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Nestlé releases nutrition, health, wellness 2011 scorecard

NEW YORK — Nestlé on Tuesday released a scorecard on the company's progress in the areas of nutrition, health and wellness in the United States over the course of 2011.

"[In] the past year, Nestlé has introduced and expanded new NHW initiatives, announced several partnerships with leading industry organizations and launched multiple campaigns to increase nutrition awareness and help combat epidemic rates of obesity," the company stated.

"With obesity rates on the rise, especially among younger Americans, Nestlé recognizes that maintaining a healthy lifestyle requires making smart choices," stated Chris Johnson, Nestlé's zone director for the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean. "At Nestlé, we strive to offer healthier food and beverage alternatives, while also providing solutions for portion control. We have introduced specific product improvements focused on adding healthier ingredients like whole grains, while also reducing sodium, fat and sugar in many of our products."

Key NHW efforts carried out by Nestlé in the United States during 2011, according to the company, include:

  • Healthy Steps for Healthy Lives Initiative. Nestlé announced its partnership with the National Education Association to expand nutrition and physical activity resources for teachers;

  • Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation. Nestlé joined the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, a national industry effort designed to help reduce obesity, particularly among children, by 2015. As part of this program, Nestlé has committed to improving the nutritional density of its products by featuring fruits and vegetables, whole grains, calcium, omega-3s and antioxidants where it makes sense;

  • Nestlé Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study. The "Nestlé Feeding Infants and Toddlers Study" was the result of a collaborative effort between Nestlé researchers, Mathematica Policy Research and expert scientific advisers from several different universities to assess the diets of young children in the United States. It provided insights about the evolution of children's diets from birth through pre-school, including sources of calories, key nutrients and snacking patterns;

  • Nestlé Pure Life Hydration Movement. Nestlé Pure Life launched the Hydration Movement, an online pledge to educate consumers and families about healthy hydration; and

  • Nestlé Nutrition Institute - Reclaiming the Family Meal. The Nestlé Nutrition Institute organized a satellite symposium on the theme: "The Family Meal: Reclaiming the Dinner Table" at the American Dietetic Association annual meeting. It explored this complex issue from all angles — including social epidemiology, the history of dining together in the United States and innovative culinary techniques and practice.

In addition, Nestlé introduced several products with nutrition, health and wellness in mind, the company reported. For example, Nestlé extended its popular Skinny Cow low-fat ice cream brand into a new range of low-calorie candy snacks called Skinny Cow Confections. Stouffer's launched its new Farmer's Harvest products featuring whole grains and increased vegetable servings, with a focus on adding high-quality ingredients like sea salt, olive oil and real cheese. Across its Nestlé Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss brand, Nestlé introduced the first all-natural flavored coffee creamer, which is made of only milk, cream, sugar and natural flavor. The flavor range includes vanilla, caramel and sweet cream.

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