Industry’s influence on public health, exhibit #1,867.
It was reported earlier this week that, unfortunately, San Antonio’s City Council will not support a sugary drink education campaign.
“The campaign was initiated by Metro Health last year, but is now led by a Bexar County coalition after a working group composed of several stakeholders – including a Texas Beverage Association/Coca-Cola Company representative – reached an impasse when it came to messaging,” The Rivard Report writes.
San Antonio City Councilmember Rey Saldaña had the following to say:
“With all respect to the beverage industry, they’re not going to tell the ill effects of a product they’re trying to sell … I come from a community where some people don’t find out how bad some of their habits are until they’ve taken son or daughter to a doctor after they developed pre-diabetes.”
The soda industry knows very well that silence and an absence of criticism can literally be bought. Consider the following:
“Coca-Cola has been contributing to local infrastructure and programming that supports other arms of the fight against “diabesity.” In 2013, the Coca-Cola Foundation devoted $1.5 million to support SA2020 Health and Fitness programs, including the City’s Parks and Recreation Department.
Coca-Cola gave $500,000 to the Mobile Fit and Ride to Own fitness initiatives in 2013. Most recently, a $200,000 Coca-Cola grant provided park improvements and programming for Labor Street Park. Woodlawn Lake Park and Harlandale Park also received funding from Coca-Cola in 2013 and 2012 respectively.
In 2013, the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America invested $2 million in grants to support San Antonio’s efforts to encourage employee participation in its wellness programs. The City of San Antonio saw 57% of its employees completing biometric screenings, well surpassing the City’s previous 20% participation rates, according to the American Beverage Association (ABA).”