The ongoing nutrition crisis in the US is twofold: the country is facing rising rates of obesity alongside heightened levels of food and nutrition insecurity. This is exacerbated by food inequity and the effects of concurrent global crises, including the war in Ukraine, cost-of-living crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, 10.5% of the US population experienced food insecurity, whilst 41.9% were living with obesity. Further, the latest data shows that 16.2% of children aged 10 to 17 have obesity, with higher rates of obesity among children of color and children from families with low incomes. The coexistence of these figures indicates that the US food system is in dire need of transformation: the food system needs to deliver sufficient and healthy diets for all to support people’s health and wellbeing over the long term.

The food industry – including food & beverage manufacturers – plays a crucial role in this system. Given their widespread scale and reach, food companies have a responsibility to help shape US food environments in a way that supports nutrition, health, and equity. They can do this by, for example, improving their product portfolios through reformulation and innovation; enhancing responsible marketing practices; and supporting measures designed to improve public health and nutrition.

Through the US Index 2022, ATNI aims to drive companies to improve the nutritional quality of their products, substantially increase sales of healthier products, and change the ways in which they shape food environments.

ATNI's Previous Work in the US

ATNI published its first US Index in 2018. The Index assessed the ten largest food & beverage manufacturers in the US (Coca-Cola, Conagra, Dr. Pepper Snapple, General Mills, Kellogg, Kraft Heinz, Mars, Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Unilever) across eight different nutrition topics.

Results revealed that many of the companies assessed did not have comprehensive strategies, policies, and actions to effectively address the high levels of obesity and diet-related diseases in the US.

Read the US Index 2018

Read the US Index 2018 Methodology

The US Index 2018 also included a Product Profile, which analyzed the nutritional quality of selected products manufactured by the companies assessed. Results showed that just 30% of all products included in the assessment met the Health Star Rating (HSR) of 3.5 out of 5. This indicates that companies have a long way to go to deliver healthier products to the US population.

The US Index 2018 called on companies to take action to make their product portfolios healthier and ensure their healthy products are accessible to all through product (re)formulation, responsible marketing and comprehensive nutrition strategies with clearly-defined targets.

Through our US Indexes, ATNI will continue to measure and drive companies’ nutrition performance over time.

The US Index 2022

ATNI is releasing the US Index 2022 in October, continuing our efforts to encourage the 11 leading US manufacturers to improve equitable access to healthy foods for all.

The Index assesses companies across seven nutrition-related topics spanning 127 indicators. These indicators have been developed according to US and international guidelines and standards, along with accepted industry best practices, as well as guidance from our US Expert Group and stakeholder consultations. The full methodology for the US Index 2022 will be released soon.

This fall is set to be a crucial time for nutrition in the US, with the consecutive launches of the ATNI US Index 2022 and the second White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health.

Read about the White House Conference

With nutrition firmly on the national agenda for 2022, ATNI hopes that these events drive food & beverage manufacturers in the US to step up and contribute further to creating a health-promoting environment for US consumers.

Watch this space for the announcement of the launch date for the US Index 2022 – and to register for the launch event. Click the link below to receive updates on the US Index 2022.

Sign up for US Index 2022 updates

 

 

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