Bruce Rohde, ConAgra chairman and chief executive officer, represented the food industry today at the National Nutrition Summit held in Washington, D.C. Speaking during a session entitled “Agenda for Action in the 21st Century,” Rohde encouraged the nation to join the food industry in promoting healthy habits and healthy lifestyles.
The industry leader noted that as a nation we have made significant progress in nutrition and health, yet we seem to have created a personal “energy crisis” in which we do not squander energy, but we do not expend enough of it. Rohde said, “Even though the food available to us is nutritious, we are expending too few of the calories we consume.”
In addition, he said that diet, physical activity and health are often viewed as independent issues. “Amazingly, some people exercise religiously, but pay little attention to the composition of their total diet. And for many of us, conflicting messages from experts and countless contradictory studies have made nutrition too complicated and caused the public to tune out.”
Rohde, chairman of the company that created the “Healthy Choice” brand 10 years ago, said, “It is obvious that a change is needed. We need to have a society that views nutrition, fitness and health collectively. We need to create a culture of health that encourages consumers to develop individual diet and exercise plans that will help prevent disease, promote lifelong vigor, maximize life span and enhance the quality of everyday living.”
ConAgra’s chairman said that creating change will demand a concerted effort by many sectors — that includes the food industry, the nutrition and fitness communities, organized medicine and public health, the communications industry and government.
Specifically, he said that the food industry can:
“We will have accomplished a great deal if we can say that at this Summit is where we took the first steps toward creating a new American way of living… including a balance of sound dietary choices and physical activity… a way of living that embraces healthfulness not as a duty or a chore, but as a path to a richer, fuller quality of life.”
ConAgra, Inc., a $25 billion food company, is the largest supplier of products to foodservice channels in North America and the second largest supplier to retail channels.
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