With a boost from Mayor Cornett, beverage group launches ‘Balance Calories Oklahoma’ effort

OKLAHOMA CITY – With a boost from Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, a new program encourages Oklahomans to “Balance What You Eat, Drink & Do” by providing calorie balance messages on beverage vending machines, self-serve fountain dispensers and retail coolers in convenience stores, restaurants and other locations.
According to a press release sent to CapitolBeatOK and other news organizations, the Oklahoma Beverage Association (OBA), Oklahoma Grocers Association (OGA) and the Oklahoma City-County Health Department announced the launch of Balance Calories Oklahoma in support of collective efforts to make Oklahoma a great place to live, work and play. 
The organizations also will participate and display calorie balance messages on coolers, vending machines and fountain equipment controlled by independent owners. Oklahoma’s non-alcoholic beverage industry will further the reach of the national effort already underway by The Coca-Cola Company, the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and PepsiCo. 
Additionally, leading beverage companies, along with the beverage association, will take part in events statewide to raise awareness around the initiative – some of which will include OGA and the Oklahoma City-County health officials.

The initiative kicked off in late August at the Oklahoma City-County Health Department with the help of Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett.
“Improving the health of our city is a cause near and dear to my heart,” Cornett said. “I support initiatives that will help Oklahomans live a balanced lifestyle through diet and exercise. Balance Calories Oklahoma provides them with the choices and information to help them on that path.”
“The Oklahoma Beverage Association is committed to being part of meaningful solutions to help strengthen our great state,” said Rickey Truelove, president of the Oklahoma Beverage Association and Market Unit General Manager at Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling. “That’s why we, as Oklahoma’s leading beverage companies, are doing our part to help. We are reminding people to think about the calories in their beverages and offering Oklahomans a wider variety of beverage options than ever before so they can choose a drink that best fits their lifestyle.”
“We are proud of the broad base of partners that we have the opportunity to work with on a daily basis in our community to improve health,” said Gary Cox, executive director, OKC-County Health Department.  “One of those great partners is the Oklahoma Beverage Association, and we are excited to host the kick-off of the Balance Calories Initiative to encourage OKC residents to make informed decisions for their families.” 
OBA, OGA and member companies will engage in consumer outreach efforts to increase awareness of the wide array of no- and lower-calorie and smaller portion beverages available. Supporting the nationwide effort, calorie awareness promotions will appear on all beverage company-controlled point-of- sale equipment throughout Oklahoma, including vending machines, self-serve fountain dispensers and retail coolers.
Balance Calories Oklahoma is part of the Balance Calories Initiative, a national, multi-year effort from America’s leading beverage companies and the American Beverage Association to help fight obesity by reducing beverage calories consumed per person by 20 percent nationally by 2025.
For more information on the Balance Calories Oklahoma initiative, follow on Twitter at  @OKBeverage or visit www.okbeverage.org/balance-calories-oklahoma.

About the participating organizations: The Oklahoma Beverage Association is the trade association that represents Oklahoma’s non-alcoholic beverage industry. OBA’s membership is comprised of beverage producers, distributors, franchise companies and support industries.
The Oklahoma Grocery Association is a state trade association that  represents the Oklahoma food industry, including independent grocers, convenience stores, suppliers and wholesalers throughout Oklahoma.
The mission of the Oklahoma City-County Health Department is working to protect health, promote wellness and prevent disease.