HWCF Evaluation

The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF), whose members include 16 of the nation’s leading consumer packaged goods (CPG) food and beverage manufacturers, voluntarily committed to collectively remove 1 trillion calories from their products by 2012 (against a 2007 baseline), and 1.5 trillion calories by 2015. The pledge is designed to reduce the calorie gap commensurate with the HWCF companies’ role in the US diet.

In 2010, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) awarded the first of four grants to the University of North Carolina team led by Barry Popkin to lead the evaluation of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) companies’ “marketplace” pledge to reduce annual calories by 1.5 trillion by the end of 2015.

The evaluation is comprised of three distinct studies designed to answer the following questions related to the impact of the HWCF marketplace commitment and of the vast array of economic and other factors that affect sales, purchases, and the dietary intakes of US children.

Study 1:  Did the HWCF companies reduce their total calories sold by 1 trillion between 2007 and 2012 and by 1.5 trillion between 2007 and 2015, and what food categories were sources of the caloric changes?

Study 2:  What are the changes in average daily calories purchased and top sources of calories purchased from HWCF, non-HWCF, and Private Label products by US households with children aged 2-18 between 2007 and 2012 (and between 2007 and 2015)? Are the changes different for lower-income and race/ethnic subpopulations at greatest risk for childhood obesity (African Americans and Hispanics)?

Study 3:  What are the changes in average daily calories consumed and top sources of calories consumed from HWCF, non-HWCF, and PL products by US children aged 2-18 between 2007 and 2012 (and between 2007 and 2015)? Are the changes different for lower-income and race/ethnic subpopulations at greatest risk for childhood obesity (African Americans and Hispanics)?

The HWCF Evaluation baseline report, titled “Food Companies’ Calorie-Reduction Pledges to Improve U.S. Diet” was released January 17, 2013 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine find more information here.

Results from interim target evaluation of the effects of the HWCF pledge on consumer packaged foods sales in the US and on purchases among US households with children will be published and free to all individuals on September 17 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine

In addition to supporting the independent evaluation of the HWCF commitment, RWJF convened a group of expert advisers to confidentially review and consult on the design and interpretation of the core evaluation analyses. The Evaluation Advisory Committee (EAC) consists of independent scientists and experts in the field of obesity, nutrition, economics, and population surveillance. EAC members assist in the design and review of the overall evaluation strategy, methods, analyses, and results and review annual reports and manuscripts for peer-reviewed publications.

Evaluation Advisory Committee (EAC) Members

Steven Gortmaker, PhD
EAC Co-Chair
Professor of the Practice of Health Sociology
Department of Society, Human Development and Health
Harvard School of Public Health

Frank Chaloupka, PhD
Distinguished Professor
University of Illinois at Chicago

Lisa Powell, PhD
Research Professor of Economics
Senior Research Scientist
Institute for Health Research and Policy
University of Illinois at Chicago

Jenna Seymour, PhD
Epidemiologist
Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Anna-Maria Siega-Riz, PhD, RD, LDN
Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition
Associate Chair of Epidemiology
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Mary Story, PhD, RD
Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health
Associate Dean for Student Life School of Public Health
University of Minnesota

Jayachandran Variyam
Chief, Diet, Safety, and Health Economics Branch
Food Economics Research Division
USDA Economics Research Service

Y. Claire Wang, MD, ScD
Assistant Professor
Department of Health Policy and Management
Columbia Mailman School of Public Health

Program Advisors

Susan Krebs-Smith, PhD
Chief, Risk Factor Monitoring and Methods Branch
Applied Research Program
Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences
National Cancer Institute
National Institutes of Health

Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH
Associate Dean for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Professor of Epidemiology
Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

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