Sixteen food & beverage processors, who make up the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF), pledged in May to introduce lower-calorie options, lower the calories of current products and reduce single-serve portion sizes, all in an effort to reduce the calories customers consume by 1.5 trillion calories by 2015.
These calorie reductions are in comparison with what was available in the marketplace in 2008.
Signatories included, Bumble Bee Foods, Campbell Soup Co., Coca-Cola, ConAgra Foods, General Mills, Hershey, J.M. Smucker Co., Kellogg, Kraft Foods, Mars, McCormick & Co., Nestle USA, PepsiCo, Post Foods/Ralston Foods LLC, Sara Lee Corp. and Unilever USA.
The commitment was made to the Partnership for a Healthier America, an independent, non-partisan organization that is working to develop specific goals of the Let's Move! campaign to curb child obesity. That campaign was started in February by First Lady Michelle Obama, who is the honorary chair of Partnership for a Healthier America. Mrs. Obama addressed a meeting of the Grocery Manufacturers Assn. on the subject of childhood obesity in March.
Under the terms of the agreement, HWCF (www.healthyweightcommit.org) will report annually to the partnership on the processors' progress. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, will support an independent evaluation of how HWCF's efforts are affecting calories consumed by children and adolescents.
"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 Co. "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."