You are here
Ahead of the premiere of the film "Fed Up," which purports to show food makers' complicity in the U.S. obesity epidemic, Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) President and CEO Pamela G. Bailey asserted that the documentary "provides an inaccurate view of the packaged food industry."
Explained Bailey, "Rather than identifying successful policies or ongoing efforts to find real and practical solutions to obesity, [the movie] adopts a shortsighted, confrontational and misleading approach by cherry-picking facts to fit a narrative, getting the facts wrong, and simply ignoring the progress that has been made over the last decade in providing families with healthier options at home and at school."
For instance, according to Bailey, "earlier this year, CDC studies found childhood obesity had been reduced by as much as 43 percent. But we are constantly focused on moving forward and creating more healthful, affordable options that allow all consumers to make food choices that are right for their children and families."
She further noted: "Reducing obesity requires everyone to do their part. For the food and beverage industry, this means constantly working to provide consumers -- especially parents --with healthier options and the information they need to make choices that are right for their families."
'Facts Up Front' and Other Actions
Among the industry strides Bailey cited in the areas of child nutrition and better-for-you options are the voluntary removal of full-calorie soft drinks from schools; support for the 2012 Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act, which implemented new school nutrition standards; the contribution of more than $130 million in grants to nutrition and health-related programs across the United States; the placement of nutrition information on the front of food and beverage packages under GMA's and Food Marketing Institute's "Facts Up Front" program; the formation of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, through which food manufacturers have removed 6.4 trillion calories from the U.S. marketplace since 2007; and the introduction of more than 20,000 products with reduced calories, fat, sodium and sugar.
Bailey pledged that Washington, D.C.-based GMA would "continue working across the food industry and with all stakeholders to provide America's families with food products that are safe, nutritious, affordable, time-saving and well-balanced."
The trade association has also launched a website to address what it calls "some of the inaccuracies" in the film.
Directed by Stephanie Soechtig and executive produced by Katie Couric and environmental activist Laurie David, "Fed Up" opens in theaters on May 9.