Beverage Companies Back Plan to ‘Cut Sugar’ Consumption in Eastide

By City News Service

The soda industry and an anti-obesity nonprofit are joining forces to help people in four Los Angeles neighborhoods cut back on the amount of calories they consume through drinking

soft drinks, juices and other beverages.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation will work with The Coca-Cola Company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, PepsiCo and the American Beverage Association to cut the beverage calories consumed by residents of East Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights and El Sereno, the group has announced.

The bottling companies have agreed to stock markets with drinks that have fewer calories are smaller portions, offer incentives to consumers to opt for these products and to display marketing messages that make consumers more aware of calories. These methods to reduce the amount of calories consumed will be tested in the four communities and could be used more widely.

“Our companies are going to work in a very focused, deliberate manner with these communities to create interest in beverage options that can help them cut their calories,” Susan Neely, president of the American Beverage Association, said.

“This begins by offering more no- and low-calorie as well as smaller- portion choices, but also finding innovative ways to encourage consumers to try these products,” Neely said. “We are going to test and learn so we can truly transform the beverage landscape through solutions that work.”

“Reducing the number of calories consumed from beverages is critical to helping curb obesity and improve health in the United States,” Alliance CEO Howell Wechsler said. “We applaud the beverage industry for focusing on these community interventions and will work closely with them to track and evaluate the impact of this work.”

The Alliance’s goal is to reduce beverage calories per person by 20 percent by 2025, and their progress will be monitored by an independent party.

The nonprofit was founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation.

The collaboration is also taking place in Little Rock, Arkansas, and eventually will spread to 10 cities.

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May 21, 2015  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.


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