweetleaf.com .

CONTACT:
Susanna Minegishi
McFadden/Gavender
O: (520) 882-6262 M: (520) 444-9223
susanna(at)mcfaddengavender(dot)com

Karen Gavender
McFadden/Gavender
O: (520) 882-6262 M: (520) 603-4200
karen(at)mcfaddengavender(dot)com

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