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Beverage Companies set to Cut Calories

Update Date: Sep 24, 2014 04:07 PM EDT

According to recent data, 16 food and beverage companies have successfully cut 6.4 trillion calories from their products. Now, three of the largest soda corporations within the United States have also pledged to reduce the calorie content of their beverages.

"This is huge," former President Bill Clinton told the New York Times. "I've heard it could mean a couple of pounds of weight lost each year in some cases."

Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr. Pepper Snapple stated that over the next 10 years, they would aim to reduce the amount of calories in their products by 20 percent. On top of this, the companies plan on offering consumers more low-calorie or zero-calorie options. Other efforts to combat obesity include selling soda in smaller cans, detailing calorie counts clearly and promoting calorie awareness.

"This initiative will help transform the beverage landscape in America," said Susan K. Neely, president of the American Beverage Association in a statement. "It takes our efforts to provide consumers with more choices, smaller portions and fewer calories to an ambitious new level."

People can expect to see changes at their local convenience stores, vending machines and even the fountain soda dispensers used at fast food joints and movie theaters. These changes will focus on increasing people's awareness about the amount of calories that are in their drinks. According to Clinton, within a low-income community, the calories from sugary beverages make up about half of the total amount consumed by children per day.

Clinton added, "I am excited about the potential of this voluntary commitment by the beverage industry. It can be a critical step in our ongoing fight against obesity. Our work with beverage companies to reduce the number of calories shipped to schools by 90 percent demonstrates the power of creative cooperation. We look forward to continuing to work together to achieve the goals outlined in this commitment."

The announcement was made at the 10th annual Clinton Global Initiative that took place in New York.

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