Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A pledge to combat childhood obesity -- is it for real?

It's all over the news today -- that an alliance of food manufacturers have agreed to introduce healthier foods, cut calories in existing products, and generally behave like responsible partners in Michele Obama's high-profile campaign against childhood obesity.

Here's a portion of the Washington Post's article about this move:

The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, a coalition including Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Kellogg, Kraft Foods and PepsiCo, will slash 1 trillion calories by the end of 2012 and 1.5 trillion calories by the end of 2015. The 16 members make 20-25 percent of food consumed in the United States.

"This is precisely the kind of real private-sector commitment that we need. And I hope that more will follow the example that they've set," Obama said at a news conference at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

It's not clear whether the food manufacturers have acted in good faith. While some observers think that the move is a sincere effort to get on board with improving our food system and our health, others are more skeptical. Back to the Post:

Some public-health advocates questioned the industry's motives, saying the growing awareness about obesity has increased demand for more healthful products. "My guess is that they were going to do this anyway," said Kelly Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University. "The hidden motive here is to convince government to back off and not regulate the industry."

Time will tell, I guess.

1 comment:

  1. Is "cutting" calories going to help? or is it the fact that these foods are just plain bad for you to begin with, like sodas and all the sugars in foods.

    How about spearheading the idea, like WAT-AAH: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=BC3796CB622E57BB