One expert suggests that Coca-Cola may not deserve the criticism
it is drawing for its new anti-obesity ad.
The two-minute commercial (view below) urges people to "come
together on something that concerns all of us: obesity." Coke
also makes it known that it now offers nearly 200 low- or
no-calorie beverages and that the company has voluntarily changed
its drink offerings in schools primarily to water, juices and low-
or no-calorie options.
Both efforts have led to a substantial reduction in calorie
consumption, according to Coke. The beverage giant also points out
that it supports programs that enable young people to get active,
while it continues to work with researchers to develop
zero-calorie, all-natural sweeteners.
Even so, nutrition professor Barry Popkin of the University of
North Carolina-Chapel Hill tells USA Today, "The Coca-Cola Company still
remains one of the major causes of obesity in the USA and
globally." Likewise, Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in
the Public Interest calls the new ad "a page out of Damage Control
But Julie Gunlock, director of the Women for Food Freedom
Project at the Independent Women's Forum (IWF), tells
OneNewsNow the anti-soda effort misses the bigger picture.
"When these sort of food nannies, food police, health activists
say that, they are trying to push a regulatory agenda," she
asserts. "They really have their target set on soda. They want to
see it regulated; they want to see it banned; they want to see it
taxed. The truth is we can [do all those things], but people will
still have availability to extra-large pizzas … macaroni and
cheese, and fried chicken -- you name it."
Gunlock goes on to add that the term "consumer advocate" has
been taken over by left-wing organizations, along the same lines as
"Most of these organizations have one goal. It's not to make
Americans healthier, or children healthier, or to improve products
in the marketplace," the IWF spokesperson notes.
"They have a regulatory agenda -- it is growing government. They
see a role for government; they want to see government have more
role in what you eat, in the products that you purchase. So a lot
of these advocacy groups are no longer sort of just keeping an eye
But as Gunlock reports, regulations generally mean higher prices
and fewer choices for consumers.