Coca-Cola, Exercise and America’s Continued Obesity
Coca-Cola is making headlines for paying scientists to tout a new solution to obesity. They are promoting the “science-based” idea that to stay a healthy weight, one needs to get more exercise and worry less about consumption of calories and unhealthy foods.
To help spread this claim, Coke has provided funding to create a new non-profit organization called the Global Energy Balance Network. However, as the New York Times points out, there is strong evidence that physical exercise has much less of an effect on weight than people believe and that eating well is the most important facet. Moreover, there is speculation that the company is trying to distract consumers from allegations that soda consumption has increased obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.
As NPR recently highlighted, just this year a study published by the British Medical Journal found that having one sugar-sweetened drink per day increases your chance of acquiring Type 2 diabetes by 18% over one decade. Arguably, this realization has led to the decrease in overall consumption and large decrease in soda consumption (as shown below), especially among kids.
Over the past twenty years consumption of full-calorie carbonated beverages has had a steady decline among Americans, dropping by a full 25%. This is illustrated by the fact that the sales volume of all soda fell .9 percent from 2013 to 2014. Although Coca-cola remains the most popular soft drink in the United States, the corporation’s sales are falling, showing a 1.1 percent sales volume drop between 2013 and 2014.
TeachingWithData.org is a partnership between the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) and the Social Science Data Analysis Network (SSDAN), both at the University of Michigan. The project is funded by NSF Award 0840642, George Alter (ICPSR), PI and William Frey (SSDAN), co-PI.
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