American Heart Association Comment on Alliance for a Healthier Generation/ABA Announcement

September 23, 2014 Categories: Advisories & Comments

DALLAS, Sept., 23, 2014 — Today’s announcement by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and The American Beverage Association, The Coca-Cola Company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc., and PepsiCo at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City is another important step forward in creating healthier options for families as we seek to build a culture of health.

We applaud this commitment to decrease empty calories consumed through sugar sweetened beverages by 20 percent by 2025.  Their pledge to reduce the visibility and consumption of full calorie sodas, while labeling calorie counts on vending, fountain and retail equipment with a particular emphasis on helping communities in greatest need, is a positive step forward towards improving the public health.

As a co-founder of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, we are proud of the achievements that have been realized in schools and in industry.  We are particularly pleased to see that the commitment announced today places special focus on eight to 10 communities of greatest need, where there are currently gaps in access to healthier beverage choices; and that there will be independent, third-party analysis and assessment of the results, both at the conclusion of the agreement in 2025, and at several interim stages along the way.

The American Heart Association believes that all sectors of our society must come together to build a culture of health, where the healthy choice is the easy choice.

This will require positive, voluntary agreements such as the one announced today, as well as additional, ongoing efforts by industry to curb marketing of high calorie, low nutrient foods to children, to differentially price healthy products, to improve the nutritional profile of packaged and processed foods, and to ensure access to reasonably priced fresh fruits and vegetables in all communities, particularly those most in need of healthier food and beverage options.  This, coupled with the Association’s continued commitment to support advocates and communities across the country working to achieve these goals, can bring about the fundamental changes we are striving for.

We believe that today’s announcement moves us one step closer to improving the cardiovascular health of all Americans and people throughout the world, helping them to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.