GMA Responds to “Fed Up”

Thank you for visiting our site to learn more about the issues featured in the film “Fed Up.”  At the Grocery Manufacturers Association, we believe the challenges featured in the film are important issues that we, as an industry, have been working aggressively to address.

For more than 100 years, America’s food industry has been a staple of America—trusted by generations of families to provide products that are affordable, time-saving, nutritious and well-balanced.

This is a responsibility that we take seriously and will never forget.

American food manufacturers now produce more than 39,000 different products, accommodating the vast variety of taste, cultural and dietary needs of America’s families.

Whether it is new packaging or new ways to prepare our products, or introducing low sodium, low fat and organic foods, we are constantly working to provide the products that empower all consumers to make the choices that are right for them and their families.

America’s food and beverage companies enthusiastically support First Lady Michelle Obama’s goal of solving childhood obesity within a generation, and recognize that the challenge of reducing obesity is one that requires everyone to do their part.  For the food and beverage industry, this means constantly working to increase transparency and provide consumers—especially parents—with healthier options and the information they need to maintain a healthy diet and active lifestyle.

GMA Answers Your Questions about "Fed Up"

Who is the Food Industry?

For the past 100 years, America’s packaged food industry has been a staple of America—and your community. We employ 1.4 million workers in the production of your food, or 12 percent of all U.S. manufacturing jobs, making us the largest employer in the manufacturing sector.  In total, the food industry from farm to fork supports more than 15 million American jobs.

America’s packaged food industry is one of America’s truly homegrown and homemade industries. Our employees are your friends, your family and your neighbors. The trust you place in us is something we take very seriously and will never forget.

To learn more about our impact in local communities throughout the country, continue reading here.

Who is the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation?

We helped launch the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, a CEO-led organization, in 2009 because we believed we needed a national, multi-year effort designed to help reduce obesity–especially childhood obesity.

This coalition is the first of it’s kind—bringing together more than 250 retailers, food and beverage companies, restaurants, sporting goods and insurance companies, trade associations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and professional sports organizations to tackle this important challenge. We joined this effort because we enthusiastically support and agree with First Lady Michelle Obama’s efforts to end childhood obesity within the next generation.

The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) promotes ways to help people achieve a healthy weight through energy balance–calories in and calories out. It focuses its efforts on two critical areas—families and schools.

To learn more about the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and the work they’re doing, keep reading.

What are you doing to combat obesity in America?

We all have a role to play in reducing obesity. For the food and beverage industry, this means constantly working to provide healthier options and increase transparency about ingredients and nutritional value so that consumers – especially parents – can make informed choices for their families and maintain a healthy diet and active lifestyle.

  • Since 2002, we have introduced more than 20,000 new product choices with fewer calories, reduced fat, sodium and sugar, and more whole grains.
  • Through the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, we have removed 6.4 trillion calories from the U.S. marketplace since 2007. That translates to a reduction of 78 calories per person, per day, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  This is a significant milestone when you consider that researchers estimate a reduction of 64 calories per person, per day could help reverse childhood obesity trends.
  • We launched Facts Up Front in January 2011, a landmark voluntary front-of-pack nutrition labeling system designed to help busy consumers – especially parents – make informed decisions about their food choices when they shop.
  • Food and beverage companies contribute more than $130 million per year in grants to nutrition and health-related programs in hundreds of communities across the United States.

Want to know more about our work to combat obesity? Keep reading.

How are food companies changing the way they promote their products?

America’s food and beverage companies have implemented voluntary changes to our advertising practices that have dramatically changed the marketing landscape and vastly improved the messages we send to children about food and nutrition.

  • Working through the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), we have voluntarily adopted strict advertising criteria so that virtually 100 percent of CFBAI members’ ads seen on children’s programming now promote healthier diet choices and better-for-you products.  A December 2012 report by the Federal Trade Commission affirmed that the food industry’s self-regulatory program is working.
  • GMA’s member companies are also committed to providing children with healthier meals in schools, supporting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) recently revised nutrition standards for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.   
  • Beverage companies have voluntarily removed full-calorie soft drinks from schools, helping cut  total calories available from beverages in schools by 90 percent.

Want to know more about our commitment to responsible marketing? Click here.