We recently told you about Coca-Cola’s “Cap the Tap” program (which consists of Coca-Cola training restaurant waitstaff to turn patrons’ requests for tap water into sales for sodas, juices, and bottled water).
Today, Civil Eats published a post by public health advocate Nancy Huehnergarth in which she explains how Big Soda (the same companies that are partners and sponsors of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) has double-crossed Michelle Obama’s Drink Up campaign in less than 3 months.
“In what can only be described as another slap in the face to Michelle Obama and Partnership for a Healthier America, a number of “Drink Up” supporters are promoting products other than plain water through their links on the “Drink Up” Web site:
1. Click on the Aquafina (PepsiCo) icon and you’ll be taken to a Web page promoting Aquafina’s recently re-launched, candy-colored, teen targeted, FlavorSplash liquid water enhancers and sparkling water beverages. Although an exact ingredient list was unavailable online, the beverages, as reported by BevNET, are artificially sweetened and contain added B-vitamins.
2. Coca-Cola’s Dasani icon takes you to a Web page advertising Dasani Drops Flavor Enhancers, which are meant to be added to water. The pink lemonade flavor contains 14 ingredients including two artificial sweeteners (sucralose and acesulfame potassium) and two food dyes banned in parts of Europe.
3. Click on the icon for the American Beverage Association (ABA) and you’ll go to a Web page featuring a young woman drinking what is clearly not water. Also on the page–a blog post that defends the safety of highly-caffeinated energy drinks and a photo of four men delivering cases of beverages–including plenty of sugary choices–including Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and Sunny D.
4. Crystal Clear Water’s icon takes you to their Web page, which promotes water and coffee. I don’t recall Mrs. Obama endorsing a java buzz.”
Consider this exhibit number — at this point, we’ve lost count — that shows how Big Food and Big Soda partner up with health-promoting organizations and programs while continuing their usual tactics and undermining public health.
Why, then, do so many health organizations (the Academy included) go out of their way to state how “proud” they are of their ties with the likes of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo?