Coke and Anti-obesity Ads

As I am sure most of you have seen this week, the media has been highlighting Coca Cola’s new anti-obesity ads. These ads highlight a variety of things, such as Coke’s “140 Calorie” pitch, activity and more. To view one of Coke’s ads, click here.

I don’t think there’s anyone out there who has battled weight that hasn’t consumed a soda at one point in their life. And I’ll go even further and say I doubt there is anyone who hasn’t been told to “cut back on soda” when trying to address their weight and improve their health. A lot of folks will tell you that a “calorie is a calorie,” but is this true?

Throughout the years, the OAC has published numerous articles on sugar-sweetened beverages, caffeine and obesity, soda taxes and more. All of these articles can be found below:

A SODA Tax – Will it Change Anything?

Artificially Sweetened Beverages– Friend or Foe? You be the judge.

A Not-So-Sweet Story – High Fructose Corn Syrup

“Upper” Limits The Value of Caffeine in Weight-loss

As you’ll see in many of these articles, there’s a definite link between soda and empty calories.  Many health experts even suggest that drinking soda makes you crave more sugary foods, which in return do not help in losing weight or maintaining weight-loss.

With all the literature out there, why launch a national ad campaign about soda in positive light? This is a question I’ve been asking myself but have yet to fully answer. In my opinion, some of this seems like damage control by beverage manufacturers. It’s no secret that soda isn’t the healthiest beverage option out there. Is this an attempt to spin soda’s bad reputation as something that’s “only 140 calories” for one serving?

As someone who is health-conscious in my eating/drinking choices, I was curious what else is 140 calories or close to it so I researched it and found out.

      • *Chicken breast – 110 calories
      • *Half apple with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter – 157 calories
      • *10 carrot sticks with veggie dip – 132 calories
      • *Apple with string cheese – 186 calories

If I had to choose, I would rather have a protein-rich meal that will last longer than a can of soda. In my opinion, a calorie is not a calorie, as the calories found in soda are often empty calories.

What do you think of Coca Cola’s ad campaign? Do you think soda is a healthy option? What are your favorite beverages?

Pam Davis, Chairman of the Board of the OAC

*Calorie information courtesy of Everyday Health

One Comment for this Post
  • Pandora Williams
    January 18, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Great article Pam. I’m not a fan of unhealthy choices and I most definitely don’t drink any sugared soda. I’ve been known to drink a flat Diet Dr. Pepper on a rare occasion when I really want one but for the most part my drinks include water, coffee, tea and a whole lot of water additive stuffs to add in flavor and variety. I’m a big fan of Crystal Light and such things. More often than not I stick to things that will count as part of my 64oz of water each day and then obsess on teas, which is I openly admit is one of my cross-over addictions. I went from being a Dr. Pepper addict that NEVER drank water at all to being a tea snob.

    While I’m not a big fan of soda drinking and I only allow myself to have even a flat non-sugared one every once in a blue moon; I will say that I do like the coke commercial. While I don’t believe that drinking soda is healthy I like the fact that Coke is advocating for fitness and suggesting to people that they exercise to burn off the 140 calories. But I’m the type of person that always tries to find the positive angle. We can’t really ever expect that these products won’t always be popular and I’d actually give Coke a small pat on the back for trying to suggest extra physical activity to counter the empty calorie consumption of their product.

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