News: Coca-Cola addresses obesity in new ads

If you’ve cut down on soft drinks recently, it’s probably because you’ve noticed they’re increasingly linked to health risks like

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If you’ve cut down on soft drinks recently, it’s probably because you’ve noticed they’re increasingly linked to health risks like depression, diabetes and obesity.

You’re not the only one who’s noticed’Coca-Cola has too.

Enter their new ad, ‘coming together,’ which addresses the obesity epidemic’and explains why their sugary beverages aren’t to blame.

‘Beating obesity will take action by all of us ‘ based on one simple, common sense fact,’ the commercial says. ‘All calories count, no matter where they come from ‘including Coca-Cola and everything else with calories. And if you eat and drink more calories than you burn off, than you’ll gain weight.’

Simple and common sense? Not really.

Obesity isn’t just a matter of calories in and calories out. What we eat is even more important than how much.

Coca-Cola and other soft drinks (as well as most processed foods) contain high-fructose corn syrup, a cheap sugar substitute that a recent Yale study linked to obesity.

The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that consuming fructose doesn’t satisfy one’s appetite. ‘The desire to eat continues,’ Yale University endocrinologist Dr. Robert Sherwin told CTV. ‘It isn’t turned off.”

In other words, high-fructose corn syrup contributes to obesity by increasing hunger.

Coca-Cola also contains aspartame, another artificial sweetener‘that, besides being linked to cancer in rats, may have a lasting negative impact on how the body experiences taste.

‘Individuals who habitually consume artificial sweeteners may find more satiating but less intensely sweet foods (e.g. Fruit) less appealing and unsweet foods (vegetables, legumes) less palatable, reducing overall diet quality in ways that might contribute to excessive weight gain,’ David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at the Children’s Hospital Boston wrote in a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The simple fact: Coca-Cola and other soft drinks can contain as little as zero calories.

What’s not-so-simple is the ingredients in that zero-calorie beverage’ingredients that increase appetite and can make healthy foods undesirable to our palates.

What do you think of Coca-Cola’s new ad? Do you think soft drinks are partially to blame for the obesity epidemic? How often to you consume soft drinks?

-Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor

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