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News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

MENLO PARK, Calif., May 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Exponent, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPO) today announced that members of the senior management team will present to the investment community and host one-on-one meetings at the following investor conferences:    Baird 2017 Global Consumer, Technology and Services Conference Date: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 Time: 9:40am ET Location: InterContinental New York, New York, NY Webcasts of the presentations will be accessible on the investor relations section of the Exponent website. An archived replay of the webcast will be available following the live event. Exponent is an engineering and scientific consulting firm providing solutions to complex problems. Exponent's multidisciplinary organization of scientists, physicians, engineers, and business consultants brings together more than 90 technical disciplines to address complicated issues facing industry and government today. The firm has been best known for analyzing accidents and failures to determine their causes, but in recent years it has become more active in assisting clients with human health, environmental and engineering issues associated with new products to help prevent problems in the future.  Exponent may be reached at (888) 656-EXPO, info@exponent.com, or www.exponent.com.


News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

MENLO PARK, Calif., May 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Exponent, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPO) today announced that members of the senior management team will present to the investment community and host one-on-one meetings at the following investor conferences:    Baird 2017 Global Consumer, Technology and Services Conference Date: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 Time: 9:40am ET Location: InterContinental New York, New York, NY Webcasts of the presentations will be accessible on the investor relations section of the Exponent website. An archived replay of the webcast will be available following the live event. Exponent is an engineering and scientific consulting firm providing solutions to complex problems. Exponent's multidisciplinary organization of scientists, physicians, engineers, and business consultants brings together more than 90 technical disciplines to address complicated issues facing industry and government today. The firm has been best known for analyzing accidents and failures to determine their causes, but in recent years it has become more active in assisting clients with human health, environmental and engineering issues associated with new products to help prevent problems in the future.  Exponent may be reached at (888) 656-EXPO, info@exponent.com, or www.exponent.com.


News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

MENLO PARK, Calif., May 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Exponent, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPO) today announced that members of the senior management team will present to the investment community and host one-on-one meetings at the following investor conferences:    Baird 2017 Global Consumer, Technology and Services Conference Date: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 Time: 9:40am ET Location: InterContinental New York, New York, NY Webcasts of the presentations will be accessible on the investor relations section of the Exponent website. An archived replay of the webcast will be available following the live event. Exponent is an engineering and scientific consulting firm providing solutions to complex problems. Exponent's multidisciplinary organization of scientists, physicians, engineers, and business consultants brings together more than 90 technical disciplines to address complicated issues facing industry and government today. The firm has been best known for analyzing accidents and failures to determine their causes, but in recent years it has become more active in assisting clients with human health, environmental and engineering issues associated with new products to help prevent problems in the future.  Exponent may be reached at (888) 656-EXPO, info@exponent.com, or www.exponent.com.


News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

MENLO PARK, Calif., May 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Exponent, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPO) today announced that members of the senior management team will present to the investment community and host one-on-one meetings at the following investor conferences:    Baird 2017 Global Consumer, Technology and Services Conference Date: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 Time: 9:40am ET Location: InterContinental New York, New York, NY Webcasts of the presentations will be accessible on the investor relations section of the Exponent website. An archived replay of the webcast will be available following the live event. Exponent is an engineering and scientific consulting firm providing solutions to complex problems. Exponent's multidisciplinary organization of scientists, physicians, engineers, and business consultants brings together more than 90 technical disciplines to address complicated issues facing industry and government today. The firm has been best known for analyzing accidents and failures to determine their causes, but in recent years it has become more active in assisting clients with human health, environmental and engineering issues associated with new products to help prevent problems in the future.  Exponent may be reached at (888) 656-EXPO, info@exponent.com, or www.exponent.com.


News Article | May 18, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

MENLO PARK, Calif., May 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Exponent, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPO) today announced that members of the senior management team will present to the investment community and host one-on-one meetings at the following investor conferences:    Baird 2017 Global Consumer, Technology and Services Conference Date: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 Time: 9:40am ET Location: InterContinental New York, New York, NY Webcasts of the presentations will be accessible on the investor relations section of the Exponent website. An archived replay of the webcast will be available following the live event. Exponent is an engineering and scientific consulting firm providing solutions to complex problems. Exponent's multidisciplinary organization of scientists, physicians, engineers, and business consultants brings together more than 90 technical disciplines to address complicated issues facing industry and government today. The firm has been best known for analyzing accidents and failures to determine their causes, but in recent years it has become more active in assisting clients with human health, environmental and engineering issues associated with new products to help prevent problems in the future.  Exponent may be reached at (888) 656-EXPO, info@exponent.com, or www.exponent.com.


