retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Some nutrition experts are criticizing an alliance between Coca-Cola and the American Academy of Family Physicians, which will have the manufacturer funding to the tune of six figures educational materials about soft drinks on the academy’s website.

USA Today reports that Harvard University’s Dr. Walter Willett says that “"Coca-Cola, like other sodas, causes enormous suffering and premature death by increasing the risks of obesity, diabetes, heart attacks, gout, and cavities.” Willett added that the academy "should be a loud critic of these products and practices, but by signing with Coke their voice has almost surely been muzzled."

And Dr. Henry Blackburn of the University of Minnesota tells the paper that the deal "will inevitably have a chilling effect on the focus of their message in regards to sweet drinks."

Academy CEO Dr. Douglas Henley denies the charges, saying, according to the paper, that “the deal won't influence the group's public health messages, and that the company will have no control over editorial content. He said the new online information will include research linking soft drinks with obesity and will focus on sugar-free alternatives.”
KC's View: