Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Grocery Manufacturers Association Responds to “Fed Up” Movie






WASHINGTON, DC—The Grocery Manufacturers Association today released the following statement from President and CEO Pamela G. Bailey in response to the film “Fed Up:”
                     
“Our companies have been trusted by generations of families to provide products that are safe, nutritious, affordable, time-saving and well-balanced. This is a responsibility that we take seriously and will never forget.

“We are encouraged by the fact that, earlier this year, CDC studies found childhood obesity had been reduced by as much as 43 percent. But we are constantly focused on moving forward and creating more healthful, affordable options that allow all consumers to make food choices that are right for their children and families.

“Unfortunately, Fed Up provides an inaccurate view of the packaged food industry.  Rather than identifying successful policies or ongoing efforts to find real and practical solutions to obesity, it adopts a short-sighted, confrontational and misleading approach by cherry-picking facts to fit a narrative, getting the facts wrong, and simply ignoring the progress that has been made over the last decade in providing families with healthier options at home and at school.

“Reducing obesity requires everyone to do their part. For the food and beverage industry, this means constantly working to provide consumers—especially parents—with healthier options and the information they need to make choices that are right for their families.
                                                     
“We will continue working across the food industry and with all stakeholders to provide America’s families with food products that are safe, nutritious, affordable, time-saving and well-balanced.”

BACKGROUND

Food manufacturers have taken significant proactive steps to provide consumers with the right information and options to allow them to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
                                                                                                               
Child Nutrition

Full-calorie soft drinks were voluntarily removed from schools and total calories available from beverages in schools have been cut by 90 percent in the last decade.
                                                               
The food industry supported the 2010 Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, which directed the USDA to implement new school nutrition standards to ensure school lunches are nutritious and well balanced. These new school nutrition standards, introduced in 2012, where the first major change in school nutrition standards in more than 15 years and included the following reforms:

Ensured both fruits and vegetables are offered to students each day
Increased consumption of foods that are rich in whole grains
Eliminated full-fat milk options
Limited calories based on the age of children to ensure proper portion size
Increased focus on reducing amounts of saturated fat, trans fats and sodium offered in school meals.

Since 2002, food and beverage companies have contributed more than $130 million in grants to nutrition and health-related programs in hundreds of communities across the United States.

Working through the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), we voluntarily adopted strict nutrition criteria so that 100 percent of CFBAI participants’ ads seen on children’s programming now promote healthier diet choices and better-for-you products.
o A December 2012 report by the Federal Trade Commission affirmed that the food industry’s self-regulatory program is working. [FTC.Gov, 12/21/2012]

Healthy Options and Informed Choices

In January 2011, to help parents make informed decisions when they shop, we began putting key nutrition information on the front of food and beverage packages through our Facts Up Front program.

In 2009, food and beverage CEOs formed the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation to marshal all available resources in an effort to reduce obesity, especially childhood obesity. Through the HWCF, the food industry successfully removed 6.4 trillion calories from the U.S. marketplace since 2007.
o This reduction in calories surpasses the calorie reduction needed to meet the federal government’s Healthy People 2020 childhood obesity reduction goals by nearly 22 percent.
o Additionally, since 2002, the food industry has introduced more than 20,000 new product choices with reduced calories, fat, sodium and sugar.
                                                                                                   

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