Have You Seen Coca-Cola's Anti-Obesity Ad?
Last week, Coca-Cola came out publically for the first time to address our nation’s obesity epidemic with this advertisement. They’ve finally decided to join the conversation about how sugary beverages impact our health.
Lately, that conversation includes a viral video from the Center for Science in the Public Interest called “The Real Bears” which portrays the health impacts of too much sugar in your diet. Coca-Cola is also on the defensive in light of proposed soda taxes, and Mayor Bloomberg’s so-called “Big Gulp Ban” which caps portion sizes for sugary beverages sold in New York City.
Don’t get me wrong, I applaud the efforts of the company to create mini cans (7.5 ounces), remove soda from school vending machines, and other steps they’ve taken to reduce the calories and sugar in their beverages. What does get me a little riled up about this ad, as I discussed on Fox News Radio (listen here), is that I’m not sure Coca-Cola is in the position to give Americans a nutrition lesson. They say in the commercial: All Calories Count no matter where they come from, including Coca-Cola, and if you eat and drink more calories than you burn off, you’ll gain weight.
Yes, as calorie counters, you know that statement is true. But not all calories are created equal. Putting it plainly, sugary drinks are a leading cause of weight gain including an increased risk for obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control, soda contributes 6% of calories to our diets, which is more than anything else we eat or drink. While that number is declining, it’s still a source of empty calories which we simply don’t need. Not to mention, the health effects of artificial sweetener in low or zero calorie beverages may not be pretty.
I believe everything can fit into your diet in moderation. Just know that 12 ounces of soda (the regular size of a can) is equivalent to 40 grams of sugar or 8 teaspoons. The American Heart Association recommends less than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for women and 9 for men. You do the math.
I’d love to hear from you. What’s your take on the advertisement? Do you include soda in your diet in moderation?