News Article | May 25, 2017
Site: www.prnewswire.com

Spin's orange-colored smart-bikes are located via the Spin app, unlocked and taken for a ride by simply scanning a QR code. Designed in California, the bikes are equipped with GPS, cellular connectivity, solar panels, and solid tires that are designed for durability. Unlike traditional bikeshare systems, Spin's technology requires no fixed or specialized racks and allows bikes to be parked anywhere that is legal and responsible. At just $1 a ride, Spin offers riders a flexible, equitable, and convenient mode of transport. "Technology and hardware will play a big part in improving last mile transportation in the face of urbanization," said Dmitry Grishin, Founding Partner of Grishin Robotics. "We're impressed with Spin's approach of tackling this with stationless bikeshare, and the team's vision of building networks of connected last-mile vehicles." Spin joins Grishin Robotics' portfolio of innovative Internet-of-Things and robotics companies, including Ring, Zipline, eero and Starship. Spin plans to build one of the largest mobile IoT and urban transportation infrastructure deployments in the world. "We'll use this round to grow our supply chain, improve our hardware, and assemble a talented technical team to track and manage our bikeshare fleet at scale," said Spin CTO and co-founder Zaizhuang Cheng, formerly of Disqus. Spin also runs the Spin Cities Project, an initiative to fund smart urban infrastructure, bike safety and awareness programs, and provide cycling data to communities. The Project's first initiative is to fund bike safety in Seattle, where Spin plans to launch this summer. In addition to an initial investment, Spin will contribute a portion of ride revenue to continually fund the Project. "Our approach to bikeshare is unique in that it requires no public funding. Unlike competitors that enter U.S. cities without permission, Spin is dedicated to working closely with cities to establish clear procedures for permitting and a pathway to success that benefits both cities and riders," said Spin co-founder and President Euwyn Poon, a former lawyer at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and two-time Y Combinator alumnus. Spin helps people move around in cities by offering a convenient, affordable, and environmentally-friendly mode of last-mile transportation. Its fleet of GPS-equipped, orange-colored smart-bikes can be unlocked by scanning a QR code, and can be dropped off at any existing bike parking spots, all at no cost to cities. Spin is also committed to improving urban living via the Spin Cities Project, which funds local bike infrastructure programs. Spin is a Series A venture-backed company based in San Francisco, founded by Lyft, Disqus, and Y Combinator alumni. To learn more visit https://spin.pm Founded in 2012, Grishin Robotics is one of the leading venture firms to focus exclusively on hardware and robotics companies, investing out of its second $100M fund. The firm's investments include Ring, Zipline, eero and Starship and is located in Menlo Park, California. http://www.grishinrobotics.com CRCM is a Silicon Valley-based venture firm that invests in early-stage companies in diversified sectors, including healthcare, enterprise, consumer, financial technology, media, and telecommunications. Prior investments include Youku and musical.ly. http://www.crcmvc.com Exponent is a venture firm founded by Y Combinator alumni that invests in and grows early-stage technology companies. The firm is backed by the Yifang Group, shareholders of the Wanda Group, and its investments include Plushcare, Grubmarket, Hush, Zeus, and Paperspace. http://www.exponent.vc To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/spin-secures-8-million-series-a-funding-round-led-by-grishin-robotics-300463742.html


