For instance, as TIME Magazine reported:
- The American Beverage Association, which represents Coca-Cola, Pepsi and other soft drink producers, has attacked suggestions to tax soda as “discriminatory.” Their organization is touted as a “neutral forum,” but in reality is devoted to discrediting negative press against soft drinks. For instance, in relation to obesity, ABA states, “All of our industry’s beverages can be enjoyed as part of a balanced lifestlye [sic].”
- The soda industry has created the front group Americans Against Food Taxes, which runs anti-tax campaigns. As Kelly Brownell wrote in TIME:
“The name of the group implies a patriotic, grass roots movement, not a highly financed entity initiated and organized by industry.”
- Another industry-created front group, Foundation for a Healthy America, recently donated $10 million to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to research and prevent childhood obesity! Diet Coke has also teamed up with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to raise awareness for women’s heart health programs and was the official “Beverage of Choice” for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
- The soda industry funds research to discredit links between soda drinking and health problems. Brownwell writes:
“The tobacco industry paid scientists who did research disputing links between smoking and lung cancer, the addictive nature of nicotine, and the dangers of second-hand smoke. The soda industry funds scientists who reliably produce research showing no link between SSB [sugar-sweetened beverage] consumption and health. The tobacco industry bought favor from community and national organizations by giving large donations. In an ironic twist, Coca Cola and PepsiCo are corporate sponsors of the American Dietetic Association.”
The Coca-Cola Company Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness (isn’t that name an oxymoron?) even creates continuing education courses for registered dietitians!
The Top Reason to Give Soda the Boot …
Some of you reading this are undoubtedly thinking, how bad could soda really be? From my perspective, there is absolutely NO REASON you or your kids should ever drink soda. If you were stranded in the middle of a desert with no other fluid available, then maybe, but other than that… none, nada, zip, zero. No excuses.