Blog: US food and drinks firms claim calorie reduction success

Michelle Russell | 3 June 2013

The 16 food and beverage companies of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) say they have reached a goal to cut 1.5tr calories from food and drinks in the US marketplace by 2015.

The firms, including PepsiCo, Kellogg, Campbell Soup Co and Nestle USA, have made the achievement three years after forming the commitment to the First Lady's Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA).

Separate from Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative, the Partnership for a Healthier America is a non-profit campaign created to combat childhood obesity.

"In 2010 we pledged that we would reduce calories in the marketplace and we have delivered on that promise," said Lisa Gable, president of the HWCF.

Indra Nooyi, HWCF chair, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, added: "Our industry has an important role to play in helping people lead healthy lives and our actions are having a positive impact. We see continued opportunities to give consumers the choices they're looking for and to work collaboratively with the public and non-profit sectors on initiatives that enable continued progress."

Since the World Health Organisation declared obesity an epidemic in 1997, major food and beverage companies have come into the firing line over rising levels of obesity and their contribution to that through the products they offer. There has been a surge by most to offer consumers healthier product ranges, and many have signed up to voluntary schemes such as the Let's Move campaign implemented by the Obama Administration amid the threat of more serious legislation.

US philanthropy group, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, says it is supporting a "rigorous, independent evaluation" to determine whether HWCF has met its calorie-reduction goal in this latest scheme related to tackling US obesity levels.

"Today's report from the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation offers further indication that consumer demand is shifting toward healthier choices. We are pleased that HWCF's participating companies are a key part of this transformation," said Larry Soler, president and CEO of the PHA.

"While HWCF's numbers look positive, we look forward to the findings of the independent evaluation funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which is available in the fall."

Click here to read more about the commitment.


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