The Grocery Manufacturers of America yesterday pledged the food industry's continued support to address the nation's obesity problem noting that physical activity must be part of the solution.

GMA Director of Scientific and Nutrition Policy Lisa Katic, R.D. was a featured speaker on the panel discussion "Children and Obesity: Who's Gaining Ground" at the 2001 National Food Policy Conference sponsored by the Consumer Federation of America Foundation.  Katic said obesity is a complex issue that demands a focus on both healthy eating and physical activity.

"The key to the obesity crisis is the calorie-in calorie-out equation," said Katic. "But solutions are not as simple as the equation might seem."

 Katic noted that the industry is committed to work at the state and federal levels to find innovative ways to address the obesity issue. This includes finding ways to:

  • Incorporate physical activity and nutrition education in our nations schools;
    Encourage people to incorporate physical activity in their daily lives;
  • Educate the public on the connection between calories consumed and calories burned;
  • Raise consumer awareness of standardized serving sizes; and
  • Address the needs of different population subgroups.

Katic concluded by noting that there is still a need to conduct research into behavioral causes of obesity.  "Until we fully understand why people make the choices they do, a solution to the obesity problem will remain elusive."

GMA is the world's largest association of food, beverage and consumer product companies.  With U.S. sales of more than $460 billion, GMA members employ more than 2.5 million workers in all 50 states.  The organization applies legal, scientific and political expertise from its member companies to vital food, nutrition and public policy issues affecting the industry.  Led by a board of 44 Chief Executive Officers, GMA speaks for food and consumer product manufacturers at the state, federal and international levels on legislative and regulatory issues.  The association also leads efforts to increase productivity, efficiency and growth in the food, beverage and consumer products industry.