“Healthy people and healthy communities have always been a priority for Coca-Cola,” said Steve Cahillane, President and CEO, Coca-Cola Refreshments. “Our support of the Chicago and San Antonio Wellness Challenge, and the new Calories Count™ Vending Program is another bold step in our efforts to help people understand the importance of energy balance. We believe partnerships like this – those which involve government, industry and civil society – can have a meaningful impact on the obesity issue. We applaud the cities of Chicago and San Antonio for joining us in this innovative initiative.”Coca-Cola and its beverage industry partners will work with government leaders, restaurant operators, vending machine companies and other customers to increase availability of lower-calorie beverages in vending machines and to add calorie labels to buttons on vending machines to show calorie counts per beverage container. Display labels on the front of beverage vending machines will remind people that all calories count. The actions announced today build on the industry’s continued efforts to promote health and wellbeing. Recently, Coca-Cola and other beverage companies announced that 98.8 percent of schools and school districts were in compliance with their National School Beverage Guidelines. This effort has reduced beverage calories shipped to schools by a dramatic 90 percent between 2004-2005 and the end of the 2009-2010 school year. In the U.S., Coca-Cola also provides online resources for people to learn more about its products and ingredients. The Nutrition Connection is the Company’s one-stop shop for ingredient information on each of its beverages. In addition, The Coca-Cola Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness, has a wealth of information aimed at advancing fact-based scientific knowledge, awareness and understanding of beverages. The site also examines the importance of living an active, healthy and balanced lifestyle. More than 25,000 nursing and dietetic professionals have participated in Continuing Professional Education (CPE) webinars through this effort. Coca-Cola also supports other initiatives in the U.S. to promote physical activity and healthy living including:
- Exercise is Medicine™: A program of the American College of Sports Medicine, calls upon physicians to record physical activity as a vital sign during patient visits. It also asks physicians to advise able patients to participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity and 10 minutes of stretching and light muscle training five days a week.
- Triple Play: Encourages kids to eat a balanced diet, become more physically active and increase their ability to engage in healthy relationships. A review of the program found that boys and girls who participated in Triple Play were more physically active, had a better understanding of nutrition, and strengthened their ability to interact positively with others and engage in positive relationships, than those who did not participate. This program was launched in 2005 by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services with support from The Coca-Cola Company.