Coke Reports that Obesity is Related to Inactivity

Yes, that's right. Coke reports that the biggest contributor to this obesity epidemic in the United States and throughout the world is caused by inactivity.  The Coca Cola Company is the largest producer of bottled beverages in the world.  According to their website, they have over 500 brands of beverages and sell over 1.9 billion servings per day.  Yes, that's billion with a ¨b¨ and day with a ¨d.¨ I think I could comprehend the theory of relativity before I could wrap my head around that.  

You can see why Coke would have an interest in protecting the consumption of their products. Recent moves by school districts and city governments to limit the amount of soft drinks sold has really challenged Coke's bottom line. So have the many scientific reports showing the effects of sugar on a host of health issues.    

So what do you do if you can't get scientists to stop maligning your product?  You get your own scientists.  Over the past several years, Coke has donated millions of dollars to fund the research of scientists who have had a great influence in the writing of federal exercise guidelines.  Coke also appears to be affiliated with a new nonprofit organization called the Global Energy Balance Network to advance the idea that physical activity is the key to healthier living.  

It's important when you hear a report in the news about some nutrition or health-related claim to seek out the publication that was quoted.  News outlets tend to exaggerate or sensationalize headlines to draw eyeballs.  So after tracking down the article, the first section I read was the disclosure statement, which tells me if the study was industry-funded. Directly below is the disclosure statement from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology Vol 63, No. 14, 2014.  The article was titled:  Obesity and Cardiovascular Diseases Implications Regarding Fitness, Fatness, and Severity in the Obesity Paradox  

From the *Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute, Ochsner Clinical School-University of Queensland School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana; Department of Preventive Medicine, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University System, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Department of Human Performance and Sport Sciences, Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and the Department of Exercise Science and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina. Dr. Lavie has served as a consultant and speaker on fitness/obesity for the Coca-Cola Company; and is publishing a book on the obesity paradox with potential royalties. Drs. Church and Blair have served as consultants for weight loss and fitness companies and for the Coca-Cola Company, which has also provided them unrestricted research grants. All other authors have reported that they have no relationships relevant to the contents of this paper to disclose.

Bottom line, question everything, whether you’re dieting, using weight loss products or just trying to live a healthier life. There is a lot of conflicting information out there about nutrition and some of it will assuredly have commercial bias.  

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