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Will a Trillion Less Calories Reverse Obesity Epidemic?

The childhood obesity epidemic is on the rise and on the minds of food makers. Recently many of the nation’s largest food companies said they will reduce the calorie counts of their products by more than 1.5 trillion calories in order to stem the rising national problem. In conjunction with Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign against childhood obesity, the companies made the announcement through the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, which is a coalition of retailers, food and beverage manufacturers and industry trade associations.

A spokesman for the foundation said the companies will introduce lower-calorie foods, change product recipes and reduce portion sizes to achieve their goal. Mrs. Obama has urged everyone involved to find ways to create healthier products by reducing fats and sugar and increase nutrients in foods. She urged companies to avoid falsely labeling foods as healthier when reducing fat is accomplished by adding sugar and avoiding similar policies of deceit.

The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation has more than 80 members, including General Mills Inc., ConAgra Foods Inc., Kraft Foods Inc., Kellogg Co., Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc. and Hershey Co.

“We’re confident their commitment to this cause is sincere and measurable – and thus has real potential for impact,” says Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “What remains unknown is what effect it will have on efforts to prevent childhood obesity.”

There are some doubts about how effective this initiative can be. Stay tuned for more on this major development.

May 25th, 2010

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