GMA Press Contact
Brian Kennedy / Roger Lowe
office: 202-639-5994 / 202-295- 3954
(Washington, D.C.) “America’s food and beverage companies have a strong track record when it comes to providing consumers with the innovative products, tools and information they need to construct a healthy diet. Our industry strongly supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s goal of solving childhood obesity within a generation and her Let’s Move anti-childhood obesity initiative, and our companies are doing our part to promote a healthy lifestyle in the marketplace, in schools and in the workplace.
“Since 2002, GMA member companies have introduced more than 20,000 products with fewer calories and reduced fat, sugar and sodium. Through the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, food and beverage companies have pledged to remove 1.5 trillion calories from the food supply by 2015. And by applying nutrition criteria to our advertising policies, two thirds of the products advertised during children’s programming now feature healthier products and/or healthy lifestyle messages.
“As another example of our industry’s commitment to promoting a healthy diet, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute last week launched Nutrition Keys, a front-of-pack nutrition labeling initiative that will help consumers make informed decisions when they shop. Combined with the many innovative nutrition information programs implemented in recent years, consumers now have access to more nutrition information about their food than ever before – on products, in stores and on-line.
“The federal government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans serve as the foundation of our nation’s dietary advice and are an invaluable tool for informing consumers about proper diet and nutrition.
“We welcome today’s release of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and applaud its focus on calorie balance for weight management and nutrient dense eating patterns as important concepts in helping Americans build a healthy lifestyle.
“GMA supports the federal government’s recommendation of no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily for the general population, and recognizes that certain sensitive segments of the population should consume even less sodium on a daily basis.
“The food industry is committed to continuing to reduce the sodium content in thousands of products to help consumers achieve these sodium intake reductions. For years, food companies have been introducing a wide variety of new products into the marketplace containing no sodium or low sodium, or with no added salt. During that time, food companies have also been very successful at making incremental reductions in sodium levels in food products that maintain consumer taste preferences.
“Food companies take health and wellness very seriously and will continue to take great strides to provide consumers with food choices and information that will help them build diets aligned with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and reduce obesity.”
Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies that sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe.
Founded in 1908, GMA is an active, vocal advocate for its member companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and the products consumers rely on and enjoy every day. The association and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of consumers through product innovation, responsible business practices and effective public policy solutions developed through a genuine partnership with policymakers and other stakeholders.
In keeping with its founding principles, GMA helps its members produce safe products through a strong and ongoing commitment to scientific research, testing and evaluation and to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry in the United States generates sales of $2.1 trillion annually, employs 14 million workers and contributes $1 trillion in added value to the economy every year.