Coca-Cola Touts Role in Fighting Obesity -- and Lobbies for Giant Sodas

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Coca-Cola

As I was walking to work this morning, I saw a giant bus ad that read, "Don't let bureaucrats tell you what beverage to buy." It bore the silhouette of a muscular man triumphantly holding up a cup of soda and directed viewers to NYCBeverageChoices.com. The ad campaign and website are part of the beverage industry's ongoing efforts to overturn New York City's ban on the sale of sugary drinks over 16 ounces.

Then I got into the office and got wind of Coca-Cola's latest ad: a 2-minute-long commercial touting the company's commitment to reducing obesity by offering diet alternatives and smaller portion sizes. (See the ad below.)

That's right: At the same time Coca-Cola (KO) is boasting about its smaller cans and diet offerings, it's fighting tooth-and-nail for the right to sell drinks in giant, calorie-packed servings.

Coca-Cola (and the rest of the beverage industry) would likely chalk this up to a matter of personal choice, arguing that it's conscientiously offering consumers smaller, healthier options but that customers should still have the right to choose a 44-ounce sugary soda. And I'd agree with them on that point: I think that Coca-Cola and other beverage makers should be able to sell whatever size drinks they please, and that New Yorkers should be allowed to get as fat as they want drinking them.

But just because they have the right to sell 44-ounce sodas doesn't mean they ought to do so, as there's no question that ever-growing portion sizes in this country are a contributing factor to our ever-expanding waistlines -- and HFCS-laden sodas add nothing but empty calories to our diets. For Coca-Cola to declare that it can "play an important role" in addressing obesity while intensely lobbying on behalf of Double Big Gulps and the like is drinking out of both sides of the cup.

Yes, Coca-Cola has taken steps in a healthier direction by selling diet alternatives and smaller-sized cans. But if they're going to call themselves part of the solution while fighting to remain part of the problem, we're going to call this new ad what it is: a disingenuous P.R. pitch. Watch the ad below and decide for yourself.




Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.


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Andson Jhon

great post ,just i am finding this info on net for one hour i get more info about that from many blog but nothing like that what you posted .
your post is so informative and unique ,i like this and bookmarked your blog and i will try to read your all post .
thank you man for posting that great content.
please keep it up.

February 08 2013 at 12:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andson Jhon

great post ,just i am finding this info on net for one hour i get more info about that from many blog but nothing like that what you posted .
your post is so informative and unique ,i like this and bookmarked your blog and i will try to read your all post .
thank you man for posting that great content.
please keep it up.
http://garagedoorrepair-phoenix.com

February 08 2013 at 12:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
obamasafiasco

Inner city Obamabots love their soda and their guns.

January 16 2013 at 7:08 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
gttdux

Sugar water is dead. Sell your KO stock or you will pay the price.

January 16 2013 at 2:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phil

Maybe we should base the size on bmi, they could have calipers where they sell the coke

January 16 2013 at 10:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phil

I like half diet half regular coke, do I pay half the tax

January 16 2013 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pj512

I'm more concerned about the acid in soft drinks than the calories. I have a good metabolism so I don't gain a lot of weight, and I drink Coke products every day. It's my choice. I know they are not "nutritious" foods, but you only live once. It's great if you can force yourself to eat healthy your whole life, but what good is that going to do you when you die? You may live 5 or 6 years longer than everybody else, but have you enjoyed that life? I eat healthy things, but I also eat and drink unhealthy things. My father, who ate and drank what he wanted, died at age 80 last year. Both of his parents died before they hit 60. So go have that Twinkie and large Coke.

January 16 2013 at 10:03 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
LizAndrsn

Coca-Cola was around long before people got pudgy, so blaming them for the weight we've collectively gained is short-sighted.

The rise is weight is linked to all the bad Low-Fat Dieting information we were bombarded with. You see, they took away (some of) the fat, but replaced it with mega amounts of sugar to make it palatable. But sugar's natural, right? Yea, up until it shows up as sugar, corn syrup, fructose and high fructose corn syrup in ONE item, weighting more than any of the other ingredients combined.

The point is, like any lawsuit, gun after the one with the bigger pockets: the Lobbyists and Food Companies that keep producing and feeding us SUGAR.

January 16 2013 at 9:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
marine1942

Love Coke. Had one with Breakfat and will buy more KO this morning.
One great company.

January 16 2013 at 8:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
B N

I know it seems counter-intuitive, but Coke is looking out for your health! Their new sodas will be so big you'll actually LOSE weight from lifting them. It's like a workout AND a beverage.

January 16 2013 at 5:52 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply