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Food Industry Isn't Doing Enough to Address Obesity, Report Says

Posted Dec 18 2008 8:13pm

The food and beverage industry is not doing enough to tackle the growing obesity crisis, says a new report from the United Kingdom-based Ethical Investment Research Services (EIRIS), reported.

Obesity concerns in the food and beverage industry looked at six companies -- Cadbury-Schweppes, The Coca-Cola Company, Kraft Foods, McDonalds, PepsiCo and Unilever -- and didn't like the results.

The researchers found "littleevidence of obesity-related improvement targets and key performance indicators from the multi-national food and beverage firms we analysed," said report author and EIRIS analyst Heleen Bulckens.

She also wrote: As noted, McDonalds and Unilever were judged the slowest to adapt, according to the report, which found only limited systems in place to manage their social, environmental and ethical risks in relation to obesity.

"Food and drink producers are waking up to the business risks associated with obesity, but significant challenges remain."

Meanwhile, Cadbury Schweppes, The Coca-Cola Company, Kraft Foods and PepsiCo all were given an intermediate rating.

In addition, Cadbury Schweppes got high marks for its responsible advertising / marketing to children while McDonalds scores lowest on this criterion.

Despite the poor scores, McDonalds was one of only two companies (of the six), along with Unilever, which actually acknowledged their role in addressing childhood obesity.

See the fascinating story.

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