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The Food Industry Response to Encourage Healthier Eating National Obesity Prevention Conference October 25-27, 2004 Hyatt Regency Hotel Bethesda, MD Mark.

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Presentation on theme: "The Food Industry Response to Encourage Healthier Eating National Obesity Prevention Conference October 25-27, 2004 Hyatt Regency Hotel Bethesda, MD Mark."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Food Industry Response to Encourage Healthier Eating National Obesity Prevention Conference October 25-27, 2004 Hyatt Regency Hotel Bethesda, MD Mark Nelson, PhD Vice President, Scientific & Regulatory Policy Sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture

2 World’s largest association of food, beverage and consumer product companies Over 2.5 million employees in all 50 states US sales over $500 billion Board of Directors – 44 CEOs Addresses public policy and industry issues affecting its members Grocery Manufacturers of America

3 The Food Industry Response Product Choices –Meeting consumer needs Actionable Information –Getting the message out Going Forward –Needed research

4 Meeting consumer needs for taste, quality, convenience and health. Composition –Low / reduced sodium products –Reduced / low / no fat products –Incremental reductions in calories, sodium –Removal / reduction of trans fats –Whole grains, increased fiber Product Choices

5 Meeting consumer needs for taste, quality, convenience and health. Presentation –Single serve / multi serve packaging –Childrens’ portion sizes –Semi-prepared fruits and vegetables –Ready-to-eat foods –Meal kits Product Choices

6 Actionable Information Getting the message out Nutrient Content Claims –“Low fat” “excellent source of fiber” “reduced sodium” –Flags to help consumers identify products that suit their individual needs and preferences, and make in-store comparisons between products easier Qualified Health Claims –Empower consumers to make smart choices by providing clear, accurate information about nutrition. –GMA strongly supports FDA’s pre-market notification system –Incentive to food industry develop and market new nutritious products

7 Getting the message out Nutrition Labeling – –IFIC and GMA consumer research, coordinated with FDA –How consumers use the food label to obtain calorie information. to more effectively communicate calories in single serving packages. calorie labeling might impact consumer behavior. –Label changes will not be a silver bullet Consumers want more useful information E.g., serving size, %DV education Actionable Information

8 Getting the message out US Dietary Guidelines –Make them relevant and achievable Individuals need to develop appropriate lifestyle plans that allow them to make small improvements in eating and physical activity patterns that over time add up and move them closer to meeting the recommendations of the Guidelines. –Recognize the contribution of appropriate sugar, salt and fat in enhancing the acceptability of nutrient-dense foods –Balance energy intake with energy expenditure To achieve optimum health, individuals need to maintain a balance between the number of calories consumed and calories burned through daily activities and regular exercise. Actionable Information

9 Getting the message out The Food Guide Pyramid –Keep the shape of the Pyramid –Prioritize the recommended changes in the food supply and dietary habits –Harmonize educational information across ALL consumer touch points---including Dietary Guidelines, the Food Guidance Pyramid, and the Nutrition Facts Panel. Base the number of servings on 2000 kcal diet to align with the food nutrition label on foods E.g., 9 servings of fruits/vegetables vs. range of servings based on caloric intake Actionable Information

10 Getting the message out GMA members –are committed to responsible advertising, especially when it comes to children. –are enlisting widespread support among food companies for self-regulation as administered by CARU Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) –is informing policy-makers and the public about its principles, guidelines and decisions applicable to food advertising –is focusing its monitoring and educational efforts on the food sector –has a new program, funded by GMA, to monitor advertising to children in Spanish-language media. Actionable Information

11 Getting the message out Positive, motivational messages drive successful behavioral change –Consumers do not respond well to restrictions, negativity, preaching: “Calories Count” not “Count Calories” Industry is prepared to use its marketing capabilities to communicate healthy lifestyle messages to consumers –Multiple media: from labeling to advertising to websites –Multiple channels: from retail customers to the workplace GMA members support efforts to –increase physical activity and enhance nutrition education –through partnerships with other stakeholders including public health authorities, healthcare, educational, government and others. Actionable Information

12 Getting the message out The American Council for Fitness and Nutrition (ACFN) –is a non-profit association of more than 90 organizations –is guided by an Advisory Board of experts in the fields of nutrition, physical activity and behavior change –serves as a resource for consumers, professionals, educators, government and media in promoting healthy lifestyles; and –advocates for lasting initiatives to help solve the obesity problem. – ACFN to identify state and local “Best Practices” –Current data on consumers’ successes and challenges –Submitted a “partnership” proposal to HHS to jointly conduct a national conference on these programs Actionable Information

13 Going Forward Needed Research Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research –Essentially, obesity results from an energy imbalance. –The increase in obesity has been fueled by a complex interplay of environmental, social, economic, and behavioral factors, acting on a background of genetic susceptibility. What don’t we know?

14 Going Forward Needed Research Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, General Research Recommendation 3. –Establish a system for ongoing systematic reviews on key nutrition and physical activity topics relevant to dietary guidance for the general public. –A system to conduct ongoing evidence-based reviews... is in keeping with the Federal Data Quality Act. CORET - Collaborative Obesity Research Evaluation Team –A global team of experts to create a definitive compendium of obesity research –Led by University of California-Davis Nutrition Department (UCD) and Universiteit Maastricht (UM) –Two panels of international experts to establish criteria for evaluating published research –

15 Going Forward Needed Research Research the effectiveness of using adult-based dietary guidelines for children –impact on their health and/or metabolism –Impact on dietary intakes and patterns later in life Research the barriers for complying with the DGA –children, low-income populations, various ethnic groups –identify mechanisms to motivate individuals to change their eating behaviors and habits Develop and test both individual- and population-based interventions designed to implement the DGA

16 The Food Industry Response Industry can make positive contributions in reducing and preventing obesity and chronic disease –Through product offerings and communications efforts Make the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Food Guide Pyramid a part of their lifestyles –Create a “roadmap” for consumers to set achievable goals. Prioritize the dietary and nutrition changes with the biggest impact on improving overall health –Neither consumers nor industry can make all the recommended changes overnight. All government agencies need to speak as one –Communicate consistent nutrition messages across all platforms. Establish public/private partnerships that will extend the reach of the DGA and FGP nutrition messages.

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