Beverage companies commit to cutting calories

by Max Sosland
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By 2025, the beverage companies are looking to cut the amount of beverage calories consumed per person by 20%.

 

NEW YORK — The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, has announced a new agreement with the American Beverage Association, The Coca Cola Co., Dr Pepper Snapple Group and PepsiCo, Inc. to lower beverage calories in the American diet.

President Bill Clinton, founder of the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation; Susan Neely, president and chief executive officer of the American Beverage Association; and Howell Wechsler, chief executive officer of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, announced the Clinton Global Initiative (C.G.I.) Commitment on Sept. 23 at the 2014 C.G.I. annual meeting in New York City.

“I am excited about the potential of this voluntary commitment by the beverage industry,” President Clinton said. “It can be a critical step in our ongoing fight against obesity. Our work with beverage companies to reduce the number of calories shipped to schools by 90% demonstrates the power of creative cooperation. We look forward to continuing to work together to achieve the goals outlined in this commitment.”

By 2025, the beverage companies are looking to cut the amount of beverage calories consumed per person by 20%. To achieve the goal, beverage companies will take two approaches: a national and community approach.

Through the national initiative, the companies plan to increase and sustain customer interest in and access to beverage options to help reduce calories consumed. Such options include water, smaller portion sizes and no- or lower-calorie beverages.

Through the community initiative, beverage companies will focus their efforts in communities where there has been less interest in and/or access to options that help consumers reduce their calories.

“This is the single-largest voluntary effort by an industry to help fight obesity and leverages our companies’ greatest strengths in marketing, innovation and distribution,” Ms. Neely said. “This initiative will help transform the beverage landscape in America. It takes our efforts to provide consumers with more choices, smaller portions and fewer calories to an ambitious new level. We’re proud to continue our successful partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and President Clinton and further our commitment to bring meaningful solutions to families and communities nationwide.”

The beverage companies will retain an independent, third-party evaluator to track the progress of the effort.
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