The Soda Industry and Obesity

I saw this headline today and it caught my eye ” Coca-Cola Commercial to Address Obesity for First Time Ever”

Very interested in their message and intentions as a student of business and dietetics; so, I read this article. Here are some quotes that stood out to me.

“The ad lays out Coca-Cola’s record of providing drinks with fewer calories over the years and notes that weight gain is the result of consuming too many calories of any kind — not just soda.”

This is very true; and is not so important to people who drink one or two cans of soda a month. But, the problem is serious for the people who are drinking multiple cans (let a lone liters) a day. Also, I want to point out that calories are not the only issue here. Even if 12 oz of one soda gives you less calories than another they are both providing lots of sugar and not a lot of vitamins or minerals.

“The mayor of Cambridge, Mass., has already proposed a similar measure, saying she was inspired by New York’s move.”

Just thought this was interesting especially since there was so much controversy over the change in NYC. Very excited to see how this pans out!

“Recent studies have also suggested that sugary drinks cause people to pack on the pounds, independent of other behavior. A decades-long study involving more than 33,000 Americans, for example, suggested that drinking sugary beverages interacts with genes that affect weight and amplifies a person’s risk of obesity beyond what it would be from heredity alone.”

I am not exactly sure to what extent this is true. But, it seems to me if you are eating/drinking a lot of caloric dense foods, as opposed to nutrient dense foods, you would be at higher risk for obesity. Another study I will have to look into.

“Mike Jacobson, executive director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, was skeptical about the intent behind Coca-Cola’s ads and said that if the company was serious about helping reduce obesity, it would stop fighting soda taxes.”

I totally agree. (too much to say about soda taxes for this post)

“The Center for Science in the Public Interest has been critical of the soft drink industry and last year released a video parodying Coke’s famous polar bears becoming plagued with diabetes and other health problems from drinking too much soda.”

Does anyone know where this is on YouTube? I would be love to see it.

“Coca-Cola said its ads aren’t a reaction to negative public sentiment, however. Instead, the idea is to raise awareness about lower-calorie drinks and what it plans to do in coming months…There’s an important conversation going on about obesity out there, and we want to be a part of the conversation”

Hopefully this is good news. It depends what they do with these drinks and how they are marketed. Many foods marketed as ‘healthy’ are not exactly that.

“Coca-Cola declined to give details on what it plans for the year ahead. But among the options under consideration is putting the amount of activity needed to burn off the calories in a drink on cans and bottles.”

I have heard about doing this on menus too. Really puts into perspective what you are putting into your body.

“Diet sodas now account for nearly a third of its sales in the U.S. and Canada.”

This is very interesting considering the following statement:” the idea is to raise awareness about lower-calorie drinks”.


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