PRINCETON, N.J. — Food and beverage manufacturers in the United States exceeded the goal to remove calories from their products by 400%, according to a new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The report found that 16 food and beverage companies sold 6.4 trillion fewer calories in 2012 than in 2007; the companies, which together produce 36% of the calories from all packaged foods and beverages, had pledged to work with the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation to remove 1 trillion during that time frame and 1.5 trillion by 2015. Collectively, the companies sold 60.4 trillion calories in 2007 and 54 trillion in 2012, resulting in a reduction of 78 calories per person in the United States each day. The partnership between the HWCF and the manufacturers represented the first effort to track all they sold in the United States.
"It's extremely encouraging to hear that these leading companies appear to have substantially exceeded their calorie-reduction pledge," RWJF Health Group SVP and director James Marks said. "They must sustain that reduction, as they've pledged to do, and other food companies should follow their lead to give Americans the lower-calorie foods and beverages they want."
The HWCF was formed in October 2009 when more than 40 of the country's largest retailers, food and beverage manufacturers and non-profit groups partnered to reduce obesity, particularly in children, by 2015.
Participating companies include Unilever, Bumble Bee Foods, Campbell Soup Co., PepsiCo, Nestle, the Coca-Cola Co., The Hershey Co. and others.