Is soda the new tobacco?
In recent years, soda has been identified as a major player in the global diabetes and obesity epidemics. In response to this, a variety of public health organizations have begun to recommend daily sugar limits, as well as soda taxes, in an aim to cut down on the consumption of sugary beverages.
This being said, the soda industry continues to be a major source of profit for food and beverage giants. What’s more, this continued profitability relies on public ignorance about the dangers of these drinks—something that brands like Coca-Cola and Pepsi are going to great lengths to perpetuate.
According to Mercola.com, a British Channel 4 documentary, “Secret of Coca-Cola,” discusses the plight of Coca-Cola in fighting the implementation of various health and environmental policies. Because these guidelines threaten Coke’s bottom line, they have been found to be working against public health to increase profits.
The Mercola article found Coke to use well-known “tobacco industry” tactics to increase consumer ignorance, including:
- Message coordination and influencing major media sources.
- Developing close ties with influential scientists, who speak on the company’s behalf as “independent” experts.
- Debunking and manipulating science through funding various studies.
- “Astroturfing,” or swaying public opinion to appear as a grassroots effort for or against a particular agenda.
- Lobbying at every level of government.
For more information on Coke’s attempts to dodge public health initiatives, read the full Mercola article here.
One thing’s for sure: soda is not a key player in any balanced diet. Opt for fresh juices, water, coffee, or tea, and you’ll feel much healthier—and avoid the industry’s drama entirely.