US/World

'Consumer Demand' Leads Big Food To Change Its Ways; Calories In Food Sales Drop By 1.5 Trillion

Soda
Women who drank sodas regularly had an 83 percent increased risk for an ischemic stroke. Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

The top food and beverage companies in the United States have successfully tamed the growing concern over calorie intake in the marketplace.

According to an announcement by the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF), 16 food and beverage companies partnered with the HWCF and the First Lady's Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA), and exceeded their goal of reducing calorie counts by 1.5 trillion for 2015.

"We continue to thank the First Lady for her leadership in calling for national action to end childhood obesity," said Lisa Gable, president of the HWCF. "In 2010 we pledged that we would reduce calories in the marketplace and we have delivered on that promise."

This announcement comes not even a week after a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that the number of U.S. children consuming high-calorie soda has been substantially reduced. CDC statistics noted a 15.21 percent to 14.94 percent decrease in childhood obesity prevalence between 2003 and 2010. 

Back in 2010, the HWCF was established as a multi-year initiative aimed toward significantly reducing national obesity statistics by 2015. The foundation has also localized its efforts through families and schools by using a separate campaign called Together Counts.

"Today's report from the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) 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.

 "HWCF was one of the first organizations to sign on with PHA, which is committed to working with the private sector to help end the childhood obesity crisis within a generation. Our partners know that a commitment made is a commitment kept - it's part of what makes them leaders and worthy of praise. So 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."

The HWCF report also stated that this dramatic turnaround is attributed to the substitution of high-calorie and sugar-based foods with healthier but still tasty options.

Sixteen food and beverage companies partnered with the HWCF and the PHA:

Bumble Bee Foods, LLC
Campbell Soup Company
ConAgra Foods
General Mills, Inc.
Kellogg Company
Kraft Foods, Inc.
Mars, Incorporated
McCormick & Company, Inc.
Nestlé USA
PepsiCo
Post Foods/Ralston Foods, LLC
Sara Lee Corporation
The Coca-Cola Company
The Hershey Company
The J.M. Smucker Company
Unilever

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