We’ve often blogged about the importance of public-private partnerships to combat the challenge of childhood obesity. Our industry believes that we can accomplish much more - and faster - by working together. After all, our industry has a long record of working with thought leaders, elected officials and other key stakeholders on meaningful solutions to societal challenges such as obesity.

That is why we are happy to share the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation’s (HWCF) new public-private partnership called Commitment to Healthy Communities (CHC). This new initiative will establish a new standard for community programs while enabling the food and beverage industry to assess the effectiveness of their efforts. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) calls the effort a “gutsy move,” and goes on to state that, “This effort is particularly significant because it can strengthen the ability of private industry to engage in a positive, constructive way with other stakeholders, such as community organizations and public health agencies, also working to build a Culture of Health.”

We agree. Joining with President Clinton and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, we changed the school beverage landscape by removing full-calorie soft drinks from schools and replacing them with a range of lower-calorie and smaller-portion options. That led to a 90 percent reduction in beverage calories in schools nationwide. And through our Balance Calories Initiative, we are once again working with the Alliance towards a goal to reduce beverage calories consumed per person nationally by 20 percent by 2025. This initiative is the single-largest voluntary effort by an industry to help fight obesity.

These are efforts that have real and lasting impact in communities across the nation. To learn more about how we are supporting and empowering consumers, check out DeliveringChoices.org.