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Coke Caught Influencing Health Policy Again, Increasing Obesity

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

coke manipulate public health policy

Story at-a-glance -

  • In 2015, Coke was caught manipulating policy through the Global Energy Balance Network. They then redirected their efforts to emerging markets such as China, as soda sales in the U.S. began dropping
  • As oversight is limited in China, the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) — a corporate funded organization founded by a former senior vice president from Coke — has been able to keep their offices with China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Big Soda’s core message has been that the obesity epidemic is driven by a lack of activity, as opposed to indulging in sugar-based foods and beverages, despite overwhelming scientific evidence you will never be able to out-exercise your diet
  • The health initiative, Healthy China 2030, which hopes to change habits and improve the health of a nation now carrying the largest population of overweight people, shows evidence of influence by soda companies as it stresses exercise and downplays nutrition
  • Drinking just one soda a day may increase your risk of stroke, dementia, obesity and metabolic syndrome, while choosing coffee, tea or juicing delivers energy and health benefits, without damage triggered by soda

Using convoluted logic to protect their profit margins, Big Soda, and particularly Coca-Cola, is using some of the same strategies in China that got them into public relations trouble in the U.S. Sweetened beverages have been identified as a major contributor to the rising rate of obesity and diabetes around the world, including a meteoric rise in China.

In light of this evidence, many public health organizations are beginning to take a stand against added sugar, including the American Heart Association (AHA), the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).


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