Noteworthy Commitments + Initiatives from the Partnership for a Healthier America

by Kayla Mottola

This is the second in the series of Kayla’s blogs about the Partnership for a Healthier America Building a Healthy Future Summit 2016. For more of an inside look into the event, check out Highlights from Building a Healthy Future Summit 2016.

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PHA Logo

The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) has garnered over 200 partners who have made commitments and created innovative initiatives around improving health, each of which are carefully measured and verified to ensure accountability. At the Building a Healthy Future Summit 2016, the PHA and its partners highlighted the progress of their current commitments and announced many more efforts that are fighting to end the obesity epidemic, offering more transparency to consumers and supporting the health of all Americans.

You are able to track and view all of these commitments and initiatives online in PHA’s Annual Progress Reports.

As select initiatives were shared, it became clear that Making the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice is not just the consumer choice, but also applicable for businesses and communities. As health trends continue to rise, the private sector is being pushed to innovate their products, services and internal operations. Communities, especially those with limited resources, are being pushed to address barriers to healthy living at a local level.

With hundreds of efforts to make the healthy choice easier, here are some noteworthy ones to continue to track:

The following partner information is from the PHA website and can be found here.

MARS Foods

MARS: Through its Uncle Ben’s® and Seeds of Change® brands, MARS Food U.S., one of the nation’s top food companies, has joined PHA to offer healthier foods to consumers, provide access to nutrition information, as well as create opportunities for its associates to improve their personal wellbeing. Specifically, by 2021, MARS Food U.S. will improve the nutritional quality across its product portfolio, including reducing sodium and added sugars, increasing vegetable servings, increasing whole grains, and updating its nutrition criteria to reflect 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. MARS Food U.S. will also provide consumers with more nutrition information through on-pack guidance and website content, and encourage consumers to cook healthy meals with friends and family. MARS Food U.S. will also support the FNV campaign financially and through communications efforts.

Dannon

DANNON: Over the past few years, Dannon has continued to make bold commitments. Specifically, by June 2016, the company will improve the nutrient density of its overall portfolio of products by 10%, reformulate products so that 70% of the volume of products and 100% of the volume of products intended for children will contain less than 23 grams of total sugar per 6 ounces, reformulate products so that 75% of the volume of products will meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s definition of “fat free” or “low in fat” and invest $3,000,000 for education and research focused on healthy eating habits. At the 2016 summit, Dannon also announced a pledge to its farmers, retail customers and consumers to further improve sustainable agriculture practices for its milk supply, to increase transparency of its portfolio of products and evolve to more natural and fewer ingredients for flagship brands.

Outdoor Industry Association

OUTDOOR INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION: The Outdoor Industry Association and Outdoor Foundation has partnered with the PHA to provide opportunities for at least 100,000 children to get outdoors and active, particularly at our nation’s parks in the National Park Service’s centennial year. The Association and Foundation will build a web-based platform that allows nonprofit programs and schools across the country to find funding to get children active outdoors.

Urban Ventures

URBAN VENTURES: Affordable housing developers play a critical role in ensuring that buildings, streets and neighborhoods are designed and built to support health. Urban Ventures, a Denver based real estate development company whose mission is to create socially and environmentally responsible communities, made a commitment to PHA at the fourth annual Building a Healthier Future Summit to prioritize health and incorporate a selection of active design strategies into at least 80 percent of its affordable housing development projects over the next several years. By working with PHA to identify ways to design and develop buildings, streets and neighborhoods with a custom set of health-promoting design strategies specific to its real estate portfolio, the Urban Ventures commitment will affect an estimated 450 affordable and market rate housing units in Denver, primarily in a unique mixed income community called Aria Denver.

McLane Company

MCLANE: McLane Company, Inc., the largest food and beverage distributor to convenience stores in the U.S., is teaming up with PHA to ensure that convenience stores across the nation are fully stocked with healthier options. Through its commitment, McLane Company will ensure fresh produce is made available to each one of the 90,000 locations it serves. The company will also be launching twelve new private label products that meet PHA’s Healthier Product Criteria, including private label bottled water that will feature the Drink Up droplet on bottle labels. Additionally, McLane will clearly identify all products offered that meet PHA’s Healthier Product Criteria, as well as broker pricing deals, in an effort to incentivize its customers to make the healthy choice when stocking their stores.

Trinity Health

TRINITY HEALTH: Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. It serves people and communities in 21 states from coast to coast with 92 hospitals, and 120 continuing care locations that provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Trinity Health will implement a new Transforming Communities Initiative that will provide grants for communities to reduce tobacco use, lower childhood obesity rates, support early childhood health and wellness and improve access to nutrition and physical activity opportunities. Additionally, Trinity Health will support PHA’s signature program FNV to help drive demand for fruits and vegetables among its communities.

NC STATE UNIVERSITY: NC State University has joined 19 other college or university campuses across the nation to team up with PHA for the Healthier Campus Initiative. This initiative was developed in an effort to help make campuses healthier by adopting guidelines around nutrition, physical activity and programming. With 34,000 students and more than 6,000 members of the faculty and staff, these changes will help encourage healthier options among the more than 40,000 individuals on campus each year.

THE NORTH FACE: The North Face, the world’s premier manufacturer of outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear with a mission to inspire a global movement of outdoor exploration, has committed to provide $500,000 in Explore Fund grants to nonprofit organizations in 2016 to connect youth and communities of all backgrounds to the outdoors in meaningful ways. The North Face Explore Fund grants provide access for youth, including those in underserved communities and those with disabilities, to participate in outdoor activities such as skiing, camping, hiking and climbing. The North Face hopes that these outdoor experiences will inspire young people to make positive healthy decisions every day.

To view all of the PHA’s partner commitments, click here.

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