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Food, beverage companies slash calories in obesity fight

Published on Jan 10, 2014 6:09 AM
 
Velveeta cheese is shown on Jan 8, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. The world's largest food and beverage companies have far exceeded a five-year goal set in 2010 to fight obesity by removing trillions of calories from products sold in the United States, according to an independent evaluation released on Thursday. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - The world's largest food and beverage companies have far exceeded a five-year goal set in 2010 to fight obesity by removing trillions of calories from products sold in the United States, according to an independent evaluation released on Thursday.

In May 2010, 16 of the biggest food and beverage companies, from Coca-Cola Co to Kraft Foods Group, pledged to remove 1 trillion calories from the US marketplace by 2012 and 1.5 trillion by 2015, compared with a 2007 baseline. In fact, as of 2012 they sold 6.4 trillion fewer calories, found an analysis by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC).

The companies say they accomplished this through changes ranging from reducing the sugar in chocolate-milk powder to introducing more ice-cream products with built-in portion control.

"Reports like this, and the fact that they exceeded their commitment by four-fold, really shows that you can make progress in giving American families more healthy options," said Mr Larry Soler, president of the Partnership for a Healthier America, a non-profit chaired by first lady Michelle Obama. The group was formed in 2010 to work with the private sector on anti-obesity strategies.

 
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