New Ohio Program Aims to Create Real, Lasting Change Through Balance

As a mom, I’m always striving to find balance. So I’m especially proud that our industry is working to provide resources and products to help families like mine.

At America’s beverage companies, we’re driving toward real change to help people find balance by reducing their sugar. Through the Balance Calories Initiative, the single-largest voluntary effort by an industry to help fight obesity, we will transform the beverage landscape – in Ohio and across the nation.

Obesity remains a serious public health challenge across the great state of Ohio and throughout our nation. In fact, recent government statistics show that more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese. To turn the tide on obesity, it will take all of us working together – elected officials, healthcare professionals, industry, community leaders and more. The beverage industry is committed to doing its part.

This effort will not be easy. To be successful, these three fierce competitors – The Coca-Cola Company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and PepsiCo – will leverage their marketing, innovation and distribution strengths to promote smaller-portion sizes, water and no- and lower-calorie beverage options.

To meet the challenge, beverage companies are focusing resources to create access to and interest in options that can help consumers reduce their calories and sugar from beverages.

Introducing Balance Calories Ohio

Now, you can see Balance Calories come to life here in Ohio.

Through the members of the Ohio Soft Drink Association, we will amplify the Balance Calories message across the Buckeye State. From the grocery store to the vending machine, Ohioans will be given the encouragement, as well as the opportunity, to pursue a balanced lifestyle and consider beverage choices that can help them reduce their calorie and sugar intake.

As an industry, we were proud to launch Balance Calories Ohio in Columbus, the state’s largest city with a strong history of public-private-partnerships, thanks to the strong support of Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

Columbus boasts a strong economy that is leading the state and the Midwest in many ways, such as record low unemployment, a booming housing market and substantial growth and development. However, all that economic success means little if citizens here are not healthy.

Local leaders like Mayor Ginther and Foodbank Executive Director Matt Habash understand that when we work together, we can accomplish significant and meaningful results. And one way is to bring the message of balance along with new educational programs to the Columbus Department of Recreation and Parks and the Mid-Ohio Foodbank to help their constituents navigate the beverage aisle and make the choice that’s right for them and their families.

And in the spirit of our industry’s longstanding commitment to giving back, Ohio’s leading beverage companies have committed to contribute a wide array of lower- and no-calorie and smaller portion beverages over the next 12 months to Mid-Ohio Foodbank locations. This partnership provides a platform for the Foodbank to expand its focus and deliver more lower-calorie and smaller-portion beverage options to its clients.

As Mayor Ginther said, “Balance Calories Ohio is another illustration of the Columbus Way—where local government works in partnership with the private sector to solve critical community issues.”

The beverage industry is proud to bring this initiative to Columbus, and across the great state of Ohio. We look forward to a long relationship, and we are eager to see the outcome.

Show Us Balance, We’ll Donate a Beverage

Now through September 30, join the Ohio Soft Drink Association as we support Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

Every time an Ohioan posts to Twitter or Instagram a picture of themselves enjoying a lower- or no-calorie or smaller portion beverage and uses the hashtag #BalanceOH, our member companies will donate one beverage to the Foodbank. This is part of the Balance Calories Ohio program.

The #BalanceOH social campaign is one of the ways we can help Mid-Ohio Foodbank raise awareness for their mission as well as encourage balance in what Ohioans eat, drink and do. OSDA is also proud to partner with the Foodbank on Hunger Action Month, which takes place in September.

For more information on Balance Calories Ohio, media links and a photo gallery, visit ohiosoftdrink.com/bci.

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