Leading food and beverage manufacturers including the likes of Kellogg’s, Kraft Foods Group/ Mondelez and The Coca-Cola Company have sold 6.4 trillion less calories in 2012 than they did in 2007 according to a recent independent evaluation.
Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the evaluation found that members of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (which includes 16 of America’s largest food and beverage manufacturers) exceeded their commitment to remove 1.5 trillion calories by 2015 by over 400 percent.
The initiative has equated to a reduction of 78 calories per person per day in the US, marking the first time that calories sold by major companies in the US marketplace have been tracked.
“It’s extremely encouraging to hear that these leading companies appear to have substantially exceeded their calorie-reduction pledge,” said James S. Marks, MD, senior vice president and director of the Health Group at RWJF. “They must sustain that reduction, as they’ve pledged to do, and other food companies should follow their lead to give Americans the lower-calorie foods and beverages they want.”
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill combined data on foods and beverages sold by the participating companies, using the nutritional information of those products – all of which is available publicly or commercially.
“The companies whose sales we analyzed have a big influence over the foods and beverages almost every American eats and drinks every day,” said Barry Popkin, professor in the School of Public Health at UNC, who is leading the evaluation team. “The evaluation system we’ve created will enable to us to determine how changes to what’s sold influences what people consume.”
A full, peer-reviewed study is expected to be published later in the year.
The full list of companies committed to the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation pledge include
- Bumble Bee Foods, LLC
- Campbell Soup Company
- ConAgra Foods (includes Ralston Foods)
- General Mills, Inc.
- Hillshire Brands (previously Sara Lee Corporation)
- Kellogg Company
- Kraft Foods Group/Mondelez
- Mars, Incorporated
- McCormick & Company, Inc.
- Nestlé USA
- PepsiCo, Inc.
- Post Foods
- The Coca-Cola Company
- The Hershey Company
- The J.M. Smucker Company