Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Let's Move

The following press release hit the news this past week as First Lady Michelle Obama announced her "Let's Move" initiative to combat childhood obesity.  Our friend, Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo chairman and chief executive officer, threw the support of her international corporation behind the effort. 

Here's the beginning of the release to media from PepsiCo.  Note especially the numbered paragraph #1 that mentions our joint endeavor this past summer with PepsiCo here in Dallas. 

Exciting stuff for us!

PepsiCo Supports First Lady's Initiative to Help Reduce Childhood Obesity

Company Pledges to List Calorie Content on the Front of its Beverage Containers, Vending Machines and Fountain Equipment

PURCHASE, N.Y., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP), one of the world's largest food and beverage companies, today expressed its commitment to the White House's "Let's Move" initiative to combat childhood obesity – and announced a new beverage labeling plan in support of the initiative.

To help consumers manage their calorie consumption, PepsiCo will list calorie content on the front of its beverage containers, vending machines and fountain equipment by the end of 2012. Packages up to 20 ounces will be labeled with total calories and multi-serve containers will be labeled with calories-per-serving based on 12-ounce servings.

"We applaud the effort being led by First Lady Michelle Obama to address obesity in the United States and believe that her 'Let's Move' campaign can add significant momentum and leadership to many efforts underway," said Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo chairman and chief executive officer. "We have learned over the years there is no silver bullet to solve obesity. No single entity can do it alone. We need a guiding coalition in which individuals, companies, health agencies, consumer groups and governments all take on their appropriate responsibilities. Major food companies such as PepsiCo are in a unique position to be leaders in health and wellness because of our resources, brands, research and development capabilities, consumer reach and logistics expertise."

PepsiCo's belief in the power of public-private partnerships to help reduce obesity in the United States led to its partnership in the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF). The HWCF involves the collaboration of more than 60 members of the food and beverage industry, retailers and diverse non-governmental organizations. The group provides and promotes solutions that will help people, especially children, achieve a healthy weight by balancing the calories they consume with the calories they burn. The HWCF's efforts will provide people with the tools to achieve energy balance in three key areas: the marketplace, the workplace and schools.

PepsiCo is committed to helping advance action on all four pillars identified by the First Lady and has already taken steps that address each of them:

1. Ensuring that affordable healthy food is available in more communities

Last year, PepsiCo launched "PepsiCo Hope" to help transform inner-city communities by increasing access to affordable nutrition and creating local employment in inner-city neighborhoods. Initiated by PepsiCo employees in Dallas, the program piloted an innovative mobile delivery model that brought over 50,000 free nutritious breakfasts and snacks directly to underserved children in Dallas. With the help of more than 150 PepsiCo volunteers, the program was developed in partnership with Central Dallas Ministries as part of the Department of Agriculture's Summer Foodservice Program. PepsiCo plans to significantly expand its capabilities in Dallas in 2010 and is exploring opportunities for national expansion while sharing what it has learned with other cities across the country. PepsiCo Hope is also beginning to tackle another chronic challenge identified by the local residents: improving access to fruits and vegetables.

To read the entire repot click here.


Anonymous said...

Larry -

help me to understand this. Two of Pepsi Co's long-term core products, Frito-Lay Chips and Pepsi Cola, are inherently unhealthy. These products, when ingested in even moderate quantities, will lead to increased health problems, including obesity. Having PepsiCo embrace an "anti-obesity" campaign while they continue to manufacture and market these products seems to be like Philip Morris embracing an "anti-lung cancer" campaign while they continue to manufacture and market cigarettes. Isn't there some hypocrisy involved in PepsiCo's involvement?

To go further, wouldn't CDC's involvement in the anti-obesity campaign be better if it were tied into a different organization? Perhaps a group that doesn't stand to reap a financial benefit from the people whom it is ostensibly concerned about?


Anon. 11:33.

Anonymous said...

Everything in moderation. Just don't drink a 20 oz soda everyday.

That said, I expect the PepsiCo sees the writing on the wall and is doing damage control.

In the meantime, take the money wherever you can get it -- particularly is no one else is stepping to the plate