Kraft, PepsiCo Pledge to Aid First Lady's Anti-Obesity Campaign

First lady Michelle Obama won pledges today from food and beverage companies including Campbell Soup Co., Kraft Foods Inc., Kellogg Co., General Mills Inc. and PepsiCo Inc., to reduce the calorie counts in their products.

The companies, part of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, vowed to cut 1.5 trillion calories from their products by the end of 2015 by providing lower-calorie options, changing recipes or reducing portion sizes, according to a statement from the group, which includes 80 of the largest U.S. food and beverage manufacturers.

Michelle Obama, who is campaigning to cut childhood obesity, said the pledge “represents an important step forward to providing Americans with healthier choices so that they can choose to lead healthier lives.”

The foundation signed the agreement with the Partnership for a Healthier America, a nonpartisan group working to advance the goals of the first lady’s Let’s Move! campaign. Michelle Obama is honorary chairman of the partnerships.

“The first lady has shown tremendous leadership in calling for national action to end childhood obesity,” Kellogg Chief Executive Officer David Mackay, chairman of the foundation, said in a statement.

As part of her campaign, Obama is prodding the $600 billion food and beverage industries to make their products healthier, to make labels easier to read and to limit marketing of unhealthy foods to children.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kate Andersen Brower in Washington at Kandersen7@bloomberg.net

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