Coca-Cola, PepsiCo can't ignore health issues
The critics are kicking the industry when it's down.
Soda is a convenient whipping boy in the battle against obesity because it is devoid of nutritional benefits. However, the link between soda and America's bulging waistlines is not clear cut. For instance, fewer people are drinking soda on a per-capita basis, a more than decade-long trend that the Center for Science and the Public Interest, the industry's fiercest critic, has applauded.
Moreover, diet soda's share of the market has been increasing, accounting for about 29% of soda sales volume in 2011 compared with 70.9% share for regular soda, according to Beverage Digest.
A Surgeon General study, if it ever happens, would examine all the soda health issues, but would be unfair if it stopped at regular soda. Though diet soda has the aura of being a healthier alternative to sugary carbonated beverages, it has its own set of problems. A study released last year found that daily drinkers of diet soda had a 61% higher risk of stroke, heart attacks and other "vascular events." Another study found that diet soda drinkers were more likely to gain weight.
A recent New York Times op-ed made a convincing case against the consumption of cow's milk. Fruit juice is no panacea either. "Like soda, it can contribute to energy imbalance. High intakes of juice can contribute to diarrhea, overnutrition or undernutrition, and development of dental caries," according to a 2001 study in Pediatrics. Energy drinks can be problematic as well.
The reasons why people get fat and stay fat are complex. Blaming one factor, such as soda consumption, misses the broad array of medical, economic and social factors that cause the problem. New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg's plan to limit soda sizes is not the answer, and neither are soda taxes. Such approaches avoid the issue of individual responsibility.
Let's hope that the debate over soda's health effects can be based on science instead of simple fixes or sensationalistic press releases.
Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed stocks. Follow him on Twitter@jdberr.
I am so tired of you idiots and the government thinking you need to protect me from myself. I will do what I want to do when I want to do it and as long as that doesn't harm your right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, you shouldn't care what makes me happy. Get off your high horse and quit thinking your way of living is the only right way.
Yes,let's spend a couple of billion tax dollars to find out why people gain weight.
It's really quite simple..if you eat more calories than you burn,you gain weight.
Every single person alive knows this. Even animals know this.
Banning food is not the answer. Changing ones lifestyle is.
I don't care if you are 500lbs or 50...it's your life. Stop acting like obesity is a mystery!
I predict this:
If you eat corn syrup you'll die
If you don't eat corn syrup you'll still die
If you drink diet soad you'll die
If you don't drink diet soda you'll still die
If you're fat you'll die
If your not fat you'll still die
Being born is a terminal condition so go out screamin Ya Hoo!!!, sliding on the banana peel into the grave with a diet soda in one hand, a twinkie in the other, a pack of smokes in the front pocket and a can of skoal in the back. Then lay in the same cold dirt next to the idiot who denied himself all of lifes simple pleasures so he could still ....................die.
eating causes cancer unless it is government sanctioned(lobbyist approved) manna
Drinking anything causes cancer unless of course it is the overpriced poisoned tap water that we are all subject to.
breathing, copulation, walking...not walking...evacuating our bowels...causes cancer.
The real truth here is that the right palms are not being greased by the soft drink industry there fore they are evil...EVIL.
I will eat, drink and do what I want. How can the government possibly know what works for me personally?
Okay all you Commies! The government should force all of us to rise and shine each morning at 0400 hours for a vigorous workout, force us to take our vitamins ( or fine us under obama tax care) , Eat exactly what they tell us too, Only drive hybrid or electric cars, watch only certain shows on television ( for our indoctrination into how great our government is) , go to the government designated religious meeting place and give thanks that we have such great leaders such as obama, and go to bed at exactly 2100 hours. Our thermostats will all be programmed exactly the same.
Are you people all nuts? Is this what you really want? Well I guess I'm just an old fashion rebel! Give me Liberty or give me death! If I die at least I will die free and happy!
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