Coca Cola, the world’s leading producer of sugary beverages, has teamed up with a group of scientists who are promoting the message that in order to lose weight, you need to exercise more and focus less on cutting calories. Coca-Cola donated $1.5 million last year to fund a nonprofit called the Global Energy Balance Network, and then provided close to $4 million in funding for other projects spearheaded by members of the same nonprofit. So essentially Coca Cola is providing millions of dollars in funding to a group to help promote the argument that Americans are too fixated on what they’re eating (and drinking) and not focused enough on exercise.
Ummm…does anyone else see how unbelievably unethical this whole thing is? Is it possible that Coca Cola may perhaps have a vested interest in promoting the “exercise is more important than what you’re eating” message?
Wait – it gets better. Check out what Steven N. Blair, VP of the Global Energy Balance Network had to say about the diet versus exercise issue:
“Most of the focus in the popular media and in the scientific press is, ‘Oh they’re eating too much, eating too much, eating too much’ — blaming fast food, blaming sugary drinks and so on and there’s really virtually no compelling evidence that that, in fact, is the cause.”
Not surprisingly, health experts are calling Coca-Cola’s motives into question, especially considering how much soda sales have been declining over the past several years. “The Global Energy Balance Network is nothing but a front group for Coca-Cola,” Marion Nestle, author of the book Soda Politics and a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, told the Times. “Coca-Cola’s agenda here is very clear: Get these researchers to confuse the science and deflect attention from dietary intake.”
That’s not to say that exercise isn’t important. It’s estimated that currently 1 in 3 people are overweight in the US. In order to be in optimal health, we all need to get exercise daily. Exercise helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes.
The bottom line is that you simply cannot out exercise a bad diet. If weight loss and good health are your goals, it’s essential to cut out unhealthy foods, including sugary drinks.