January 15th, 2013
10:22 PM ET

Coca-Cola: Anti-Obesity Crusader?

Play a game of word association and there's fat chance (pun entirely intended) you'd pair "Coca-Cola" with "healthy". Perhaps that's exactly why the world's most valuable brand is pumping millions of ad dollars into convincing us it cares about our bodies.

The obesity debate certainly isn't going anywhere, particularly in Coke's native land. And let's not underestimate the drinks giant's powers of promotional persuasion. Remember that this is the company that helped create the modern image of Santa Claus.

We have every right to be skeptical - especially when we watch Elizabeth Cohen in the accompanying video, lining up the nine teaspoons of sugar equivalent to the intake from a single can of Coke. But the company does have an important point to make. For years, it has been offering less calorific concoctions designed to ensure that a moment on the lips needn't equate to a lifetime on the hips.

Many will call Coke hypocritical. The parade of slender soda drinkers we're treated to in its new promotional drive will only further fuel ire in some quarters. No, it's not realistic. But when was any memorable Coke campaign?

Let's take a moment to consider what the company should be doing. Standing on the sidelines of the biggest health debate in a generation? Or trying to raise awareness of all the options rather than giving top rank to what was once the "Real Thing"?

Whatever your opinion, the obesity conversation has just gained its most powerful voice to date.

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Filed under: General • Health • Personal musings
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. featherknife

    Deceptive is a mild word for the marketing of soft drinks. Not unlike cigarettes in the 70's and 80's, coca cola and its corporate brethren are as knowingly responsible for the epidemic of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and the other diseases that are part of the constellation of serious illnesses that corporations are responsible for if they market highly processed, highly sugared foods. What was once called "adult onset diabetes" cannot be called that anymore, since it is epidemic in our children. Research a vegetable/fruit centered diet. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes with a blood sugar of 465, and within a month, with no medication, was within normal limits, and have remained so for a year. It's all about diet. An animal centered high fat high sugar diet is the cause of so many serious diseases, including prostate and breast cancer. Research, learn, heal yourselves and your children. Don't be a tool of corporate vampires who could care less if you are sick or dead as long as the profit numbers look good. Google "Forks Over Knives" to start. Grow up America. We are not cattle. Coca Cola is not going to save us from it's own products.

    Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2013/01/15/coca-cola-launches-anti-obesity-ad/#ixzz2I5RICzKl

    January 15, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Reply
    • T Bone

      Deceptive? You blame Coke for diabetes and heart disease? With all due respect, you are an idiot. What ever happened to the idea of taking responsibility for one's own actions? Coke was responsible for your high-fat high caloric diet? When you were a child, it was not your parents responsibility to see to it that you ate properly? The facts are that the consumption of sugary soft drinks have been on the decline for a decade, but the obesity rate in the United States has continued to rise. As far as Coca-Cola goes, they sell thousands of products and and ever increasing amount of low-calorie and no-calorie alternatives are available from them. Perhaps you might have tried one... a Diet Coke might have been a better choice for you 30 years ago, instead of a Coke and those two Big Macs! That was your decision! I guess it is easier to demonize a company for selling its products, instead of owning up to your own poor decisions.

      January 19, 2013 at 3:35 am | Reply

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