Today, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) released a thorough report: “Carbonating the World.”
The report focuses on the soda industry (which includes current Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics partner PepsiCo) following Big Tobacco’s global footprints by turning to low- and middle-income countries to replace sagging soda sales in the United States.
Some highlights from the press release:
- “Soda companies are spending billions of dollars a year in such countries as Brazil, China, India, and Mexico to build bottling plants, create distribution networks, and advertise their products. And with that investment, the companies are promoting diabetes, obesity, tooth decay, heart disease, and other soda-related diseases to countries already struggling to provide health care to their growing populations.”
- “Soda sales in Latin America, Asia Pacific, and Middle Eastern and African countries are all projected to increase between now and 2018. Coca-Cola is especially targeting young people, with chief financial officer Gary Fayard calling the world’s 3.5 billion people in their teens and twenties “our core demographic.”
- “In China, sales of carbonated drinks are expected to grow to $16.2 billion by 2018, which would be an increase of 30 percent since 2013. “It’s our third-largest global market, growing at double digits,” Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent said in 2011. From 2009 to 2011, Coke invested $3 billion in China and said it would invest another $4 billion between 2015 and 2017. PepsiCo, which has 27 percent of the carbonated soft drinks market to Coke’s 58 percent, invested $2.5 billion over a recent three-year period.”
- “Coke and Pepsi have made public pledges not to market to children, but the pledges are riddled with loopholes. Both companies are clearly targeting children, as well as adolescents, using cartoon characters, celebrities, music tie-ins, social media, and prizes to reach them, reported CSPI.”
- “The report also recommends that the World Health Organization provide technical assistance to national health officials to help them strengthen policies that discourage soda consumption. In its recent report Ending Childhood Obesity, the World Health Organization called for adopting sugar taxes and ending the marketing of sugary drinks to children.”
At the very least, reports like these make it clear that no reputable health organization should be accepting any funding from companies that sell soda, despite whatever else is included in their product portfolio.