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Coca-Cola is the Wellness Sponsor at BlogHer 2013, Bloggers Unite to Protest on Twitter

Coca-Cola has been named the “wellness” sponsor for BlogHer 2013, an annual conference that celebrates the best in health, family, entertainment, sex, DIY, and political blogging by and for women. Coca-Cola will be hosting their Steps to Wellness challenge and campaign at this weekend’s conference, but not without a bit of backlash first. Even though Coke will be handing out pedometers to all BlogHer attendees (speaking of pedometers, it takes 40 minutes of walking to burn off the calories in a can of Coke), their presence under auspices of being a health brand is rubbing the wellness community the wrong way.

Leah Segedie, a health blogger and founder of Mamavation, is calling out BlogHer, which did not return our request for comment, for choosing the soft drink brand as the wellness sponsor. Tonight, she is hosting a Twitter party to spread the word.

“I don’t know why they chose to accept Coke as a sponsor, but this marketing ploy is consistent with what they’ve been doing all year with other conferences, commercials, and outlets,” said Leah. She cited Coke’s falling market share and lawsuits (this week it’s VitaminWater for deceptive labeling) as the main motivation to “make people feel better about drinking their product again.”

A 12-ounce serving of Coca-Cola is a 140 calorie and 39.9 gram blast of high fructose corn syrup. Coca-Cola is not a healthy beverage, and meanwhile more than one-third of Americans are obese because they drink too much of the stuff. Additionally, the soda contains artificial dyes, GMOs, and has traces of BPA from the aluminum can, a known obesogen. High fructose corn syrup can lead to diabetes and diet soda has been proven to increase your waist size, not to mention a bevy of other health-related side effects from drinking the caramel colored syrup.
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Big Food’s Deep Pockets Have Infiltrated the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and RDs Won’t Stand for It

The Lorax isn’t directly connected with the dietetic field, but if he speaks for the trees then they are speaking for the health of humanity. The Lorax’s sage words, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not,” could be the motto of a recently formed group called Dietitians for Professional Integrity.

For now their presence is largely on Facebook and they’re working together, with both dietitians and concerned citizens, to make sure the field’s largest trade organization, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), hears not just their complaints but their calls to action.

apple and money

See, the AND accepts sponsorship dollars to keep their organization rolling. But Andy Bellatti, creator of Dietitians for Professional Integrity, and his colleagues are calling bull – these sponsorships are paid for by the very brands these professionals are working hard against.

“Our main initiative is to have the Academy cut ties with its current sponsors,” noted Bellatti.

When you take a look at their on-going corporate sponsors, that’s where you can see how these dietitians are saying the AND “soils the good name of registered dietitians,” according to our Mary Hartley, RD.

Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Hershey, Abbott Nutrition (which produces Similac), General Mills, and Kellogg’s are some of the organization’s major sponsors. It’s cause for red flags amongst the organization’s members and the citizens who support this movement.

“The big picture issue is how Coca-Cola teaches webinars to RDs, how McDonald’s serves lunch at the California Dietetic Association conference, and how PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are financial contributors to the Academy’s Evidence Analysis Library,” declared Bellatti. To that, Monsanto sponsored the New York State Dietetic Association’s annual meeting.

“The organization chooses to align itself with these brands. It’s misguided,” he said. “It makes us look tone deaf during a public health crisis.”
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Cola Wars: Soda Industry and Health Advocates Clash Over Obesity Blame

There’s a new cola war going on, but it’s a little more serious than the old Pepsi vs. Coke feud of decades past. Obesity is out of control, stretching our already stretched-thin health care system, and sugar consumption is center stage.

So, what do you do when you are the purveyor of some of the biggest selling, empty-calorie, sugar-laden drinks in our country’s history? Well, you play damage control, of course.

soda ban debate“We have not done a good enough job in telling our story and being consistent in telling our story,” said Coca-Cola spokeswoman Diana Garza Ciarlante.

Right, the problem is that people don’t know what Coca-Cola is really all about. In reality, we’re talking about a propaganda war. Try to soften the blow of bad publicity, then draw more attention to your diet soda by signing a major celebrity spokeswoman — Taylor Swift announced her partnership pitching Diet Coke last Sunday:

 

But back to damage control. Coke decided to take on obesity directly, with their “Coming Together” campaign, pointing out that of their 650 beverages, they offer 180 low- or no-calorie drinks.
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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.
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School Soda Bans Cause Sales Slump, Forces Healthier Options

Carbonated sodas are finding themselves unwelcome in more and more places than ever before. Most recently, the Faulkton, South Dakota school district has banned soda to be sold inside or brought in the school. This is one of the first complete instituted bans on soda in the country. As this trend continues, soda companies are attempting to make up for the loss of sales.

Many schools have been removing soda and sugary drinks from vending machines in the last few years. It is assumed more total bans will take place as soda is being named public enemy number one by many health organizations. The link between the obesity crisis and sugary drinks seems fair as Americans drink nearly two sodas a day on average. Those two sodas add up to nearly 25 pounds of sugar a year. That sugar equals a plethora of issues for the human body, including weight gain. Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest describes how prolific the consumption of soda is in America.

“We get more calories from sodas and sugary drinks than any other individual food — cake, cookies, pizza, anything.”
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