Mars, Incorporated Supports Improving National School Nutrition Standards

Friday, March 19, 2010 General News
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MCLEAN, Va., March 18 Mars, Incorporated today announced its support for improved school food nutrition standards so that more nutritious products are available to students nationwide. A key component of a comprehensive health and wellness campaign, the announcement was made in partnership with other industry leaders and public health organizations.

Mars is an advocate for strengthening national nutrition standards for foods sold through vending machines, school stores, and a la carte items on all school campuses, as an important element of a broader solution to address the health challenges facing the nation's youth. Current federal nutrition standards for foods sold outside of the school meals programs in vending machines have not been updated since the late 1970s.

"Mars believes that schools are a unique environment, and we strongly support a new national school nutrition standard that will ensure children have access to high quality nutritious snacks at school," said Hank Izzo, Ph.D., vice president, research and development, Mars Chocolate, US. In March 2009, Mr. Izzo testified on behalf of Mars before the Senate Agriculture Committee in support of legislation to revise school food nutrition standards.

"Mars supports a new national school nutrition standard that will make it easier for schools and food manufacturers to work together to ensure children make smart decisions about the foods they consume," said Izzo.

Specifically, Mars and the coalition urged Congress that the new standards should be consistent with the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, published under the National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act, and also consider other authoritative sources such as scientific recommendations, state and local standards and other voluntary standards as have been developed as best practices.

Mars is a proven industry leader when it comes to addressing global health and nutrition issues, especially as they relate to foods in schools and the health and well being of school-age children.

About Mars, Incorporated

Mars, Incorporated is a private, family-owned company founded in 1911 and employing more than 65,000 associates at over 230 sites, including 135 factories, in 68 countries worldwide. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, U.S.A., Mars, Incorporated is one of the world's largest food companies, generating global revenues of more than $28 billion annually and operating in six business segments: Chocolate, Petcare, Wrigley Gum and Confections, Food, Drinks, and Symbioscience. These segments produce some of the world's leading brands: Chocolate - M&M'S®,SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Petcare - PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, SHEBA®, CESAR® and ROYAL CANIN®; Wrigley - ORBIT®,EXTRA®, STARBURST®, DOUBLEMINT® and SKITTLES®; Food - UNCLE BEN'S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS® and SEEDS OF CHANGE®; Drinks - KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience - WISDOM PANEL(TM), SERAMIS®, CIRKUHEALTH(TM) and COCOAPRO®.

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-- In 2006, Mars was one of the first five companies to partner with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (AHG), a coalition started by The William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association to empower kids to make healthy lifestyle choices. -- As a member of AHG, Mars developed the Generation Max(TM) product line that meets stringent nutritional guidelines as set out by the AHG. These snacks are offered to schools across the country today. -- At the end of 2007, Mars became the first food company to voluntarily discontinue advertising and marketing directed toward children under the age of 12, worldwide. -- In 2008. Mars became the first food company in the world to voluntarily roll out new, easy-to-read and understand nutrition labels. -- In 2009, Mars became a founding member of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, a multi-year program involving the food industry to combat childhood obesity. The HWCF seeks to lower levels of obesity, particularly childhood obesity, in the United States by 2015, through measurable programs in schools, the workplace and the marketplace. -- Mars has created a dedicated health and wellness Web site for consumers at, a destination providing nutrition information for all Mars products, health and fitness tips and links to other helpful health sites. -- Mars has added more whole grains to many of its products including its UNCLE BEN'S Rice® dishes (which has also reduced sodium levels across its product line). Mars has begun offering certified organic food and snack choices under our certified organic SEEDS OF CHANGE® product line. -- As a science-based company, Mars continues to invest in research and development that is helping it develop diverse product portfolios that offer consumers a range of choices.

SOURCE Mars, Incorporated

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