MARYSVILLE, Ohio, May 02, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE:SMG), the world’s leading marketer of branded consumer lawn and garden products, today announced fiscal second quarter results as well as the pending sale of its European and Australian businesses, a major step in its continued execution of ‘Project Focus.’ For the second quarter ended April 1, 2017, company-wide sales declined 3 percent to $1.20 billion due primarily to challenging comparisons versus favorable early spring weather in 2016, when the Company reported record results at the start to the lawn and garden season. Those same challenging comparisons, which the Company anticipated in its planning for the year, resulted in GAAP earnings per share of $2.73 versus $3.64 and Non-GAAP adjusted earnings per share of $2.78 versus $3.00 a year ago. “We’ve had strong momentum over the past several weeks and consumer purchases entering May – historically the peak of the lawn and garden season – are down less than one percent from last year,” said Jim Hagedorn, chairman and chief executive officer.  “We expected a difficult comparison through the first half of the year and we are confident in how we are positioned for the balance of the season. We also remain pleased with the continued double-digit growth so far this year in our hydroponics products sold by the Hawthorne Gardening business.” Separately, the Company announced it has received a binding and irrevocable offer for its European and Australian consumer operations from Exponent Private Equity LLP. The proposed transaction, valued at approximately $250 million (USD), is expected to close during the Company’s fiscal fourth quarter, and is subject to prior consultation with the works councils, employee representative bodies and regulatory approval. Depending on the timing of closure, the transaction could result in dilution by up to $0.20 per share in fiscal 2017. “There is no doubt that our International lawn and garden business is the strongest in the marketplace with outstanding brand recognition and a talented and dedicated team of associates,” Hagedorn said. “While this sale is a reflection of our commitment to concentrate more resources on our U.S. business, as we outlined last year in announcing Project Focus, we wanted to make sure we found a partner that would steward these brands, give stability to our associates and provide our shareholders with a fair valuation. We are delighted with the proposed agreement we have reached with Exponent, and we believe it accomplishes all of those goals. We expect this transaction to be seamless to our retail partners, our consumers and our associates.” Second quarter details The Company noted that the presentation of its Non-GAAP financial results has been adjusted from 2016 to conform with current best practices. The “pro-forma” language included last year after the divestiture of Scotts LawnService is now referred to as “Non-GAAP SLS divestiture adjusted income.” This line adjusts for the impact of the divestiture and also excludes impairment, restructuring and other one-time items. The calculation used is the same from year-to-year. For the fiscal second quarter, the Company reported sales of $1.20 billion compared with $1.24 billion for the same period a year ago. The decline was driven primarily by a 7 percent decrease in sales within the U.S. Consumer segment, which were $962.5 million. European consumer sales declined 8 percent to $105.3 million, or 2 percent excluding the impact of foreign exchange. Sales in the “Other” segment increased 50 percent to $135.7 million, driven primarily by acquisitions. “Besides the pure benefit of the acquired growth, Hawthorne had an outstanding quarter as each of our hydroponics businesses grew double digits,” Hagedorn said. “On a comparative basis, our hydroponics portfolio grew 22 percent in the second quarter, bringing year-to-date sales growth to 13 percent.” The GAAP and Non-GAAP adjusted gross margin rates in the quarter were 41.7 percent, down 20 basis points from year-ago levels. Favorable commodities and pricing were offset by acquisitions and negative fixed cost leverage. A continued focus on selling, general and administrative expenses (SG&A) led to a decrease of 2 percent to $197.8 million despite the impact of acquisitions. On a company-wide basis, GAAP income from continuing operations was $165.3 million, or $2.73 per diluted share, compared with $225.8 million, or $3.64 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2016. Non-GAAP SLS divestiture adjusted income was $168.7 million, or $2.78 per share, compared with $186.6 million, or $3.00 per share. This latter calculation is the basis of the Company’s earnings guidance. Year-to-Date Details Net sales for the first six months of fiscal 2016 increased 1 percent to $1.45 billion. Sales in the U.S. Consumer segment declined 6 percent to $1.09 billion. Sales for Europe Consumer declined 8 percent to $129.7 million, or declined 2 percent excluding the impact of foreign exchange rates. Sales for the Other segment increased 59 percent to $232.6 million. The GAAP and Non-GAAP adjusted gross margin rates for the first six months were 37.7 percent, compared to 37.4 and 37.8 percent, respectively, in the prior year. SG&A increased 1 percent to $316.9 from $314.2 in the prior year. GAAP income from continuing operations was $101.0 million, or $1.65 per diluted share, compared with $146.6 million, or $2.35 per diluted share. Non-GAAP SLS divestiture adjusted income was $111.1 million, or $1.82 per share, compared with $117.4 million, or $1.88 per share. This latter calculation is the basis of the Company’s earnings guidance. International Transaction and ‘Project Focus’ Update The pending sale of the European and Australian businesses is expected to be the last step in the reconfiguration of the company portfolio under ‘Project Focus,’ which was outlined at the start of fiscal 2016. Assuming the sale is completed, the company’s operating margin is expected to improve by approximately 125 basis points, a significant step toward the Company’s stated goal of 18 percent. The transaction is expected to be dilutive to earnings per share up to $0.20 in fiscal 2017. The Company expects to largely offset that dilution in fiscal 2018 by using the cash proceeds of the transaction for acquisitions and share repurchase activities in both 2017 and 2018. “We are extremely pleased with the transaction we’ve reached with Exponent and see it as the best possible outcome for our shareholders,” said Randy Coleman, chief financial officer. “Going forward, more than 95 percent of our revenue and income will be generated in the United States, where our competitive advantages are the strongest and where our ability to improve cash flow and drive shareholder value is the greatest.” Upon completion of the transaction, the Company intends to change its segment reporting structure to include U.S. Consumer, Hawthorne Gardening Company, and “Other,” which will include Canada, Mexico and legacy supply agreements with third parties. The new segments will likely be reported when the Company announces year-end results in early November. Conference Call and Webcast Scheduled for 9:00 a.m. ET Today, May 2 The Company will discuss results during a webcast and conference call today at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Conference call participants should call 877-518-0009 (Conference Code: 6752971).  A live webcast of the call will be available on the investor relations section of the Company's website at http://investor.scotts.com.  An archive of the webcast, as well as any accompanying financial information regarding any non-GAAP financial measures discussed by the Company during the call, will remain available for at least 12 months. In addition, a replay of the call can be heard by calling 888-203-1112. The replay will be available for 30 days. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements Statements contained in this press release, other than statements of historical fact, which address activities, events and developments that the Company expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future, including, but not limited to, information regarding the future economic performance and financial condition of the Company, the plans and objectives of the Company’s management, and the Company’s assumptions regarding such performance and plans are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified as statements that include phrases such as “guidance,” “outlook,” “projected,” “believe,” “target,” “predict,” “estimate,” “forecast,” “strategy,” “may,” “goal,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “foresee,” “likely,” “will,” “should” or other similar words or phrases. Actual results could differ materially from the forward-looking information in this release due to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to: Additional detailed information concerning a number of the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information contained in this release is readily available in the Company’s publicly filed quarterly, annual and other reports. The Company disclaims any obligation to update developments of these risk factors or to announce publicly any revision to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this release, or to make corrections to reflect future events or developments. (1) Basic income (loss) per common share amounts are calculated by dividing income (loss) from continuing operations, income (loss) from discontinued operations and net income (loss) attributable to controlling interest by the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the period. (2) Diluted income (loss) per common share amounts are calculated by dividing income (loss) from continuing operations, income (loss) from discontinued operations and net income (loss) attributable to controlling interest by the weighted average number of common shares, plus all potential dilutive securities (common stock options, performance shares, performance units, restricted stock and restricted stock units) outstanding during the period. (3) On April 13, 2016, pursuant to the terms of the Contribution and Distribution Agreement, by and among the Company and TruGreen