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Soup Week Aims To Get More Kiwis Eating Healthily

Media Release 4 June 2002


In a move to educate New Zealanders about the benefits associated with eating soup, Wattie's has launched a new annual initiative - 'Wattie's National Soup Week'.

Running from June 17 - 23 to coincide with the shortest day of the year (June 21), Wattie's National Soup Week aims to raise awareness of the health benefits of eating soup and to get more people thinking about soup as part of their daily diet.

"We all know that soup is delicious and nourishing but now dietitians and nutritionists are actually encouraging us to eat soup as it provides a rich source of water-based nutrition," Caroline Clarke, Wattie's Marketing Manager - Soup says.

Her views are endorsed by well-known dietitian, Nikki Hart, who says soup is quite simply 'nutrition in a bowl'.

"I advise my clients to eat soup as part of a healthy eating plan because it is chock full of nutrients as well as being a good source of water," says Nikki Hart, who includes members of Team New Zealand among her clients. More...

Dietitians and nutritionists are not the only ones who love Wattie's soup. "People love soup, especially men. It's the ultimate comfort food but it is also incredibly flavoursome and there's so much you can do with it," Judith Tabron, Auckland's top restaurateur and co-owner of Soul Bar & Bistro says.

As part of National Soup Week, Wattie's will be running Soup Patrols with More FM as well as in store activity, encouraging people to try soup. Soup will be featured on television on both Good Morning and Food in a Minute.

Wattie's believes the annual National Soup Week initiative will prove popular. "With all the facts pointing to soup being not only warming and comforting but also good for you, there's much truth in the concept that soup is good for both the body and the soul," Caroline Clarke says.




For generations, soup has been a favourite comfort food for all of us. But what many don't know is that soup is also good for you. Not only does soup often provide a nourishing source of vegetables, but it also offers an array of other benefits.

Studies overseas have shown that eating soup as a meal can help us maintain a healthy diet in several ways. It not only fills the stomach but it also satisfies our sensory desire to savour and enjoy food. According to a Pennsylvania State University study*, water-based foods such as soup fill you up fast and help to keep your calorie intake low.

Amazingly the research found that women who ate soup as a first course consumed 26% fewer calories at that meal.

A vital ingredient in most soups is water and we all know how essential water is to our health. It not only regulates our body temperature it is also important for body digestion and the absorption of vital nutrients. Soup is the perfect source of liquid, particularly in winter when pouring yourself an ice-cold glass of water just isn't appealing.

Wattie's, which makes some of New Zealanders' favourite soups, is conscious of the part soup can play in a healthy diet. Caroline Clarke, Wattie's Marketing Manager - Soup, says the company believes its soups provide a rich source of valuable nutrition and are an important part of a sensible eating regime.

The Wattie's Very Special range of soups was developed with this in mind. The unique recipes have been formulated to deliver a delicious taste experience and the best of home-style goodness and texture without spending hours in the kitchen. Wattie's also use a combination of specially selected ingredients to ensure that while offering a mouth-watering meal, they also maintain a low fat content. All of the Very Special variants contain less than 3% fat.

Wattie's tomato soups are also an excellent source of Lycopene. Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant which acts as an internal bodyguard. Health professionals have long recommended tomatoes as part of a healthy diet, in part because of their high antioxidant content.

Studies also show that our bodies absorb the anti-oxidant lycopene more effectively from cooked tomato products than from fresh. The cooked and processed tomatoes found in Wattie's soups provide an excellent rich source of lycopene.

So next time you reach for that can of heart warming Wattie's soup, remember that not only will it make you feel warm and fill you up fast, it is also a deliciously nourishing meal.

Ends *Professor Barbara Rolls, Professor of Nutrition, Pennsylvania State University

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