The Coca-Cola funded Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN) controversy continues.
The folks at GEBN released a statement yesterday explaining that they “welcome scrutiny and constructive criticism” and “are in the process of clarifying these issues here on [their] website.” Further details are expected at some point this week.
Meanwhile, USA Today‘s editorial board added its two cents in a scathing op-ed that repudiates “Coke science.”
- “The soda giant donated nearly $1.5 million to start a network run by prominent scientists who are spreading the convenient notion that more exercise is better than consuming fewer calories to keep your weight down.”
- “The message is contrary to mountains of research and flies in the face of simple logic. Someone would have to jog at a pretty good clip for two hours to work off the calories from a Big Mac, large fries and a small Coke Classic. Not too many people are going to do that after every stop at McDonald’s.”
- “Research shows that while exercise has an array of health benefits, the key to weight loss is controlling what you eat and drink. (Yes, the reality show The Biggest Loser shows people exercising like fiends, but these people are taking months off from their regular lives, and who would watch a show of people not eating?)”
- “It isn’t that companies pay scientists to put out false research. It’s that companies fund the work of scientists who happen to be doing research that spurs consumers to look away from science that hurts corporate interests. Soft drinks are far less dangerous than cigarettes, but GEBN’s website, tweets and videos come right out of Big Tobacco’s playbook, brought into the digital era. Its leaders have done research in the past under about $3 million in grants given to their universities.”
Not a peep on this controversy from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Don’t hold your breath waiting for any comment; after all, Coca-Cola’s Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness (yes, that’s a real thing) is one of AND’s sponsors.