Coca-Cola is working hard to blame obesity on anything but a poor diet.
According to The New York Times, the soda company donated heavily to a new nonprofit called the Global Energy Balance Network that has a stated goal of placing emphasis on exercise and shifting it away from food (and, you know, soda), in conversations about health and obesity.
“In response to requests based on state open-records laws, two universities that employ leaders of the Global Energy Balance Network disclosed that Coke had donated $1.5 million last year to start the organization,” the Times notes.
With all the research on the link between added sugar and Type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease, it only makes sense that Coca-Cola’s sales have been down.
One study found that that with every 150 calorie increase from a sugar source (cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners) there was a 1.1 percent increase in the Type 2 diabetes rate over a 10-year period. Another study published in Public Health Nutrition found that there was a direct correlation between sugar consumption and being overweight, obese and having high blood pressure. Yet another study found that people with the highest sugar intake had a 400 percent increase in their risk of heart attacks compared to those with the lowest intakes.
Beyond backing the Global Energy Balance Network’s campaign, Coca-Cola has made other moves to try to save its slipping popularity — including pushing soda globally. While America has lost some interest in the sugary beverage, other countries have welcomed it with open arms. In 2012, the company saw quite a bit of growth in India, and saw a “six percent growth in brand Coca-Cola” in Eurasian and African markets in 2014.
“Coke’s aggressive overseas expansion will have long-term consequences for the health of foreign countries,” HuffPost blogger Bartow J. Elmore, author of Citizen Coke: The Making of Coca-Cola Capitalism, wrote last year. “The history of Coca-Cola in the United States shows that once the company becomes embedded in local communities, it is very difficult to limit consumption of company beverages to healthy levels.”
Want to know more about how sugar is in your can of coke? Check out this lollipop.
Coca-Cola has not returned The Huffington Post’s request for comment.
Also on HuffPost: