The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and America's beverage companies recently announced that work has begun in the Mississippi Delta as part of the Balance Calories Initiative, a focused effort to help people reduce the calories and sugar they get from beverages. With this initiative, beverage companies are putting competition aside and going to communities across the country where the obesity challenge is the greatest to help drive behavior change and improve America’s health.

According to the Clarksdale Press-Register, elected officials, including Clarksdale, Miss., Mayor Bill Luckett, were on hand to kick-off the initiative at a Clarksdale small business. Expressing his support for the initiative, Mayor Luckett said, “We are happy they are working here.”

The companies will use tailored tools that combine their strengths in marketing, innovation and distribution to overcome barriers to consumption of no- and low-calorie and smaller-portion beverage choices. Each company will implement its own strategy with the best strategies being applied elsewhere in Mississippi as well as other cities where they might work.

Also speaking at the launch, Alliance for a Healthier Generation CEO Howard Wechsler said, “The beverage industry is committed to working hard in the Delta…”

And he is right. America’s beverage companies are rolling up their sleeves and doing the hard work of driving real and lasting change that will lead to healthier communities. To learn more about our efforts in the Mississippi Delta click here.