SPARKS, Md., July 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The McCormick Science Institute, an independent research arm of McCormick & Company, Inc. (NYSE: MKC), hosted the sixth annual Scientific Advisory Council meeting in June, the first in the UK. Underscoring McCormick's strategy to inspire healthy choices, the group focused on weight management, reviewing recent clinical and behavioral research on the potential benefits of culinary herbs and spices. MSI's Scientific Advisory Council is a group of thirteen internationally-renowned scientists and health professionals who guide the MSI in its mission. (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120709/PH36683 ) James Hill, PhD, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, started the discussions with his thesis on making small changes to address obesity. Hill noted that the average adult gains one to two pounds each year and small changes, including eating spices that increase satiety and walking an additional 2,000 steps per day may be beneficial and sustainable over time. He urged the group to do additional research on spices to clinically assess their potential benefits in weight management. Margriet Westerterp-Plantega, PhD, Maastricht University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, presented research findings on the effects of red pepper (which contains capsaicin) in diets designed to meet energy needs in energy-balance as well as energy-restricted diets on satiety, substrate oxidation and energy expenditure. Westerterp-Plantega plans to publish the findings later this year. "There is no question that obesity is a serious problem on a global scale," said Hamed Faridi, head of MSI and McCormick & Company's Chief Science Officer. "The McCormick Science Institute focuses its efforts on areas we believe have – or will have – impact on public health. The war on obesity is a serious one and understanding the potential benefits of herbs and spices to help is an area in which we will continue to invest." Hamed Faridi also presented Elvira de Mejia, PhD of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with the MSI Research award at the meeting. De Mejia's research focused on the compounds in herbs, spices and herbal tea – especially those found in her native Mexico and other Latin American countries – and their potential health benefits. De Mejia is the fifth winner of this award. About MSI The McCormick Science Institute (MSI) is an independent research organization whose mission is to advance scientific knowledge on the potential health benefits of culinary spices and herbs. MSI funds new research at leading universities and institutions; provides characterized spice/herb samples for use in clinical studies, and helps disseminate information on the health-enhancing properties of culinary spices and herbs.