In 2010, some of the biggest food companies in the U.S. pledged to cut 1.5 trillion calories from their products by 2015.

Preliminary data from an upcoming study sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation show they’ve already surpassed that goal, cutting approximately 6.4 trillion calories between 2007 and 2012 — or an average of 78 calories per American, The Associated Press reports.

Kids are Eating Fewer Calories

“This is a very significant shift in the marketplace,” Lisa Gable of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, the coalition that organized the pledge, told The Associated Press, adding that the findings “exceeded our expectations.”

The companies involved in the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation — including General Mills Inc., Campbell Soup Co., ConAgra Foods Inc., Kraft Foods Inc., Kellogg Co., Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc. and Hershey Co.– said they cut calories by both reducing portion sizes and slashing calories in existing products. (Noticed those 100-calorie packages of snacks on the shelves of your grocery store? And the 7.5- and 8-ounce cans of soda?)

Junk Food vs. Junk Food: Reading the Label

While the results are encouraging, and the companies have promised to sustain the commitment, two-thirds of packaged foods were not represented in the pledge, so it’s not clear whether other companies have followed suit. And, of course, whether Americans have consumed fewer calories is not part of the study.

Photo: Corbis