Big Food and Big Beverage are keen on framing physical activity as the “solution” to public health issues, since it places all responsibility squarely on ‘consumers’ and deflects attention from industry’s predatory practices and unsavory ingredients.
In this Huffington Post article titled “Working Off a Coke: Warped Logic at Its Finest,” Dr. Ayala Laufer-Cahana delves into Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ sponsor Coca-Cola’s latest advertising campaign.
- “The ad imagines what would happen if people paid for their can of Coke by working off the calories it contains. It shows that people are different, but on average, working off a can of soda takes just 23 minutes of cycling. In this imaginary world, soda makes thin people exercise — and imaginary worlds are a nice respite. But it also distorts human physiology on many levels.”
- “Let’s put numbers in context: 140 calories are just 7 percent of the daily caloric allowance for an average person. A large banana has as many calories as can of soda, and a handful of nuts have more, and most health experts highly recommend you do eat those. Soda isn’t on the “don’t” list because it’s a calorie bomb, but because its calories are entirely empty. One can of soda has more sugar than what we should consume in an entire day. And there is something unique about liquid calories, as they don’t count towards satiety; we’re therefore advised to cut these specific calories to a minimum.”
- Soda is linked to obesity and disease not because it’s the most calorically-dense food of them all — it isn’t — but because these are added-sugar calories that are conducive to overconsumption and poor metabolic health.”
- “Exercise will not solve our obesity crisis, nor will it allow us to eat whatever we wish.”
Imagine if the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and other health organizations banded together to publicly battle industry’s misleading rhetoric, rather than passively endorse it via partnerships and sponsorships?