Coke Is Funding Scientists With a Controversial Weight Loss Message
Coca-Cola is providing millions of dollars in funding for a non-profit group that argues weight-conscious Americans should be paying more attention to exercise and less attention to their diet.
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Coca-Cola is providing millions of dollars in funding for a non-profit group that argues weight-conscious Americans should be paying more attention to exercise and less attention to their diet, The New York Times .
“Most of the focus in the popular media and in the scientific press is, ‘Oh they’re eating too much, eating too much, eating too much’ — blaming fast food, blaming sugary drinks and so on,” says Steven N. Blair, vice president of the group, known as the , in . “And there’s really virtually no compelling evidence that that, in fact, is the cause.”
Two universities that employ leaders of the Global Energy Balance Network told the Times that Coca-Cola had donated $1.5 million last year to start the organization, and that the company had provided close to $4 million in funding for other projects spearheaded by two members from the group.
Health experts are calling Coca-Cola’s motives into question, especially in a .
“The Global Energy Balance Network is nothing but a front group for Coca-Cola,” Marion Nestle, author of the book Soda Politics and a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, told the Times. “Coca-Cola’s agenda here is very clear: Get these researchers to confuse the science and deflect attention from dietary intake.”
This isn’t the first time Coca-Cola has tried to popularize the idea that its products are healthier than believed. In February, it was that fitness and nutrition experts wrote Coke-endorsed online pieces for American Heart Month arguing that a mini-can of Coke could be a healthy treat. Last year, the American Beverage Association, which represents Coke and Pepsi, findings of a study that suggested diet soda could aid in weight loss, a result that’s been .
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