This week is National Obesity Week, a chance to reflect on the very real public health problem affecting communities across our nation. Our industry is proud to be doing its part to find solutions.
In 2006, the American Beverage Association partnered with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation on the National School Beverage Guidelines – an initiative to remove full-calorie sodas from schools and replace them with a range of lower-calorie and smaller-portion choices. As a result of this ambitious effort we slashed beverage calories in schools by more than 90 percent and successfully changed the beverage landscape in schools across the country. This voluntary step by the beverage industry later helped form the basis of the beverage component of USDA’s regulations for foods and beverages sold in schools.
Clear on Calories was launched in 2010 and ensures consumers see how many calories they are getting with every can, bottle and pack they buy. Through our Calories Count™ program, consumers can “Check Then Choose” the calories in their beverages before making a purchase. With these two efforts, consumers across America have seen calorie information right on the front of their favorite beverages, helping make the choice that’s right for them. Our industry is also delivering choices by offering a range of beverage options from low- to no- calorie drinks to smaller portions to help Americans find the drink that best fits their lifestyle.
Our biggest initiative to-date is our Balanced Calories Initiative, which we launched last year along with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. We have set a goal to reduce beverage calories consumed per person nationally by 20 percent by 2025, the single-largest voluntary effort by an industry to address obesity.
Obesity can’t be solved by targeting one item in the grocery cart. Instead it is best addressed through education and learning how to balance everything we eat, drink and do. To learn more about the beverage industry’s commitment to fighting obesity, visit DeliveringChoices.org.