Target: Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent
Goal: Stop advertising Coke products as healthy options.
As more people are getting serious about health and weight loss, junk food companies like Coca-Cola are making big efforts to keep up their sales. Privately funding studies and advertising with health experts are just two of the ways these companies are trying to rebrand products as nutritious. But the bottom line is that these companies manufacture snack foods packed with refined sugar, and there is no way to put a healthful label on that.
When corporations publicly fund scientific research it can skew the results, and paying for endorsements misleads the public. Coca-Cola recently launched a campaign complete with radio segments and op-eds written by health experts that endorse Coca-Cola’s smaller cans as a healthy snack. The American Beverage Association, which represents companies like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, recently published a study saying that drinking diet soda over time could potentially aid in weight loss. Public health researchers criticized the legitimacy of this research, since it is well known that consumption of refined sugar and aspartame in diet sodas has adverse health effects.
Many Americans unknowingly get their diet advice from research backed by junk food corporations, which some critics call “industry co-opting science.” It doesn’t matter if it Coca-Cola products are low fat or they come in small “portion-conscious” serving sizes, they are still filled with high fructose corn syrup. There is much evidence that suggests ingesting regular and diet soda daily for extended periods of time has serious health consequences. Soda causes fat collection in the liver, the food coloring is known to pose a risk for cancer, and not to mention the cavities and tooth decay. High sugar intake leads to obesity in adults and children, and most of us are eating highly processed foods packed with refined sugars on a daily basis.
Sugar consumption is at the root of many of our society’s glaring health problems. But as long as corporations profit off of sugar and have free reign of publishing their scientific findings, then the public will continue to be misled into believing sugar isn’t all that bad. Sign this petition to tell Coca-Cola what you think about its “healthy” advertisements.
Dear CEO Kent,
It is well known that high fructose corn syrup and aspartame are bad for our bodies. Corporate-funded studies and advertising about the nutritional value of Coke products is misleading and dangerous to public health.
There are ethical concerns with big companies like Coca-Cola funding research and working with health officials to promote a particular agenda. Science doesn’t belong in the hands of corporations, and health research should only be conducted in the interest of the public good.
If sales are falling because people are waking up to the unhealthy effects of your products, then you should aim to address public concerns. Work to improve your products or encourage responsible consumption, but do not try to market your currently sugar-packed products as nutritious options.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: JeepersMedia via Flickr