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More Than 1.5 Trillion Reasons Why Good Things Happen When We Work Together

By:  Sandy Douglas May 31, 2013
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More than 1.5 trillion reasons why good things happen when we work together

(L-R) Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, Lisa Gable President of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation and Hank Cardello Senior Fellow and Director, Obesity Solutions Initiative at the Hudson Institute participate in a panel at the Bipartisan Policy Center on May 30, 2013 discussing the industry meeting their goal of reducing 1.5 trillion calories from the marketplace three years early.

Yesterday, America’s top food and beverage manufacturers announced an important milestone:  more than 1.5 trillion calories have been removed from the U.S. marketplace.  This achievement is the result of efforts made by the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF), a coalition of 16 food and beverage corporate partners, including The Coca-Cola Company, and over 230 organizations, who are working together to help reduce obesity, especially childhood obesity. 

Numbers like 1.5 trillion are usually associated with negative things like deficits or costs to taxpayers. But this time, it’s a really good number. In real terms, this number means more than 1,500,000,000,000 calories are no longer a part of our supermarket shelves. 

At The Coca-Cola Company, we’ve long felt passionately about helping people understand calorie (energy) balance, the practice of balancing calories consumed from foods and beverages with those burned through physical activity. This is because experts tell us a calorie imbalance is a fundamental factor contributing to the nation’s obesity problem.  

Three years ago, we were proud to partner with our industry peers and other food companies to help reduce calories in the U.S. marketplace.  By collaborating together, we’ve been able to provide people with more low- and no-calorie options, and introduce smaller packages. Each of us working toward these goals help people to enjoy foods and drinks they love, while better managing calories.

As a beverage company, we have a unique opportunity to contribute to the HWCF initiative. Namely, we are among the few categories that can create a zero calorie product, such as Diet Coke and Coca-Cola Zero.  Today, we’re proud to offer more than 180 low- and no-calorie options in the United States. We’ve also steadily expanded the availability of our 7.5 ounce mini cans across the country. All these portion-controlled packages of our most popular brands contain 100 calories or fewer.

Our efforts do not stop with our products. We also focus on the other side of the calorie balance equation: helping people get active and moving.  Just two weeks ago, we kicked off “Get The Ball Rolling”, a goal we’ve set to inspire 3 million Americans to rediscover the joy of being active this summer.  From encouraging people to get active in their favorite parks to distributing exercise balls and fitness trackers – we’re helping remind everyone that activity is not just healthy, it’s fun.

Obesity is a problem that will not be solved overnight or by any one group. But today’s milestone exemplifies the progress that can be gained when businesses, experts and society come together. By each taking concerted strides in the same direction, we can make what seems unfathomable a reality.

To learn more about our efforts to address obesity, visit www.ComingTogether.com

Sandy Douglas is SVP & Global Chief Customer Officer for The Coca-Cola Company. Sandy has served on the Board of Governors for the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation since its inception in 2009.