Food reform on the agenda in industry-first initiative.
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 07:45

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has today launched the Healthier Australia Commitment, an industry-first initiative which will take measurable action to help reduce the incidence of chronic preventable diseases in Australia

 

The foundation members of the Healthier Australia Commitment comprise some of the largest food companies operating in Australia. They have voluntarily agreed to the following collective targets for reductions in saturated fat, sodium and energy by 2015[1]:

  • Reduce saturated fat in products by 25 per cent - equivalent to over 3 million kilograms of saturated fat removed from the food supply.
  • Reduce sodium in products by 25 per cent - equivalent to over 270,000 kilograms of sodium removed from the food supply.
  • Reduce energy, with a focus on energy dense, nutrient poor products by 12.5 per cent - equivalent to over 100 billion kilojoules removed from the food supply.

Professor Peter Clifton, Head of Nutritional Interventions at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, said the 2015 targets set by industry are significant steps that could help improve the nutritional quality of the Australian diet.

“In Australia, the rates of chronic preventable diseases like obesity, Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease are high, putting a strain on our health system.  There are many factors that contribute to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and diet is one of those, hence the changes industry is making could have a positive impact on Australia’s health,” Professor Clifton said.

The Healthier Australia Commitment’s foundation members, which represent more than 25 per cent of the food and grocery industry[2], include Unilever, Nestle, Campbell Arnotts, General Mills, Lion, Sugar Australia, Coca-Cola South Pacific and PepsiCo Australia. 

AFGC’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Gary Dawson invited industry and non-industry organisations, such as health groups, community associations and professional bodies, who share a vision to create a healthier Australia, to participate in the initiative.

“Product innovation is just one pillar of the Healthier Australia Commitment, and a holistic approach combining diet and exercise is needed to address the health of Australia. We see the benefit in building alliances with other partners to help us meet these challenges,” Mr Dawson said. 

“The Healthier Australia Commitment will also address the imbalance between what we eat and the exercise we do, by partnering with peak professional body Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA).”

“ESSA will be working with the Healthier Australia Commitment to launch Exercise is Medicine Workplace Physical Activity Resources, aimed at promoting physical activity and reducing inactivity in and outside of the workplace.”

“The Healthier Australia Commitment will also be connecting with Australian families through ’Together Counts’ www.togethercounts.com.au an online platform to educate the community about the concept of energy balance, promoting healthy eating and physical activity, which is based upon the highly successful American ’Together Counts’ Program, supported by Michelle Obama.”

“The Healthier Australia Commitment demonstrates the industry’s united approach to reaching nutrient reduction targets in the marketplace and believe this is a step in the right direction,” Dawson concluded.

 

ENDS

 

For further information please contact Edelman Healthcare:

Katy McMillan, 02 9291 3396, 0424 465 070

Kerin Heatley, 02 9291 3358, 0404 831 253

 

For a copy of KPMG’s report, “Food & Beverage Innovation: Aiming to Improve the Health of Australian Families,” September 2012 please visit www.togethercounts.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] “Food and Beverage Innovation – Aiming to Improve the Health of Australian Families,” Australian Food & Grocery Council – Healthier Australia Commitment, AFGC and KPMG September 2012

[2] “Food and Beverage Innovation – Aiming to Improve the Health of Australian Families,” Australian Food & Grocery Council – Healthier Australia Commitment, AFGC and KPMG September 2012