Is Coke's anti-obesity campaign the real thing?
The company is making 4 'global commitments' to combat the epidemic. Critics see the strategy as just another effort to increase sales.
The Atlanta beverage giant made what it calls four "global commitments" to offer low- or no-calorie beverages in every market, provide nutritional information on the front of every package, support programs to encourage physical activity and not advertise its products to children younger than 12.
Not surprisingly, the CSPI wasn't impressed.
"Coca-Cola's campaign is a campaign to sell more Coca-Cola, and not a campaign to combat obesity," Jeff Cronin, a CSPI spokesman, wrote in an email to MSN Money, adding that the company is trying to head off government restrictions on soda sales. "Coke's main problem is that its core product causes obesity, diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay, gout, and other health problems. Those problems can't be advertised away."
A Coca-Cola spokesperson couldn't be reached for comment.
When it comes to obesity, Coca-Cola is in a bind.
On one hand, the company can't hide from the fact that far too many people are overweight. A study released last year by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation predicted that nearly half of Americans will be obese by 2030 if they don't change their ways, as reported by Reuters. The economic burden of the disease to society is an eye-popping $147 billion to $210 billion.
Coca-Cola, however, has to defend its core product, which it can't from a nutritional perspective, especially the full-calorie varieties.
The one argument that Coca-Cola can point to is that people drink far less soda than they used to years ago. Per-capita consumption has dropped for eight straight years and now is at levels not seen since 1996, according to Beverage Digest data cited by Advertising Age.
Coke leads the soft drink market with a 17% share, followed by Diet Coke, which has a 9.4% share. PepsiCo's (PEP) Pepsi ranks third with an 8.9% share, Beverage Digest says. For Coca-Cola, it'll be hard to avoid the fact that fighting obesity and ensuring the growth of its core product are strategies at odds with each other.
Jonathan Berr holds a small position in Coca-Cola. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
Growing up, Coke was a treat and was rarely served with a meal. But it wasn't like it was shunned, either. We drank it after a little league game, had Coke-floats for dessert, or just occasionally had one "because." There was no "Diet Coke." There was Tab, but the only people who drank it were diabetics... and I don't remember anyone saying back then that Coke is what made them fat (especially since I remember very few fat people from back then). Yes, we knew it could cause cavities, as anything with sugar could, but that's why we also brushed our teeth at nights.
Why in the world do we give any attention to these stupid advocacy groups who are so bent on protecting us from ourselves?!? It's just stupid.
Too much of anything is bad for you... drink your Coke guilt free. Enjoy it. Just use common sense and realize that if you drink too much of it and drink it while eating too much that you will get fat. And if you don't brush your teeth, especially if you drink a lot of soda and eat a lot of candy, not only will you be fat, but you will also develop lots of cavities and maybe even loose teeth.
Now, where is my millions of dollars for imparting such wisdom and saving tons of dollars in research?
Has the whole frikin world gone crazy?
Coke is responsible for obesity?
The tobacco industry is responsible for lung cancer?
Wine and beer producers are responsible for making people drunk?
The list goes on and on.
Is personal responsibility and common sense a thing of the past?
Are you responsible for your neighbors actions?
How about people remember how to work-out or go outside and play. Maybe eat better. People are quick to blame these companies for selling products.
Eat less. Be more active. Kick your kids outside and off the gaming consoles. Stop blaming others for general laziness.
We rarely had Coke when I was growing up. We couldn't afford it.
As an "adult" when I started worrying about calories, I drank Tab. Now I drink Diet Coke, "Just for the taste of it." Really.
Many people forget the fact that if you consume more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. It's not fair to blame any one food or drink.
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