Tag Archives: coca cola

New Documentary “Fed Up” Shows Skinny Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Healthy

There is a new documentary in the works, and it has certainly captured my attention. Executive produced by Katie Couric and directed by Stephanie Soechtig, the film  “Fed Up” explores the American obesity epidemic, specifically focusing on sugar. However, the film differentiates itself from other books, movies, television specials that focus on sugar in one big way: In addition to railing on sugar as the cause of obesity, “Fed Up” focuses on the fact that skinny is not a sign of healthy.

It’s about time.

I’m so glad that we are finally having a conversation around the fact that someone can thin but still have as much internal body fat as a morbidly obese person. In recent years, emerging research has shown that just because a person is skinny it does not mean that they are healthy. People of average weight can suffer from type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions once thought to be associated with only obese individuals. Weight may not be the driver behind this, but body fat that comes from foods loaded with sugar most certainly is, according to “Fed Up”.

The film attacks sugar pretty seriously, even referring to it as the “new tobacco,” and blaming the food industry and the government as the biggest pushers of the substance. Fed Up focuses on the importance of not blaming children for the fact that they are obese, but rather the marketing that has pushed our country into a sugar induced epidemic. (more…)

Conflict of Interest Colored Dietitians’ Annual Food and Nutrition Conference

Sponsorships are generally beneficial and non-controversial. They’re a way to keep doing business without having to worry about funds. But what happens when those sponsorships are in direct conflict with the mission of the sponsored?

AND sponsors

When this happens in the field of dietetics, advocacy groups like Dietitians for Professional Integrity (DFPI) are formed. Founded in February by a group of citizens and 14 dietitians, they were primarily a Facebook group discussing concerns like the connection between the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) and Big Food.

Last month AND held their annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo. DFPI attended the event, commonly referred to as FNCE, and have now released a report entitled “The Food Ties that Bind,” summarizing and detailing the message Big Food shared with the attendees.

According to the report, the Expo hall was liberally peppered with information from AND’s various partners and sponsors, including but not limited to: Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Unilever, General Mills, PepsiCo and the National Dairy Council. Corporate sponsors of FNCE had the opportunity to include “educational materials” in the tote bag provided to each attendee.

One handout, “Aspartame: One of the Most Studied Ingredients in the World,” was provided by Coca-Cola’s Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness. It detailed how long aspartame has existed and stated that it is used in 100+ countries around the world. It failed to include information from a recent study that found artificial sweeteners can alter the food reward-system response in the brain. This after Coca-Cola got blasted for being the health and wellness sponsor at BlogHer by the social media community. (more…)

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Relationships with Big Food Soil the Good Name of Registered Dietitians

A couple of bad reviews on Yelp can put a restaurant out of business. It’s called a reputation crisis. Registered dietitians (RDs) face a reputation crisis due to the actions of their parent organization, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND). AND is being called out for having close ties to the food industry. For their nutrition conferences and events, AND accepts sponsorship from big food and beverage corporations. Sponsorship gives the appearance of conflict of interest, and in reputation management, perception is everything.

apple money

It started last October when lawyer/author Michele Simon released a report, “And Now a Word from Our Sponsors.” She called out AND for having close ties to Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Mars, and the like because those companies sponsor their continuing education activities. Soon, celebrity nutritionists like Marion Nestle and Dr. Mercola were writing about “How the Junk Food Industry Controls Registered Dietitians.” And then, this month, another incident made the New York Times, Food Politics Creates Rift in Panel on Labeling. More negative press. I fear AND has sullied my unblemished reputation. (more…)

It Takes 32 Minutes of Pilates to Burn the Calories in a Can of Coke

Beverages are one of the major culprits in the battle of the bulge. Most are high in calories, low in nutrition, and do nothing but add to your waistline. However, many of us love our sweet drinks, especially soda and diet soda. And the leader in these fizzy beverages, Coca-Cola, just launched a new calculator to help those who love their sweet drinks learn how they can burn them off.

Coca-Cola Britain just introduced the “Work It Out Calculator.” Users can access the online calorie calculator to effectively burn off a favorite Coca-Cola drink. By simply choosing a drink, like a classic Coke for example, the user can see that a can has 139 calories. Then, the user can see all the various activities they could do to burn off those 139 calories, like 32 minutes of Pilates or yoga, 36 minutes of cycling, or 17 minutes of Zumba. The 137 calories in a can of Dr. Pepper would require spinning for 14 minutes, doing Zumba for 17 minutes, or yoga for 31 minutes.

The calculator does this for all Coca-Cola products as well as provides additional information about energy expenditure and calorie burning. The calculator looks to be an easy to use tool and perhaps an effective one, but how realistic it that for the typical soda drinker? Will people who drink full-sugar soda actually stop and track their intake and then proceed to burn off their drinks before the day is over? We’re not sure Coca-Cola and calorie burning have much in common. (more…)

Soda Vending Machines To List Calorie Counts in 2013

As if the soda industry hasn’t gained enough negative attention from the New York City soda ban, another wave of criticism has caused a serious change that will roll out as early as next year. 

What will likely become a new national standard will begin taking place in 2013: Vending machines in Chicago and San Antonio municipal buildings will begin showing calorie counts on the front of all machines.

As reported by Associated Press, Coke, Pepsi and Dr Pepper are introducing new vending machines that will show the calorie count of each beverage before you select it. Mock-ups of the new machines by Coca-Cola show 20-ounce bottles of Coke and Sprite in vending machines with labels on the glass that state “240 calories.” We can only assume that this is another initiative – much like the soda ban – to try and make people more conscious of their diet choices.

