Coca-Cola vs. Mayor Michael Bloomberg: the War on Sugar

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By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg would like to restrict the size of sugar-filled beverages sold at restaurants and other establishments to 16 ounces or less. He’s on a mission to curb the obesity epidemic, and this is just his latest attempt at stemming the tide. As you might imagine, there are two opposing sides to this debate and they are both very passionate. Frankly, some are wondering what took the mayor so long, while others are frustrated at yet another attack on their personal freedom of choice.

Much of the conversation to this point has been dominated by pundits, consumers, and Bloomberg himself, but finally one of the beverage giants decided to weigh in (pardon the pun). Coca-Cola’s President of Sparkling Beverages, Katie Bayne, responded to the mayor and answered some additional questions posed to her by USA Today. Her stance on the proposed ban was fairly typical of industry, but some of her other responses were downright dizzying.

Here’s a brief summary of her comments…

    • When my son gets home from school, he needs a pick-up with calories and great taste.
    • What our drinks offer is hydration. That’s essential to the human body. We don’t believe in empty calories. We believe in hydration.
    • There is no scientific evidence that connects sugary beverages to obesity.
    • If my son has lacrosse practice for three hours, we go straight to McDonald’s and buy a 32-ounce Powerade.
    • There is no scientific evidence (that sugar is addictive in the brain).

I don’t plan to comment on these statements. For one, I think they speak for themselves. And two, I’m sure you guys will provide all the commentary needed. All I’ll say is this attitude is indicative of the type of uphill battle we’re facing when it comes to fighting chronic disease and establishing an environment that promotes health and wellness. Someone wish us luck, because it’s clear we need it!!

Take it away, folks.

Image via Favsco

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