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.”
For a detailed fact-check of the inaccuracies portrayed in “Fed Up,” visit www.fedupfacts.com.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Additionally, since 2002, the food industry has introduced more than 20,000 new product choices with reduced calories, fat, sodium and sugar.
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.
Source: Grocery Manufacturers Association