First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign, Let’s Move is actively making positive strides with their mission to end childhood obesity. The Partnership for a Healthier America recently announced an agreement with the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation(HWCF). This partnership is a huge step towards reducing the child obesity epidemic in the United States. Interim President and CEO of Partnership for a Healthier America, S. Lawrence Kocot stated he understands the task and goal of this sizeable mission. The goal to mobilize broad-based support for efforts to solve this issue is a commitment towards assisting the First Lady’s campaign. This is an important step toward this goal.
Through this agreement, HWCF manufacturing companies have pledged to take action to reduce 1.5 trillion product calories by 2015, and will seek to reduce 1 trillion by 2012 alone.
HWCF manufacturers will pursue these calorie-reduction goals with these simple steps:
1. Develop lower-calorie options
2. Change recipes where possible to lower the calorie content of current products
3. Reduce portion sizes of existing single-serve products
These changes are aimed to help American children and families to:
1. Reduce their calorie intake
2. Improve their overall nutrition
3. Close the “Energy gap” (an imbalance in the number of calories consumed versus calories expended)
Accountability is key to this agreement. To ensure that HWCF stands by its pledge, the Partnership will work with the organization and the data it collects to monitor progress toward these goals on an annual basis. Also, to assess the impact of the pledge, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation will support a rigorous, independent evaluation of how HWCF’s efforts to reduce calories in the marketplace affect calories consumed by children and adolescents, and will publicly report the findings.
Caloric reduction efforts like this – with targeted and achievable results that are meaningful and measurable – can have a significant impact on the obesity trend. Seeing positive results of this agreement between the organizations could be a monumental solution to fight the childhood obesity epidemic.