Friday, August 21, 2015

Coca Cola Announces it's Spending Plan for Research on Obesity




In a series of events mirroring that of the 'Tobacco Wars" of the 1980s Coca Cola revealed it's funding of research studies into the causes of obesity. The research they are funding has a preordained outcome, as Coca-Cola has stated obesity is not due to high caloric intakes, but to lack of exercise.  

Although there was indisputable scientific evidence of the effects of tobacco smoking on lung cancer, big tobacco denied the causative effects of  tobacco.

Coke Tries to Sugarcoat the Truth on Calories
By paying experts who side with them, the company is trying to divert attention from products that contribute to obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

During the past two years New York City placed a ban on containers of soda greater than 16 ounces.  Big tobacco,  feeling the heat, began a campaign to  defend it's huge profits based upon addictive drinking of high sugar content drinks.  Coca-cola was not the only target of the ban on 'super-size' drinks.

In an opinion article published online in The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, Muhtar Kent, chief executive of Coca-Cola, also said the company would assemble a panel of independent advisers on its financial support for academic research.
“As we continue to learn, it is my hope that our critics will receive us with an open mind,” Mr. Kent wrote. “At times we will agree and at times we will passionately disagree.”
A front-page article in The New York Times this month revealed the financial ties between Coke and the Global Energy Balance Network, a nonprofit advocacy group that contends people worry too much about what they eat and not enough about how much they exercise.


RELATED COVERAGE

Coca-Cola provided seed money for the group, and its vice president, Steven Blair, appeared in a video in which he chastised “the media” for blaming overconsumption of fast food and sugary drinks for the country’s high rates of obesitydiabetes and heart disease. In the video, Dr. Blair said, “There’s really virtually no compelling evidence that that, in fact, is the cause.”
On Thursday, however, Dr. Blair posted a statement on Global Energy’s website, saying he had asked the group to remove his video. “I regret that a statement I made in this video has been used by some to brand G.E.B.N. as a network focusing only on physical activity,” the statement said. “This is not true and never has been true. From the beginning the mission of G.E.B.N. has been to study the science of energy balance, which involves both diet and physical activity.”
Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, said it often was hard to determine the origins of research funding, so the decision by Coke to increase disclosure of its investment would be helpful.

“But what he didn’t say was, ‘We’re going to stop fighting soda taxes and limits on soda sales,’” said Dr. Nestle, whose new book, “Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda and Winning,” will be published this fall. 


She noted that Coca-Cola had underwritten studies critical of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, known as Nhanes, a program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that uses information about what people are eating. The data is collected from 5,000 households around the country throughout the year and combined with information from physical examinations.
In 2013, a paper co-written by Dr. Blair was published on PLOS One, an online peer-reviewed scientific journal, that questioned the validity of the data collected in Nhanes. PLOS One later added a correction to the report, noting Coca-Cola’s financial support for the research.
“Nhanes is the basis of the epidemiological studies that demonstrate an association between consumption of soft drinks and obesity and diabetes,” Dr. Nestle said. “Coke has embarked on a systematic effort over the years to discredit Nhanes and therefore those studies.”

Consumers often look for alternative drinks  and turn to other brands, which imply lower caloric content and 'healthy'  Surprisingly many of them are high calorie drinks as well.

Marketing is slick, often false (euphemistically) and often downright fraudulent.


100 Calories


180 calories


233 Calories








200 calories

No One would argue the lowest calorie drink is



Coca-cola may receive unwarranted attention, because like tobacco (Marlboro, Camels, Virginia Slims, Lucky Strike, there are many other sugary brands, such as Starbucks ( a favorite for millenials)

References:

Consumption of Sugar Drinks in the United States, 2005–2008Cynthia L. Ogden, Ph.D., M.R.P.; Brian K. Kit, M.D., M.P.H.; Margaret D. Carroll, M.S.P.H.; and Sohyun Park, Ph.D., M.S

Fact Sheet: Sugary Drink Supersizing And The Obesity Epidemic








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