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New Report Reveals Not All Indulgent Products Are Created Equal

WASHINGTON (September 15, 2022) – Today, Business for Impact at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business hosted a panel discussion on the findings of a new report examining the relationship between indulgent foods, diet and obesity. This shows how some lawmakers are advocating pushing forward policies that treat all foods the same when in fact they are very different in terms of their impact on consumer health and well-being. The findings of the new report, All gourmet products are not created equalwill help policy makers and public health officials to propose informed and effective policies targeting the complex problem of obesity.

The panel featured:

· Hank Cardelloexecutive director of Business for Impact’s Leadership Solutions for Health + Prosperity program at Georgetown University and chair of the Portion Balance Coalition

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· Anthony VincentPresident, Mars Wrigley North America

· Bill Dietzdirector of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at George Washington University

“Put simply, one size does not fit all when it comes to impacting consumers’ consumption of gourmet foods,” said Hank Cardello, executive director of Business for Impact’s Leadership Solutions for Health + Prosperity program at Georgetown University.. “Our research found that while some gourmet products were purchased more by obese people than by those of a healthy weight, chocolate and candy were purchased at similar rates between consumers considered to be of a healthy weight and those with obesity. This means that all gourmet foods are not created equal and policy makers and public health officials need to consider the contributions of each product category when developing policy.

The report examines purchase, consumption and usage patterns of major gourmet food and beverage categories to better understand the roles that individual food sectors play on diet and assess their connection to the obesity. He only finds chocolate and sweets should not be grouped with other gourmet products. Instead, efforts to combat obesity would be more effective if the focus were on the indulgent product groups most associated with purchases by obese people.

“In order to tackle the obesity crisis in the country, public health officials, policy makers and food industry leaders must work together,” says Cardello. “While producers of gourmet foods and beverages must continue their work on portion guidance and consumer education, public health officials and regulators should learn from this report and strive to regulate calorie and sugar intake in a calculated way.”

The report highlights how the food and beverage industry’s efforts have made significant progress in helping to reduce sugar, calories and portion size, encouraging consumers to make informed choices. One example is the confectionery industry’s Always A Treat initiative., which has just ended with great success. In 2017, America’s leading chocolate and confectionery companies joined forces in a historic commitment to the Partnership for a Healthier America. These companies have set and achieved an ambitious goal of providing more transparency, creating more portion-guiding options in innovative packaging, and educating consumers about how unique products like chocolate and candy can be an occasional treat in a balanced lifestyle.

The report was authored by Hank Cardello, executive director of the Leadership Solutions for Health + Propensity program at Georgetown University’s Business for Impact program and Richard Black, PhD, adjunct professor at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy and at the Desautels School of Management at McGill University. .

The event and the All gourmet products are not created equal report were made possible through the support of the National Confectioners Association.