Global reach of food giants hailed in fight against NCDs

The private sector is a “willing and effective partner” in the fight against non- communicable disease, delegates at the UN Assembly on NCDs were told on Monday. Donna Hrinak, of the International Food and Beverage Association (IFBA), said voluntary pledges made by the ten global companies she represented were effective in 44 countries.

The ten – Kelloggs, Coca-Cola, Grupo Bimbo, General Mills, Ferrero, Kraft, Mars, Nestle, Pepsico and Unilever – had between them reformulated 20,000 products since the association was formed in 2008.

IFBA is committed to supporting WHO’s 2004 Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity, and Health, she said.

The ten companies’ commitments cover fact-based nutritional information, restrictions on advertising to children and encouraging increased physical activity.

Ms Hrinak – who was speaking in a roundtable debate – pointed to the UK’s 10% cut in the salt content of food achieved between 2003 and 2008 as a shining example of what could be achieved in voluntary collaboration with public authorities.

Copyright 2010 Bartlett Media Ltd.