Holding Corporation (“TruGreen Holdings”), the Company completed the contribution of the Scotts LawnService® business (the “SLS Business”) to a newly formed subsidiary of TruGreen Holdings (the “TruGreen Joint Venture”) in exchange for a minority equity interest of 30% in the TruGreen Joint Venture. As a result, effective in its second quarter of fiscal 2016, the Company classified its results of operations for all periods presented to reflect the SLS Business as a discontinued operation and classified the assets and liabilities of the SLS Business as held for sale. The Company’s 30% interest in the TruGreen Joint Venture has been accounted for using the equity method of accounting, with the Company's proportionate share of the TruGreen Joint Venture earnings reflected in the consolidated statements of operations. To supplement the financial measures prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), the Company uses non-GAAP financial measures. The reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable financial measures calculated and presented in accordance with GAAP are shown in the tables above. These non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered in isolation from, or as a substitute for or superior to, financial measures reported in accordance with GAAP. Moreover, these non-GAAP financial measures have limitations in that they do not reflect all the items associated with the operations of the business as determined in accordance with GAAP. Other companies may calculate similarly titled non-GAAP financial measures differently than the Company, limiting the usefulness of those measures for comparative purposes. In addition to GAAP measures, management uses these non-GAAP financial measures to evaluate the Company’s performance, engage in financial and operational planning and determine incentive compensation because it believes that these measures provide additional perspective on and, in some circumstances are more closely correlated to, the performance of the Company’s underlying, ongoing business. Management believes that these non-GAAP financial measures are useful to investors in their assessment of operating performance and the valuation of the Company. In addition, these non-GAAP financial measures address questions routinely received from analysts and investors and, in order to ensure that all investors have access to the same data, management has determined that it is appropriate to make this data available to all investors. Non-GAAP financial measures exclude the impact of certain items (as further described below) and provide supplemental information regarding operating performance. By disclosing these non-GAAP financial measures, management intends to provide investors with a supplemental comparison of operating results and trends for the periods presented. Management believes these measures are also useful to investors as such measures allow investors to evaluate performance using the same metrics that management uses to evaluate past performance and prospects for future performance. Non-GAAP financial measures reflect adjustments based on the following items: The tax effect for each of the items listed above is determined using the tax rate and other tax attributes applicable to the item and the jurisdiction(s) in which the item is recorded. The reconciliations of non-GAAP disclosure items includes the following financial measures that are not calculated in accordance with GAAP and are utilized by management in evaluating the performance of the business, engaging in financial and operational planning, the determination of incentive compensation, and by investors and analysts in evaluating performance of the business: Adjusted gross profit: Gross profit excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries. Adjusted income (loss) from operations: Income (loss) from operations excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries. Adjusted equity in income (loss) of unconsolidated affiliates: Equity in income (loss) of unconsolidated affiliates excluding TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments. Adjusted income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes: Income (loss) from continuing operations before income taxes excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing and TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments. Adjusted income tax expense (benefit) from continuing operations: Income tax expense (benefit) from continuing operations excluding the tax effect of impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing and TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments. Adjusted income (loss) from continuing operations: Income (loss) from continuing operations excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing and TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments, each net of tax. Adjusted net income (loss) attributable to controlling interest from continuing operations: Net income (loss) attributable to controlling interest excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing, TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments and discontinued operations, each net of tax. Adjusted diluted income (loss) per common share from continuing operations: Diluted income (loss) per common share from continuing operations excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing and TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments, each net of tax. SLS Divestiture adjusted income (loss): Net income (loss) from continuing operations excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing and TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments, each net of tax. This measure also includes income (loss) from discontinued operations related to the SLS Business; however, excludes the gain on the contribution of the SLS Business to the TruGreen Joint Venture, each net of tax. SLS Divestiture adjusted income (loss) per common share: Diluted net income (loss) per common share excluding impairment, restructuring and other charges / recoveries, costs related to refinancing and TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments, each net of tax. This measure also includes income (loss) from discontinued operations related to the SLS Business; however, excludes the gain on the contribution of the SLS Business to the TruGreen Joint Venture, each net of tax. Adjusted EBITDA: Net income (loss) before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization as well as certain other items such as the impact of the cumulative effect of changes in accounting, costs associated with debt refinancing and other non-recurring or non-cash items affecting net income (loss). The presentation of adjusted EBITDA is intended to be consistent with the calculation of that measure as required by the Company’s borrowing arrangements, and used to calculate a leverage ratio (maximum of 4.50 at December 31, 2016) and an interest coverage ratio (minimum of 3.00 for the twelve months ended December 31, 2016). For the three and six months ended April 1, 2017, the Company incurred costs of $3.3 million and $4.7 million, respectively, as compared to costs of $1.7 million and $2.6 million for the three and six months ended April 2, 2016, respectively, related to Project Focus transaction activity within the “Impairment, restructuring and other” line in the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations. The Company also incurred TruGreen Joint Venture non-GAAP adjustments of $2.1 million and $11.7 million for the three and six months ended April 1, 2017, respectively, within the “Equity in loss of unconsolidated affiliates” line in the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations. For the three and six months ended April 2, 2016, the Company incurred $1.0 million and $6.4 million, respectively, in costs related to consumer complaints and claims related to the reformulated Bonus® S fertilizer product sold in the southeastern United States during fiscal 2015 within the “Impairment, restructuring and other” and the “Cost of sales—impairment, restructuring and other” lines in the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations. Additionally, the Company recorded offsetting insurance reimbursement recoveries of $50.0 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016 within the “Impairment, restructuring and other” line in the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations. In this earnings release, the Company presents its outlook for fiscal 2017 non-GAAP adjusted EPS. The Company does not provide a GAAP EPS outlook, which is the most directly comparable GAAP measure to non-GAAP adjusted EPS, because changes in the items that the Company excludes from GAAP EPS to calculate non-GAAP adjusted EPS, described above, can be dependent on future events that are less capable of being controlled or reliably predicted by management and are not part of the Company’s routine operating activities. Additionally, due to their unpredictability, management does not forecast the excluded items for internal use and therefore cannot create or rely on a GAAP EPS outlook without unreasonable efforts. The timing and amount of any of the excluded items could significantly impact the Company’s GAAP EPS. As a result, the Company does not provide a reconciliation of guidance for non-GAAP adjusted EPS to GAAP EPS, in reliance on the unreasonable efforts exception provided under Item 10(e)(1)(i)(B) of Regulation S-K. (5) In April 2015, the FASB issued an accounting standard update that requires debt issuance costs related to a recognized debt liability to be presented in the balance sheet as a direct deduction from the corresponding debt liability rather than as an asset; however debt issuance costs relating to revolving credit facilities will remain in other assets. The Company adopted this guidance on a retrospective basis effective October 1, 2016. As a result, debt issuance costs totaling $6.3 million and $6.0 million have been presented as a component of the carrying amount of long-term debt in the Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets as of April 2, 2016 and September 30, 2016, respectively. These amounts were previously reported within other assets.


