U.S. food industry is willing to let the White House take the lead on making
foods healthier in schools, but said on Friday it could improve what is sold on
store shelves without government intervention.
school environment is a special environment where having a government play a
role in setting the standards for what's sold makes sense," Scott Faber, a
vice president at the Grocery Manufacturers Association, told reporters.
think the public marketplace is a different environment," he said.
Obama administration has launched an initiative, led by first lady Michelle
Obama, to combat growing levels of obesity among children. She has urged food
makers to work faster to reformulate or repackage food to make it healthier for
respect our ability to find ways to produce more products that offer consumers
more choices including choices with less sodium, less sugar, less fat,"
food industry group said its members improved the nutritional value of more
than 10,000 products between 2002 and 2006 and plans in May to update that
total to include changes through 2009.
separate initiative called the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation -- which
includes many GMA members -- will announce pledges to improve the health
content of its products later this month.
rates among U.S. children have doubled in the past 20 years, and almost a third
of American children are either overweight or obese.
causes a host of health problems such as heart disease and diabetes and costs
the United States an estimated $150 billion each year, according to U.S.
heard from consumers and you can see this in the companies in terms of how
they've changed their recipes," said Pamela Bailey, president and chief
executive of GMA.
an effort not to miss the lucrative push toward healthier foods, major food
manufacturers have recently changed some popular products.
Foods, the maker of Oreo cookies and Velveeta cheese, announced it would cut
sodium levels in its North American products by about 10 percent over the next
two years -- eliminating more than 750 million teaspoons of salt.
the world's No. 2 soft-drink maker, vowed in March to cut the levels of salt,
sugar and saturated fats in its top-selling products by 2020.