Coca-Cola, the world famous producer of sugary beverages, has suggested a new solution to the obesity crisis: exercise more and worry less about cutting calories, in order to have a healthy lifestyle.
The sugary beverages giant has joined hands with scientists and researchers who started publishing this message all around social media, in bulletins and journals. The message also began to spread in scientific conferences.
Coke started providing financial support to a non-profit organization called the Global Energy Balance Network, which emphasizes the fact that weight-conscious Americans are too concerned with counting calories, with how much they eat or drink, and less concerned with how much they exercise.
Steven N. Blair, the vice-president of the newly-developed organization – The Global Energy Balance Network, recently said that media campaigns and scientific press exercise blame on fast foods, sugary drinks etc., when there is no real or compelling evidence to suggest that this is, in fact, the reason for obesity.
However, health experts have contradicted Blair, by saying that this was Coca-Cola’s strategy to convince people to keep consuming their beverages, and to deviating criticism about the role sugary drinks have played in obesity and type 2 diabetes.
They point out that Coke is trying to brainwash the general public through their misleading message, trying to convince us of the fact that physical exercise could compensate for a bad diet, despite clinching evidence that this was not the case. Exercise indeed has a role in losing weight and developing a more athletic constitution. But this is correlated with what people actually consume, it’s in a bond with a healthy diet.
Nowadays, sugary drinks may be subjected to be removed from schools, preventing children from consuming them. In the last 20 years, consumption of full-calorie sodas by the average American has decreased by 25 percent.
Michele Simon, public health lawyer, said that Coke’s sales had dropped, and that they had been desperate to rectify the situation. Also, there is a sizable backlash against consuming sugary sodas at the moment, on a public and political level; everyone is essentially trying to restrain consumption, Simon continued.
Coca-Cola offered a significant grant to their new nonprofit organization subsidiary; it was said that Coke had donated $1.5 million in 2014 to boost the organization.
Moreover, the company reported that they partnered with experts in the physical activity and nutrition fields, and that it was important to them that the researchers shared their views and scientific discoveries, regardless of the outcome; it was important that they be transparent and open about Coke’s funding.
However, their social media campaign wasn’t really successful. Perhaps it’s due to the campaign’s inefficiency and unreliability, as it promoted physical activity for chronic disease and obesity, but remained silent about the role of proper, healthy nutrition.
Dr. Anne McTiernan, researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle, said that adding exercise to a diet program helps, but for weight loss you would receive more relevant impact results via diet changes.
Taking into consideration better aspects and considerable efforts of the Coca-Cola company – in recent years, they donated money to build fitness centers in over 100 schools around the country, and it also sponsored a project called “Exercise is Medicine” to encourage doctors to prescribe physical activity programs to their patients.
Coke concluded in an advertisement that reversing obesity would not happen over-night, but a push-up, a single sit-up or jumping jack might just initially do the trick and work as fuel for further physical activity.
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