Miller P.E.,Exponent, Inc. | Perez V.,Exponent, Inc.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2014

Background: Replacement of caloric sweeteners with lower- or nocalorie alternatives may facilitate weight loss or weight maintenance by helping to reduce energy intake; however, past research examining low-calorie sweeteners (LCSs) and body weight has produced mixed results. Objective: The objective was to systematically review and quantitatively evaluate randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and prospective cohort studies, separately, that examined the relation between LCSs and body weight and composition. Design: A systematic literature search identified 15 RCTs and 9 prospective cohort studies that examined LCSs from foods or beverages or LCSs consumed as tabletop sweeteners. Meta-analyses generated weighted mean differences in body weight and composition values between the LCS and control groups among RCTs and weighted mean correlations for LCS intake and these parameters among prospective cohort studies. Results: In RCTs, LCSs modestly but significantly reduced all outcomes examined, including body weight (-0.80 kg; 95% CI: -1.17, -0.43), body mass index [BMI (in kg/m2): -0.24; 95% CI: -0.41, -0.07], fat mass (-1.10 kg; 95% CI: -1.77, -0.44), and waist circumference (-0.83 cm; 95% CI: -1.29, -0.37). Among prospective cohort studies, LCS intake was not associated with body weight or fat mass, but was significantly associated with slightly higher BMI (0.03; 95% CI: 0.01, 0.06). Conclusions: The current meta-analysis provides a rigorous evaluation of the scientific evidence on LCSs and body weight and composition. Findings from observational studies showed no association between LCS intake and body weight or fat mass and a small positive association with BMI; however, data from RCTs, which provide the highest quality of evidence for examining the potentially causal effects of LCS intake, indicate that substituting LCS options for their regular-calorie versions results in a modest weight loss and may be a useful dietary tool to improve compliance with weight loss or weight maintenance plans. © 2014 American Society for Nutrition.


