Coca-Cola has teamed up with scientists to further spread the idea that the obesity is better solved not by eating a healthy diet, but by exercising more while not worrying about counting calories. The company has spent over $5 million since 2008 to fund scientists and organizations such as the Global Energy Balance Network to promote this idea using medical journals, conferences, and social media. The vice president of the Global Energy Balance Network, Steven N. Blair, says, “There’s really virtually no compelling evidence that [eating too much], in fact, is the cause [of obesity].” Health experts say that there is plenty of evidence supporting that exercise has little impact on weight and consuming sugary drinks like Coca-Cola can lead to obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Health officials also claim that Coke has adopted this argument in response to a decline in sales – in the past 20 years, Americans have decreased consumption of full-calorie sodas by 25% – and a recent push for a high tax on sugary drinks. When asked to comment, Coca-Cola said they “partner with some of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and physical activity,” and support whatever it is that those researchers find.
Contributor: Claire Pacek