Beverage calorie reduction program launched

20 Oct 2016

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and America’s beverage companies have announced that work will begin on the Balance Calories Community Initiative, a focused effort to help people reduce the calories they get from beverages.

Beverage calorie reduction program launched

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and America’s beverage companies have announced that work will begin in Montgomery and Lowndes Counties on the Balance Calories Community Initiative, a focused effort to help people reduce the calories and sugar they get from beverages. By working to change behaviour within these communities, the initiative aims to help reduce beverage calories consumed per person in the USA by 20% by 2025 – the single-largest voluntary effort by an industry to combat obesity, the organisations claim.

The Community Initiative is a targeted component of the national agreement reached in 2014 by the Alliance, The Coca-Cola Company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, PepsiCo and the American Beverage Association to cut calories and sugar from beverages in the American diet. Communities with high obesity rates have been specifically selected to participate in this initiative in an effort to gain new insights into the marketing and distribution of smaller portion and low- and no-calorie options in areas where the obesity challenge is the greatest.

The Community Initiative will, said the organisations, bring an aggressive, multi-pronged approach in communities where beverage calorie reduction has lagged behind the national trend.

"In the effort to curb the obesity epidemic in the United States, it is critical to reduce the number of calories consumed through beverages,” said Dr. Howell Wechsler, CEO of the Alliance. “Focusing efforts in the Montgomery area, where we see some of the highest obesity rates in the country, is a tremendous step forward. We applaud the beverage industry for focusing on these communities and look forward to working closely with them to track and evaluate the impact of this work.”

“We’re eager to take our Community Initiative into Montgomery and Lowndes Counties to see how we can drive changes that help people reduce their beverage calories and achieve more balance,” said Susan Neely, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association. “Our companies are putting competition aside and going into communities where the obesity challenge is the greatest to put forward solutions that will make a real difference in peoples’ lives.”