The makers of Haagen-Dazs ice cream, Chef Boyardee canned pasta, Oreo cookies and Snickers bars are joining forces to combat ...
That's right. Nestle USA,
-- along with the
, Hershey Co., Sara Lee Corp. and other giant food manufacturers -- announced Monday the launch of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation. The goal of the initiative is to reduce obesity, particularly in children, by an unspecified amount over the next six years.
Participating companies are welcome to reformulate their products and reduce portion sizes, but they're under no obligation to do so.
Instead, the emphasis is on the notion of "energy balance." Regardless of what you eat, you'll gain weight if the number of calories consumed is greater than the number of calories burned through exercise and other activities. As David Mackay, chairman of the foundation's board, put it, children and adults could do a better job of balancing their "calories in and calories out."
It's a convenient message for Mackay, who is also the president and chief executive of Pop-Tarts, Cheez-It and Keebler cookie-maker
A handful of large grocers are also part of the new coalition, which has pledged $20 million to the don't-necessarily-eat-less-but-definitely-exercise-more effort.
As one skeptical consumer commented on a CBC News Web site: "$20M doesn't seem like very much for these huge companies. What is that, like 6