Washington, DC—The Grocery Manufacturers Association today released the following statement from Sean McBride, executive vice president of communications and membership, in response to the recently released film “Fed Up:”
“Our companies have been 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.
“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.”
Over the last decade, the food and beverage industry has taken significant proactive measures to provide consumers with more options and expanded information that allows them to make informed dietary choices for themselves and their families.
- Since 2002, we have introduced more than 20,000 new product choices wiith fewer calories, reduced fat, sodium and sugar, and more whole grains.
- Through the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF), we have removed 6.4 trillion calories from the U.S. marketplace since 2007.
- The 6.4 million calorie decline translates to a reduction of 78 calories per person, per day in the U.S., according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which served as the independent evaluator of the HWCF’s calorie reduction efforts.
- The potential impact of the calorie reductions achieved by HWCF companies is significant. According to Wang, et al. (Am J Prev Med 2012; 42(5): 437-444), a net reduction of 64 calories per person, per day among U.S. children would achieve the federal government’s Healthy People 2020 childhood obesity reduction goals.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Full-calorie soft drinks were voluntarily removed from schools and total calories available from beverages in schools have been cut by 90 percent.
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.