Food and Beverage Manufacturers Support the Canadian Obesity Network's 2nd National Summit
MONTREAL, April 28 /CNW/ - Tackling obesity and helping curb its rise
has been at the forefront of health, government, and industry agendas
for some time. And as health experts and NGOs gather in Montreal for
the Canadian Obesity Network's 2nd Annual Summit, Canada's food and beverage manufacturers are drawing attention to the
progress that has been made reformulating the food supply and programs
promoting healthy active living. According to a recently issued
report, Our Commitment to Health and Wellness, the results are promising and underpin industry's ongoing dedication
to combating obesity building on its commitment first announced in
"A fundamental challenge with obesity is its complexity. As it relates
to one input, food and beverages, the focus has been on product
formulation and adopting responsible marketing and advertising
practices consistent with recommendations from world health
authorities, the World Health Organization (WHO) among them," says
Phyllis Tanaka, MSc. RD, Vice President Scientific & Regulatory Affairs
- Food Policy, Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC), the industry association representing food and beverage
manufacturers in Canada.
Through FCPC, Canada's leading food and beverage companies have invested
behind several far-reaching initiatives aimed at providing Canadians healthier for you options and the promotion of healthy active living. Anchored in its Statement of Commitment to Healthy Active Living, industry's efforts have resulted in:
an increase in healthier-for-you product choices
enhanced consumer education supporting informed food choices
responsible advertising and marketing practices
increased focus and support for workplace and community wellness
Building on its inaugural 2006 report Committed to Healthy Active Living, Canada's food and beverage manufacturers have now released a
follow-up, Our Commitment to Health and Wellness, which underscores the inroads which continue to be made. The 2011
report, based on a survey of Canada's leading food and beverage
companies, found that in the past five years, 92 per cent of the
companies have reformulated their products to make them healthier or
introduced healthier-for-you products and 85 per cent are actively
promoting nutrition and healthy living in an effort to help Canadians
make informed eating choices and be active.
Product reformulation has centered on reducing or eliminating trans and
saturated fats, followed by reducing sodium; 65 per cent of respondents
reduced sodium in existing products and 35 per cent introduced new
products with reduced sodium. Companies also reduced calorie levels,
reduced sugar and carbohydrates, added whole grains and fibre and
adjusted serving sizes for better portion control. These improvements
were made to existing and new products in a variety of food and
beverage categories, from fruit and vegetable juices and sauces to
frozen entrees, soups, dairy products and cookies, biscuits and
snacks. In some cases these improvements were made to 100 per cent of
the company's product portfolio.
According to Tanaka, "We welcome this week's forum and similar events
which bring together subject-matter experts, create a means for all
stakeholders to be heard and are the basis for collaboration. All the
delegates know how multi-faceted the issue is, with that in mind, we
are hopeful there is equal focus on all critical areas physical
activity, education, the food supply, and broader social changes."
"Industry has much to contribute in finding meaningful solutions,
through innovation, insights on consumer behavior, and technical and
research capabilities. Our sector welcomes the opportunity to be
involved throughout the public consultative process so that we can
contribute collaboratively to solutions," she adds.
About Food & Consumer Products of Canada
FCPC is the voice of Canada's leading food, beverage and consumer
products companies that manufacture or distribute the products that
sustain Canadians and enhance their quality of life.
Founded in 1959, FCPC is an active, vocal advocate for its member
companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and
the products that people enjoy and rely on every day.
The association promotes sound public policy, champions initiatives that
increase productivity and growth, and helps to protect the safety and
security of the consumer product supply through a commitment to
FCPC and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of
consumers, conducting business in an ethical and responsible way, and
to working collaboratively with governments and other stakeholders to
develop effective solutions on public policy issues.
The food and beverage industry is the largest manufacturing sector in
Canada, employing close to 300,000 people and represents almost $19
billion in GDP. FCPC members operate 6,000 facilities across the
country. Visit us at www.fcpc.ca.
SOURCE Food and Consumer Products of Canada
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