Balance Calories Initiative: Success is in the Numbers

Press Release

The Canadian beverage industry’s Balance Calories Initiative is helping to reduce the calories consumed from beverages across all ages and regions according to The Conference Board of Canada newest report, Counting the CaloriesThe report looks deeper into consumption rates of non-alcoholic beverages based on Statistics Canada’s latest Canadian Community Health Survey – Nutrition Survey data. A collaboration between StatsCan, Health Canada and provincial health ministries, the Canadian Community Health Survey is the largest Canadian government survey to assess what Canadians are eating and drinking.

As leaders in innovation in the beverage sector, CBA members are working to help reduce the number of calories that Canadians consume from non-alcoholic beverages by reducing sugars in recipes, introducing smaller portion sizes and providing more low and no-calorie beverage options.

Report highlights:

  • According to data from the latest Canadian Community Health Survey, between 2004 and 2015, all provinces are following the general trend towards fewer calories/day from non-alcoholic beverages including regions where obesity rates have increased.
  • Despite the fact that obesity rates continue to rise in Canada, overweight Canadians reduced their beverage calorie consumption by 45 per cent and obese Canadians by 41 per cent between 2004 and 2015.
  • Calories from non-alcoholic beverages in diets of children (1-13yrs) have decreased by 47 per cent (to 95 kcal/day) and for adolescent (14-18yrs) diets calories have decreased by 46 per cent since 2004 (to 140 kcal/day)
  • The contribution of non-alcoholic beverages to the average 2,000 kcal diet went from 7.4 per cent of daily calories in 2004 down to 4.1 per cent of daily calories in 2015.
  • There has been a greater than 30 per cent reduction in calories consumed by Canadians overall from non-alcoholic beverages due to changing tastes and product innovation in the beverage industry.

“This report helps to dispel persistent myths about over-consumption of non-alcoholic beverages by Canadians,” said Jim Goetz, President of the CBA. “Children, obese/overweight persons and Canadians as a whole are seeing reductions in the calories they are consuming from beverages – our industry is doing our part to address the portion of calories we represent, but, it is clear a holistic approach to the diet of Canadians is needed to continue to support better health outcomes.”

About the Balance Calories Initiative

Balance Calories Initiative (BCI) — a voluntary initiative by members of the Canadian Beverage Association — was launched in 2015 with the goal of reducing calories consumed from non-alcoholic beverages per capita, per day by 20 per cent by 2025. In just three years, the initiative is more than half-way (10.2 per cent) to its goal of 20 per cent.

The Canadian beverage industry has a successful track record of leading voluntary initiatives. They include: voluntarily restricting marketing to children; eliminating full-calorie soft drinks from schools; and implementing front-of-pack calorie labeling, an initiative known as Clear on Calories.

The Conference Board of Canada, an evidence-based, action-oriented research organization with a non-partisan perspective, has partnered with Canadian Beverage Association and its members to benchmark and verify progress of this program. For more information, visit balancecalories.ca.

SOURCE Canadian Beverage Association