Coca-Cola remains under fire for producing unhealthy beverages that have fueled the obesity epidemic owing to its high calorie content from high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
Coca-Cola Fights Back
The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage corporation. And by virtue of being a corporation, whose purpose is to maximize profits for shareholders, Coca-Cola has a vested interest in protecting against the threat of recent junk food laws and the ban on “big gulp” sodas in New York City.
Aimed at addressing the corporation’s role in the obesity epidemic, Coca-Cola launched a 2-minute anti-obesity commercial in January. According to the Associated Press, consumption of sugary drinks and obesity rates in America have risen in tandem, doubling since the 1970s. Coca-Cola’s first anti-obesity ad is named “Coming Together.”
The Coca-Cola Company says it is reinforcing its efforts to work together with American communities, business and government leaders to find meaningful solutions to the complex challenge of obesity. The commercial claims the Coca Cola Company can play an important role in the fight against obesity. The corporation gives itself pats on the back for 180 low or no-calories choices sweetened with aspartame in its line of 650 sugar-sweetened beverages.
The commercial goes on to encourage everyone to be mindful that all calories count in managing weight, including those in Coca Cola products and in all foods and beverages.
Research Contradicts Coca Cola’s Claim
Research contradicts the Coca Cola Company’s claim that all calories are equal. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that calories from sugar-sweetened beverages are substantially different than calories from food. The more sugary drinks someone consumes, the greater the risk of becoming obese.
Additional studies on sugar-sweetened beverages have found more health concerns that differentiate soda's calories from food. HFCS is absorbed more rapidly than regular sugar and it does not stimulate leptin or insulin production. This prevents the triggers that signal the body that it is full and can lead to overconsumption of total calories.
A research team from Princeton has concluded that high-fructose corn syrup outdoes sugar when it comes to increasing body fat. When they did experiments involving rats, they found that rats drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop became obese -- every single one, across the board.
Regarding low or no-calorie beverages, the long-term toxic side effects of aspartame are well-documented. What’s more, sodas labeled as “diet” that contain the chemical aspartame are not going to help you lose weight. Quite the opposite, in fact: Aspartame makes you crave carbohydrates and eat more food resulting in weight gain.