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GMA: Food Industry Committed to Combating Obesity

WASHINGTON - The food and beverage industry is committed to helping reverse the growth of obesity, the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) testified on Tuesday before a Senate hearing on combating obesity in America.

"We provide consumers with safe, nutritious, enjoyable and affordable foods, and we are working with government and other stakeholders to tackle this important public health challenge," GMA president and c.e.o. C. Manly Molpus Molpus told the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Competition, Infrastructure and Foreign Commerce.

Testifying on the issue of increasing rates of childhood obesity, Molpus detailed several industry efforts to help combat obesity and improve consumer health overall, including:

• Improving the nutritional profile of existing products and providing new and improved products that combine taste, convenience and nutrition;

• Researching consumer opinions about the food label, including single-serve packaging and calorie content;

• Promoting programs and policies to improve nutrition education and increase regular physical activity for families, schools and communities; and,

• Adhering to responsible advertising and marketing practices, and supporting the Children's Advertising Review Unit of the National Advertising Review Council.

Molpus applauded federal initiatives to address obesity, including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's Improved Nutrition and Physical Activity (IMPACT) bill and the Department of Health and Human Services' "Steps to a HealthierUS" campaign.

"The challenge for America's food and beverage manufacturers is to provide and promote the foods and beverages that make eating not only healthy, but enjoyable," Molpus said. "And consumers will see even more of these products in the months ahead."
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