Boyd Swinburn: Coke changing its stripes on health? Fat chance

Aug. 1, 2013, The New Zealand Herald

By Boyd Swinburn [NCCOR Envision Member]

Coca-Cola has launched a massive PR campaign to convince everyone that it is now part of the solution to the obesity epidemic. However, the promise of an ounce of a Coke-sponsored sports program in New Zealand does not outweigh the ton of bricks dumped by Big Food and Big Soda on the real public health policies, which could reduce obesity here and around the world.

On July 29 Professor Paul McDonald congratulated Coke for its public-spirited pledges of offering some smaller serving sizes (but it did not offer to pull the 2.25l bottles from the shelves), putting some nutritional information on vending machines (but it has heavily opposed the traffic light labeling schemes that the public prefers), and sponsoring a few physical activity programs as a nice bit of marketing and a distraction from the real obesity drivers of too many calories. Continue reading

Progress is being made in the fight against obesity

A policy brief released earlier this year from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports that the obesity epidemic has slowed or halted altogether in several countries. Though the progression of the epidemic has decelerated, the overall rate of obesity remains high among both children and adults. Continue reading

Journal article outlines future directions of obesity research

A viewpoint piece in the Sept. 19, 2012 Journal of the American Medical Association¬†(Volume 308, Number 11) recommends next steps for obesity research in dealing with the obesity epidemic. Authored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Director Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., and National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D, the introduction from “The Next Generation of Obesity Research: No Time To Waste,” appears below.¬† Continue reading