Coca Cola’s Been Trying To Convince You It’s Healthy All This Time
The Debrief: Sugar-laden drinks company found to be paying ‘experts’ millions to tell us that sugar isn’t so bad for us…
You don’t have to be an #eatclean health nut to know the link between sugar and obesity has been made very clear. From the fact that candy floss is made up of pink sugar and kind of looks like clumps of fat, to the very scientific studies linking high sugar intake with obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, tooth decay, a higher risk of cancer, heart disease and, of course, addiction to sugar!
However, The Times has revealed today that Coca Cola, the drinks giant, has been pay millions to scientists, government health advisers researchers, entire departments of universities and other ‘experts’ to prove that sugar doesn’t make people obese.
Why would they do such a thing like that? Well, to keep their products in the market. One 330ml can of coke contains 35g of sugars, the equivalent to seven cubes of white sugar. This is over double the RDA of sugar, which is 14g or three cubes a day. And there are some people – like Jamie Oliver, the British Medical Association and Dame Sally Davies – calling for a sugar tax. If the tax came in, the price of coke would rise and BAM! all of a sudden people would stop drinking it.
Now the government has rejected the idea of a sugar tax – despite obesity alone killing 53,000 people a year and costing the NHS £5.1 billion a year – Coca Cola’s actions can be revealed.
As well as setting up an ‘independent’ institute to research hydration that has since reccommended people drink Coca Cola products, the company is also paying the university of the chairman of their scientific advisory panel £1 million a year (in return, he provides nutritional advice to big sports bodies). It has also given research funds to everything from Homerton University Hospital to the British Dietetic Association.
Why is it bad for Coca Cola to fund all these people? Well, according to a 2013 Spanish study, researchers on public health given money by the food and drink industry, including Coca Cola, were five times more likely to find no link between obesity and sugar intake.
Marion Nestle, the uncannily named professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, said: ‘In my opinion no scientist should accept funding from Coca-Cola. It’s totally compromising. Period. End of discussion.’
Coca Cola, defending the allegations, said: ‘We rely on scientific research to make decisions about our products and ingredients and commission independent third parties to carry out this work.’
Hmmmm. For something so sweet, there sure is a bitter taste now…
Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson
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