Fighting Obesity by Balancing Calories In with Calories Out

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Food and Beverage Manufacturers Pledging to Reduce Annual Calories By 1.5 Trillion By 2015

May 17, 2010

Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation Signs Agreement with the Partnership for a Healthier America

WASHINGTON D.C. – The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) today joined First Lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America in announcing its new pledge to reduce annual calories by 1.5 trillion by the end of 2015, and sustain that level.

Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation manufacturing companies will pursue their calorie reduction goal by developing and introducing lower-calorie options, changing recipes where possible to lower the calorie content of current products, or reducing portion sizes of existing single-serve products. This calorie reduction compares to the level available in the marketplace in 2008.
 
The Partnership for a Healthier America, for which the First Lady serves as honorary chair, is an independent, non-partisan organization that is working to mobilize action around the specific goals of the Let’s Move! campaign to curb child obesity within a generation. 
 
“The First Lady has shown tremendous leadership in calling for national action to end childhood obesity,” said David Mackay, chair of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and CEO of Kellogg Company. “Through this effort, the companies that make up the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation will provide consumers with additional healthier food options that help them achieve and maintain a healthy diet.”
 
The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation is working to promote ways to help Americans achieve healthy weight by balancing the energy (calories) they consume with the energy they expend through physical activity. Today, many Americans are consuming more calories than they expend. Many nutrition and health experts refer to this imbalance as the “energy gap.”
 
The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation initiative will give Americans options to reduce their calorie intake, improve their overall nutrition and close the energy gap.
 
Under the terms of the agreement, the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) will report annually to the Partnership on the progress that we are making toward this pledge.  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, also will support a rigorous, independent evaluation of how the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation’s efforts to reduce calories in the marketplace affect calories consumed by children and adolescents. RWJF will publicly report its findings.
 
As part of their effort to make healthier food available to Americans, Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation members continue to take other steps to enhance the products in their portfolios – including adding vital nutrients such as fiber and whole grains, and fruits and vegetables, and increasing the number of great-tasting, convenient and healthier options in the food supply.  They will continue to meet the consumers’ needs for taste, convenience and value.
 
“America’s food and beverage companies have a strong track record of innovation and providing consumers with healthier products,” said Lisa Gable, executive director of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation. “With this initiative they are moving farther and faster. The Foundation’s member companies are giving Americans tools to reduce calorie consumption.”
 
The Partnership for a Healthier America is working to increase awareness and mobilize the private sector, foundations, thought leaders, media and communities around the effort to curb child obesity within a generation. To learn more about the Partnership, visit www.aHealthierAmerica.org.
 
About the HWCF
The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation is a first-of-its kind coalition that brings together more than 80 retailers, food and beverage manufacturers, sporting goods and insurance companies, trade associations and NGOs.  The calorie-reduction initiative is part of a multi-pronged effort by the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and its members to help American families reduce the calories they consume while increasing the calories they expend. The HWCF has already launched several initiatives, including:
 
  • Partnership in websites with Discovery Education and Meredith Media Company, offering free resources to help parents and teachers address childhood obesity. 
  • Educational initiatives that promote nutrition and a healthier lifestyle –  including providing more information on calories, nutrition and energy balance to consumers, such as offering more than 10,000 healthier recipes on websites and promoting active, healthier living in all media types.
  • Partnership in a website with the National Business Group on Health, offering free resources to help small/midsized companies provide employee wellness programs.
  • Employee wellness programs provided by member companies.
  • Participation in the Healthy Schools Partnership, which promotes nutrition and physical activity education in the schools.
HWCF Manufacturers:
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, Inc.
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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