The Hightower Report: Coca-Cola's Fatheaded Front Groups

Coca-Cola's fatheaded front groups

By Jim Hightower, Fri., Dec. 6, 2013

Irony is dead. It has been garroted by reality.

For proof, check out the Beverage Insti­tute for Health and Wellness. Sounds like a spa in Arizona where you might enjoy a cleansing regimen of aloe vera smoothies, doesn't it? But no, it's a hokey "science" front owned and run by Coca-Cola. The world's largest beverage purveyor wants you to be assured that none of its sugary, empty-calorie, or artificially-sweetened concoctions are a cause of obesity. Hey, shout Coke's instituters, three or more colas a day are simply part of an integrated, healthy diet – for children and adults alike! "There is no scientific evidence that connects sugary beverages to obesity," snapped a top Coke executive, adding that "We don't believe in empty calories."

Oh, well then – okay. But, on the off chance that you might want a more independent scientific source, try the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, billed as the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. But wait – while AND is not owned by Coke, it does lease out its integrity to the cola giant. Coca-Cola is listed on the academy's website as a generous sponsor of and "partner" in its scientific work. In fact, the academy has certified Coke's beverage institute's online seminars as official "continuing education" for registered dietitians. How neat – a corporation that profiteers by peddling nutritionally worthless and health-endangering products finances the academic outfit that's most responsible for educating Americans about healthy foods, and that academy, in turn, embraces the corporate fiction that sugary drinks pose no health problems.

That's not irony, it's shameful corruption. The greatest obesity crisis in America is not the cola itself, but the fatheaded ethics of single-minded corporate profit-seekers and their apologists.

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