percent are innovative enough to be successful (Heasman and Mellentin, 2001). The majority of these new products fail for a variety of reasons including lack of consumer demand, cost, marketing strategies, or lack of positive reinforcement or support from other groups (such as the public health sector and health-care professionals) (Heasman and Mellentin, 2001).

But failure in the past, particularly with regard to healthier food and beverage offerings, does not necessarily mean failure in the future. The financial success of diet carbonated beverages and the greater availability of reduced-calorie food and beverage products—buttressed in part by the reduced fat or saturated fat processed food products created by industry in response to the Healthy People 2000 objectives (NCHS, 2001)—are examples of how industry could be continually seeking new ways to meet consumer demand, earn a decent profit, and have its products positively affect public health.

Thus significant profit incentives now exist for industry to develop reduced-calorie and low-energy-dense foods, thereby helping consumers achieve their dietary and energy balance goals. Movement in that direction has already begun; food and beverage industries are currently seeking opportunities in product development and product reformulation, with an emphasis on eating for health (Datamonitor, 2002; FMI, 2003a). New products are also developed, packaged, and marketed to ethnically diverse children and youth with attention to cultural taste preferences and attractive packaging (Williams et al., 1993). The committee recommends that as new products are developed or existing products are modified by the private sector, it should be imperative that energy balance, energy density, nutrient density, and standard serving sizes are primary considerations in the process. This can be assisted by government stakeholders providing general support, technical assistance, research expertise, and regulatory guidance.

Energy Density of Foods

As discussed in Chapter 3, the energy density of a given food is the amount of energy it stores per unit volume or mass. At 9 kilocalories2 stored per gram, fat has the highest energy density. Alcohol stores 7 kilocalories per gram, carbohydrates and protein both store 4, fiber stores 1.5-2.5, and water stores 0.0—i.e., it does not provide energy. Energy density is a determinant of the effects of foods and macronutrients on satiety (Rolls et

2

In this report the term “kilocalories” is used synonymously with “calories.”



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