At this year’s 10th-annual Global Clinton Summit, a number of issues were tackled, including the imperative nature of global climate change, how to safely farm and preserve our oceans, and how to advocate for small farms. But one of the most talked-about announcements was the one made by the three largest soda companies in America: Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Dr. Pepper-Snapple, who vowed to cut the number of sugary drink calories that Americans consume by one-fifth by the year 2025.
“This is huge,” former President Bill Clinton said in a telephone interview with The New York Times. “I’ve heard it could mean a couple of pounds of weight lost each year in some cases.”
The initiative shocked many, but the commitment is part of a global effort to curb obesity rates, which have skyrocketed in America to 35 percent in the past decade alone, and as much as six percent of Americans’ daily calories come from sugary drinks. How can Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper make a difference? The soda giants say that they will expand efforts to increase the number of no-calorie and low-calorie beverages, as well as distribute more promotions and marketing for these lower-calories options. They will also be working to significantly decrease sugary beverage distribution to schools, and shrink soda sizes overall.
“This is the single-largest voluntary effort by an industry to help fight obesity and leverages our companies’ greatest strengths in marketing, innovation and distribution,” said Susan K. Neely, President and CEO of the American Beverage Association at the conference. “This initiative will help transform the beverage landscape in America. It takes our efforts to provide consumers with more choices, smaller portions and fewer calories to an ambitious new level.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @JoannaFantozzi