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Coca-Cola’s evolving relationship with sugar

When the US Food and Drug Authority (FDA) announced that Americans shouldn’t eat or drink more than 50 grams of sugar a day, there was one company that was more peeved than others by the news. Can you guess which? We’ll give you a clue – it’s the world’s largest retailer of sugary beverages and it has made trillions by keeping people addicted to the white stuff.

A new article highlights the way Coca-Cola has been forced to start shifting its relationship with sugar due to mounting pressure over the obesity epidemic in the US. The article quotes Professor of Nutrition and Public Health at New York University, Marion Nestle as saying:

“First, they attack the science. Then, they fund community groups, promote exercise as a solution, and say they’re self-regulated and don’t need to be regulated by an outside source.”

Here are some points from the article:

  • Coca-Cola has essentially taken two approaches to its messy pseudo-breakup with sugar: adding lower-sugar beverages to its repertoire, and convincing guests that sugar isn’t all that bad — at times with sketchy research the company itself funded.
  • This strategy echoes the work of Big Tobacco in the 1980s, according to Professor Nestle, who has written a book called Soda Politics.
  • As Coke’s approach to sugar evolves internally, it’s influenced by new laws discouraging consumption of sugary beverages – as well as public condemnation of Coca-Cola’s position as the world’s largest retailer of sugary beverages.

This graphic illustrates the politics that have been bubbling behind the scenes in Coke-land.

coke_this needs to be blown up somehow

Follow this link to read the full article.

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