O'Reilly K.T.,Exponent, Inc.
Integrated environmental assessment and management | Year: 2014

A realistic understanding of contaminant sources is required to set appropriate control policy. Forensic chemical methods can be powerful tools in source characterization and identification, but they require a multiple-lines-of-evidence approach. Atmospheric receptor models, such as the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)'s chemical mass balance (CMB), are increasingly being used to evaluate sources of pyrogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in sediments. This paper describes the assumptions underlying receptor models and discusses challenges in complying with these assumptions in practice. Given the variability within, and the similarity among, pyrogenic PAH source types, model outputs are sensitive to specific inputs, and parsing among some source types may not be possible. Although still useful for identifying potential sources, the technical specialist applying these methods must describe both the results and their inherent uncertainties in a way that is understandable to nontechnical policy makers. The authors present an example case study concerning an investigation of a class of parking-lot sealers as a significant source of PAHs in urban sediment. Principal component analysis is used to evaluate published CMB model inputs and outputs. Targeted analyses of 2 areas where bans have been implemented are included. The results do not support the claim that parking-lot sealers are a significant source of PAHs in urban sediments. © 2013 SETAC.


O'Reilly K.,Exponent, Inc.
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2014

The claim made in the title of Witter et al. (2014) "Coal-tar-based sealcoated pavement: A major PAH source to urban stream sediments" is not supported by the data presented. The author's use of Pearson correlation coefficients is insufficient to indicate causation. The application of spatial analysis and principle component analysis did not include sealer specific inputs, so provides no basis for the claim. To test the hypothesis that sealers are a source of PAHs in the stream studied, EPA's Chemical Mass Balance (CMB) source evaluation model was applied to Witter's sediment data. CMB found an excellent fit (R2 > 0.999) between measured and modeled PAH concentrations when sealers were not included as a potential source. This finding does not support Witter et al. (2014) claim that sealers are a major source of PAHs. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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