The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation Pledge

Caloric sales from brands included in the nationwide Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) pledge declined by an average of 78 calories per person per day over five years, with notable reductions from sweets and snacks, grain products, and carbonated soft drinks.

The Issue:

Sixteen major food and beverage companies acting together as part of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) pledged to sell 1.5 trillion fewer calories in 2015 than they did in 2007, with an interim goal of 1 trillion fewer by 2012. This study examines changes in food and beverage calories sold per capita per day from 2007–2012 in total, and by brand category. The mutually exclusive brand categories were HWCF brands, non-HWCF national brands, and private labels such as store or generic brands.

Key Findings

  • The total calories sold by HWCF brands fell from 60.4 trillion in 2007 to 54 trillion in 2012.

  • This 6.4 trillion calorie reduction exceeded the original pledge by more than 400 percent.


In a multi-year effort to help reduce obesity, especially childhood obesity, nationwide, members of the HWCF have thus far met and exceeded their calorie reduction goal. This independent study shows that sales from the consumer packaged goods (CPG) food and beverage sector are changing. An accompanying paper addresses whether the pledge affected CPG calories purchased by households with children, controlling for sociodemographic and economic factors.

About the Study:

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded an independent evaluation of the HWCF marketplace pledge, conducted in 2013. Nielsen Scantrack and Nielsen Homescan data from 2007 and 2012 were used to track total caloric sales, and caloric purchases.

Media Contacts

Melissa Blair

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-5937

Blog post

How cutting calories is good for health and good for business

The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation pledged to cut 1.5 trillion calories from their foods by 2015. They've already cut many more: 6.4 trillion. RWJF's Jim Marks and the UNC's Barry Popkin ask: What's next?

Read the Q&A

Infographic: How Food and Beverage Companies Met the Challenge

The 16 companies, working together as part of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, pledged to cut 1.5 trillion calories from the marketplace by 2015. They did better than that. They sold 6.4 trillion fewer calories in 2012 than in 2007.

View the infographic