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Issue Date: Vol. 50, No. 6, June 2010, Posted On: 5/19/2010

Food Makers Promise Calorie Cuts To Support First Lady

Emily Jed
calorie-reduction pledge, Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, Partnership for a Healthier America, Michelle Obama, anti-obesity, vending, vending machine, vending machine business, vending machine foods

WASHINGTON -- The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, a coalition of the nation's leading food and beverage manufacturers, has pledged to remove 1.5 trillion calories from their products by the end of 2015. The undertaking is intended to support anti-obesity campaigns being staged by first lady Michelle Obama and the Partnership for a Healthier America.

Launched last October, HWCF unites more than 80 retailers, food and beverage manufacturers, insurance and trade associations. It focuses on the marketplace, workplaces and schools, and 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.

HWCF member companies include Bumble Bee Foods, Campbell Soup Co., ConAgra Foods, General Mills Inc., Kellogg Co. and Kraft Foods Inc., along with Mars Inc., Nestlé USA, PepsiCo Inc., Sara Lee Corp., Coca-Cola Co., Hershey Co., J.M. Smucker Co. and Unilever. This week, they pledged to develop lower- calorie options, changing recipes where possible to lower the calorie content of current products, or reducing portion sizes of existing single-serve products.

The Partnership for a Healthier America, of which the first lady serves as honorary chair, is an independent, nonpartisan organization that is working to mobilize effort toward the specific goals of the Let's Move! campaign to curb child obesity.

Under the terms of its calorie-reduction pledge, it will report annually to the Partnership for a Healthier America on its progress. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a leading health advocacy organization, will support an independent evaluation of HWCF's efforts and publicly report its findings.

HWCF has already launched several initiatives, including partnership in a website with the National Business Group on Health, offering free resources to help small and midsize companies provide employee wellness programs, and participation in the Healthy Schools Partnership, which promotes nutrition and physical activity education in the schools.

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