Obesity Solutions Initiative

The Obesity Solutions Initiative serves as a bridge to drive workable policies and solutions to the global obesity epidemic giving consideration to the needs of all vested parties—corporations, the public health community, consumers and regulators. Emphasis is placed on the development of market-based solutions in contrast to prevalent one-sided perspectives which have led to biased policy decisions, a lack of pragmatism, and ineffective and costly regulations. The undertaking is currently focused on building the business case for healthier, lower-calorie foods by demonstrating the financial and marketing benefits from modifying marketing practices and product portfolios.

Current policies under assessment include the deployment of tax incentives to lower the number of calories sold, and the leveraging of marketing budgets to educate consumers about nutrition and portion control.

Major past reports of the Obesity Solutions Initiative include Better-For-You Foods: It’s Just Good Business (October 2011), Lower-Calorie Foods: It’s Just Good Business (February 2013), Better-For-You Foods: An Opportunity to Improve Public Health and Increase Food Industry Profits (March 2013), and Lower-Calorie Foods and Beverages Drive Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation Companies’ Sales Growth (May 2013).

The Initiative’s director is Senior Fellow Hank Cardello, the author of Stuffed: An Insider’s Look at Who’s (Really) Making America Fat. He is a former food executive with Coca-Cola, General Mills, Anheuser-Busch and Cadbury-Schweppes, and co-Chair of the Global Obesity Business Forum sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Cardello is a frequent contributor to The Atlantic on food policy and obesity matters.

Policy Center News

Hank Cardello quoted on National Public Radio on how healthful foods can be good for a food company’s sales growth

Hank Cardello quoted in LA Times on the increasing sales of “better for you” versions of popular foods

Hank Cardello quoted in ConscienHealth on obesity and food policy

Hudson Institute dietary guidelines referenced in Commissaries for the DoD’s Healthy Base Initiative using its standards and low calorie criteria

Hank Cardello quoted in USA Today on consumers’ healthy eating choices

QSR magazine quotes Hank Cardello and cites study published by the Obesity Solutions Initiative

Hank Cardello quoted in Minnesota Public Radio News on consumer interest in healthy ingredients

Hank Cardello quoted in Christian Science Monitor on the link between lower-calorie products & profits

Center report on low-cal offerings and industies’ bottom-line noted in Robert Wood Johnson Foundation release.

Initiative research cited in the Economist.





View all

Lower-Calorie Foods: It's Just Good Business

In the Media

View all

All Commentary

View all

All Scholarship

All Transcripts

All Press