On Monday, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and America’s beverage companies announced that work will begin in Coahoma, Panola, Quitman and Tunica Counties on the Balance Calories Initiative, a focused effort to help people reduce the calories and sugar they get from beverages.

Each of these counties are facing high rates of obesity and lack the beverage options and information needed to achieve a balanced lifestyle. They have been specifically selected to participate in this initiative in an effort to gain new insights into the marketing and distribution of smaller portion and low- and no-calorie options in areas where the obesity challenge is the greatest.

The kick-off was held in Clarksdale, Miss., with beverage company representatives, along with ABA President and CEO Susan Neely, Alliance for a Healthier Generation CEO Dr. Howell Wechsler, local Alliance representative Valeria Hawkins, Clarksdale Mayor Bill Luckett, State Representative Orlando Paden, State Senator Robert Jackson and North Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley.

“Many of us need to achieve more balanced lifestyles. By working together with these fine organizations, we can help our citizens be more informed about the beverage calories they consume,” said Mayor Bill Luckett.

We look forward to working with the local community partners in the Mississippi Delta to do our part to improve the health of people living in these communities.