This move comes as part of the Supreme Court decision this summer to uphold President Obama’s health care law, requiring vending machines and restaurant chains larger than 20 locations to clearly post their calorie information on the menu. McDonald’s complied last month when it began posting nutrition information on its menus nationwide.

Mike Jacobson, the executive director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told AP that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed an amendment that would require nutrition information to be posted on the side of vending machines via a poster. His organization advocates for food safety and nutrition and is pleased about these upcoming changes, believing they will help people make more conscious decisions regarding their health.

“This would be an important step forward. Currently, people don’t think about calories when they go up to a vending machine,” he said. “Having the calories right on the button will hep them make choices.”  (more…)

Some of America’s Top Brands are Leading Culprits in the Obesity Epidemic

You know advertising is a big deal when there’s such a thing as Advertising Week in the U.S. While few consumers took note, the event is happening this week in New York with the goal of identifying how brands sold by marketers can produce better business results.

A study released yesterday identified which brands are the most powerful and how they’re getting it right. Additionally, the study pointed out the problems of brands whose value is on the decline.

As reported by Yahoo Finance, the study is the 13th annual Best Global Brands report from Interbrand – an Omnicon Group-owned brand consulting company. The result of the study was a ranking of the top 100 most valuable brands based on measures such as financial performance, how the brand influences consumer choices, and its ability to boost its parent company’s earnings.

The best global brands of 2012 include 1) Coca-Cola, 2) Apple, 3) IBM, 4) Google and 5) Microsoft. Ferrari and Gap round out the list in slots 99 and 100, respectively.

Of the ranking, Christine Fruecthe, president and chief executive at Colle and McVoy advertising agency, believes companies should take note as to what works and what doesn’t when it comes to marketing and advertising their brand. “When we put together advertising programs, we’re constantly keeping in mind how to add shareholder value,” she said during the Advertising Week panel on Monday. “We want to have a tangible impact on the client’s business or service.”

As an example of their work, Colle and McVoy pointed to their client Caribou Coffee Company whose share value has risen from $1.17 to $18 since beginning work with the agency. The message here? Advertising is powerful, and when done well, it works.

Coca-Cola knows this. The soda company was ranked number one again for the 13th consecutive year. Its estimated brand value? $77.8 billion, up 8 percent from the 2011 report. Coca-Cola executive vice president and chief marketing commercial officer Joseph Tripodi believes this success is due to effective ads, which he suspects will help Coca-Cola increase its revenue from $95 billion in 2008 to $200 billion in 2020. (more…)

Coca-Cola CEO Reacts to Mayor Bloomberg’s Soda Ban

Muhtar Kent, CEO of Coca-Cola, recently spoke out on allegations of his company being responsible for the obesity epidemic in the U.S. Kent’s responses come weeks after New York City Mayor Bloomberg proposed to limit the consumption of sugary drinks over 16 ounces. Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to help lower obesity rates is making headlines across the country. Bloomberg’s proposal will change the sugary drink game for any restaurant, fast-food chain, and any place of business that offers beverages.

Kent says Coca-Cola is not responsible in any way for the rising obesity rates and that obesity is a societal issue. “It is, I believe, incorrect and unjust to put the blame on any single ingredient, any single product, any single category of food,” was Kent’s response to Bloomberg’s proposal. (more…)

Coca-Cola Changes Formula Rather than Add Cancer Warnings

A new law has caused Coca-Cola to reformulate their soda.

According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the compounds in the caramel coloring in many soft drinks has been shown to cause lung, liver, and thyroid cancer in lab mice and rats. Because of these findings, the CSPI has called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the use of caramel coloring. The guilty ingredients are 2-methylimidazole (2-MEI) and 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI). These compounds form when sugar is mixed with ammonia and sulfites. It may not effect the flavor, but it creates the caramel, or brown color.

This year the state of California determined that 4-MEI qualified as a carcinogen. Because of this ruling, companies using that coloring compound would be required to print cancer warnings on their packages or reformulate their products. Further, the CSPI said their recent lab studies found that the 4-MEI levels in many 12-ounce sodas exceeded the 29 microgram limit set by California law.

“The body of science about 4-MEI in foods or beverages does not support the erroneous allegations that CSPI would like the public to believe,” said a Coca-Cola representative. “The 4-MEI levels in our products pose no health or safety risks.”

Regardless of the debate, Coca-Cola has decided to change its manufacturing process rather than print cancer warnings on their drinks.

(more…)

Brad Pitt Pushes Coke on Kids for Breakfast [VIDEO]

For people so active in helping the children of the world, it seems Brad Pitt and long-time partner Angelina Jolie aren’t making the health of their own a priority.

In an interview on CBS Sunday Morning that aired today, Brad opened up about his family, saying he “couldn’t imagine life without any of them.” He also shared that the couple’s brood of six children travels the world with them, wherever their gigs take them. Because of the often harried schedule, not to mention ushering eight people out the door, Brad admitted they turn to a pretty unhealthy breakfast and energy solution.

“Listen, I admit there’s times like, ‘We gotta get up. Get up! Here’s your shoes. Here’s your shoes. Drink this Coke. Drink this Coca Cola. Drink it all. Right now! Drink it! Drink it! Drink it! Just so we could get ’em up and going,” Pitt said.

Coke for breakfast? Come on Brad and Angelina! That’s not good for either of you, much less six young, growing children. You may not realize it, but the foundation is already laid. You’re showing them that making time for themselves isn’t a priority, nor is starting their day with a healthy breakfast. Hurrying out the door? Give them an apple to eat in the car (which has been found to give us more energy than a cup of coffee). (more…)