The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), a peak body representing over 300 food and beverage companies has released a statement in response to claims made by “Fed Up”, a documentary centred around the notion that the food industry is responsible for America’s childhood obesity epidemic.
The documentary, directed by award winning filmmaker Stephanie Soechtig and TV journalist, Katie Couric, alleges that the food industry – with aid from the US government – has engaged in a 30 year campaign to confuse and mislead the American public, and that the current obesity epidemic is a direct result of the campaign.
GMA states that the industry is committed to tackling the obesity epidemic and that it is constantly striving to develop products that “empower all consumers to make the choices that are right for them and their families.”
“America’s food and beverage companies enthusiastically support First Lady Michelle Obama’s goal of solving childhood obesity within a generation, and recognize that the challenge of reducing obesity is one that requires everyone to do their part,” the statement reads.
“For the food and beverage industry, this means constantly working to increase transparency and provide consumers—especially parents—with healthier options and the information they need to maintain a healthy diet and active lifestyle.”
The statement also listed a number of initiatives that the industry has already enacted including the removal of 6.4 trillion calories from the US marketplace since 2007 under the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation as well ad over $130m in grants contributed each year by the industry to fund nutrition and health related programs.