The Healthy Wight Commitment Foundation pledge: calories purchased by U.S. households with children, 2000-2012

Am J Prev Med. 2014 Oct;47(4):520-30. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2014.05.030.


Context: An independent evaluation of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) marketplace pledge found that the participating companies met and exceeded their interim 2012 sales reduction pledge.

Evidence acquisition: This follow-up study conducted in 2013 used purchase data from 2000 to 2012 among U.S. households with children and compared trends in calorie purchases of HWCF, non-HWCF name brands, and private label (PL) products in the pre-pledge period (2000-2007) and the post-pledge period (2008-2012); controlled for potential effects of concurrent changes in demographic and economic factors, including the Great Recession and food prices; and assessed whether the HWCF marketplace pledge was associated with reductions in consumer packaged goods (CPG) calorie purchases by households with children.

Evidence synthesis: There has been a significant per capita decline in average daily CPG caloric purchases between 2000 and 2012 among households with children from all brand categories. Based on pre-pledge trends, declines in CPG caloric purchases were already occurring. However, post-pledge reductions in calories purchased from HWCF brands were less than expected, and reductions in calories purchased from non-HWCF name brands and PLs were greater than expected after economic, sociodemographic, and secular factors were accounted for.

Conclusions: If the 16 HWCF companies had been able to maintain their pre-pledge trajectory, there should have been an additional 42 kcal/capita/day reduction in calories purchased from HWCF products in 2012 among households with children. A lack of change in total CPG calories purchased between 2011 and 2012 calls into question the sustainability of the decline and a need for continued monitoring.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Commerce / statistics & numerical data
  • Energy Intake*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Food / economics
  • Food / standards
  • Food / statistics & numerical data*
  • Food Industry / economics
  • Food Industry / standards*
  • Food Packaging
  • Food Supply / economics
  • Food Supply / standards
  • Food Supply / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • United States