Michelle Obama's childhood anti-obesity campaign stood out strong yesterday when a coalition of major food manufacturers, including Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola, Kellogg, Kraft Foods and PepsiCo agreed to introduce healthier food alternatives, and cut down calories in existing products. In fact, they have agreed to cut out 1.5 trillion calories by the year 2015.
"Today's announcement represents an important step forward to providing Americans with healthier choices so that they can choose to lead healthier lives," Obama said. "This is precisely the kind of private sector commitment we need."
David Mackay, who is chairman of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation as well as CEO of Kellogg, said the plan is designed to "provide consumers with additional healthier food options that help them achieve and maintain a healthy diet."
The percentage of overweight children in the United States is growing at an alarming rate, with 1 out of 3 kids now considered overweight or obese. Many kids are spending less time exercising and more time in front of the TV, computer, or video-game console. Today's busy families have fewer free moments to prepare nutritious, home-cooked meals.
Preventing kids from becoming overweight means adapting the way your family eats and exercises, and how you spend time together. Helping kids lead healthy lifestyles begins with parents who lead by example. Leading the way for healthier children in America and the fight against childhood obesity, Michelle initiated the "Let's Move!" campaign a couple of months ago with an endeavor to end childhood obesity.
The industry, which has been under enormous pressure from state and local governments regarding junk-food taxes and other anti-obesity measures, finally decided to responded positively and help keep Americans healthier.
"What the White House is doing is consistent and relentless. The food companies are having their feet held to the fire for making kids fat. That's awkward. And it is not good for business," said Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University.
According to Obama, 16 corporations that account for up to 25 percent of the American food supply chain have agreed to trim more than one trillion calories by the year of 2012 and 1.5 trillion by 2015. “They’ve agreed to reformulate their foods in a number of ways, including by addressing fat and sugar content, by introducing lower-calorie options, and by reducing the portion sizes of existing single-serve products,” Obama said.
Although the food industry must claim partial responsibility for the obesity epidemic in America, people need to take responsibility for their actions and watch what they eat and watch what they feed their children.