G.M.A.: Healthier products on the rise

by Staff
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WASHINGTON — Between 2002 and 2009, food and beverage companies developed and introduced more than 20,000 new healthier product choices, according to the results of the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s 2010 Health and Wellness survey.

The survey found food and beverage companies eliminated or reduced trans fat in more than 10,000 products, eliminated or reduced saturated fat in more than 6,600 products, reduced sugar and carbohydrates in more than 3,700 products, reduced the calorie content of more than 3,500 products, and reduced sodium in more than 3,000 products.

“This data is a reflection of what consumers already know,” said Pamela G. Bailey, president and chief executive officer of the G.MA. “Food and beverage companies are responding to consumer needs by providing thousands of healthier product choices that make it easier for shoppers to build a healthy diet for them and their families.”

The survey also found 93% of participant companies are developing, introducing and marketing healthier products, 91% are actively promoting healthy lifestyles in the marketplace, 52% have created child-specific product sizes, and 49% have introduced single-serve packaging such as 100-calorie packs. In addition, these companies have spent more than $130 million in nutrition and health-related activities and grants to communities, and 98% of companies have workplace wellness programs for their employees.

“G.M.A. and its member companies fully support First Lady Michelle Obama’s goal of solving childhood obesity within a generation, and these results show that our industry is committed to helping Americans lead healthier lives,” Ms. Bailey said.
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