Coca-Cola and their scientific role in obesity research...

Why is a company that makes its money of sugar-rich and synthetic-filled “beverages” funding obesity research?  And we are supposed to take the findings seriously…?

“Sugar is at or near the center of nearly all discussions about obesity. It’s just silly to pretend otherwise…”
Timothy Church, a Louisiana preventive medicine specialist, April 2014.

A great Forbes article below asks “What role should Coca-Cola and other food and beverage companies play in funding and communicating research about nutrition and obesity?”

  1. The question was prompted by a “state-of-the-art” science paper that suggests that a decline in physical activity is the primary cause of the obesity epidemic  
  1. This paper downplays the role of calories and diet and does not include the words “sugar,” “soda,” or “beverage” 
  1. Three of the five authors of the paper report financial relationships with Coca Cola


The scientist who wrote the paper says “Very marked declines in physical activity, which is also a major component in leading to fitness, is by far the major cause of obesity, not sugar and fast foods.  Regarding Coca Cola, although their “flagship” product is a sugary beverage, keep in mind that they have many more low or no calorie products in their comprehensive arsenal!!”

Yes, the scientist actually said that.

No, I am not kidding.

A scientist, studying obesity, partly funded by Coca-Cola, said that the obesity epidemic is mostly caused by a lack of exercise.

Not surprisingly, I completely disagree.

The long term, rigorous and epidemiology science actually says that if you want to lose weight then you change your diet; less food overall and better quality food. 

There is absolutely no credibility in “eat hamburgers, chips, chocolate bar and cola and then run it all off”.

I have blogged on this many times before and the science just keeps coming. 

For example; in a recent paper in PLOS Medicine researchers conducted a systematic review of systematic reviews examining the association between sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain and obesity. For the papers in which the authors reported no conflict of interest, 10 out of the 12 findings supported the association between sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain or obesity. In stark contrast, 5 out of the 6 papers with industry support failed to find evidence for any such association.  In other words, systematic reviews with industry support were 5 times more likely to find no significant association.”  Our results,” wrote the authors “confirm the hypothesis that authors of systematic reviews may draw their conclusions in ways consistent with their sponsors’ interests.”

In just the latest April 2014 research on the topic (from non-beverage-funded scientists), Dr Diana Thomas, Professor at Montclair State University and Director of the Center for Quantitative Obesity Research, said “We recommend that to maintain and improve health children minimize drinking sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and adults reduce or avoid SSB consumption as part of an overall strategy to reduce calories”

From two articles originally reported by, ANI and The Deccan Chronicle on April 27/28, 2014, here is the article in full:

Posted: Thursday 1 May 2014