Last week, we told you about new CDC director Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald’s ties to Coca-Cola (specifically a physical activity-focused program named SHAPE which got $1 million from the soft drink giant).
Now, an update via the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
* “An important research document by Georgia SHAPE, a 72-page survey of Georgia youth risk behaviors, does not mention soda or soft drinks. Its research on kids’ consumption of sugary drinks used examples such as lemonade, sweet tea and Snapple.”
* “Georgia SHAPE had its genesis long before Fitzgerald ever stepped into the commissioner’s office. State legislators talked about an initiative for years, and they passed a law in 2009, the Georgia SHAPE Act, requiring fitness evaluations. When you start to think about moving legislation, and who are our opponents, the conversation was, ‘Who could be against physical activity?” Rodney Lyn, an associate professor at Georgia State University’s School of Public Health, said.
* “When asked who the stakeholders were, Lyn demurred. “I’d just be speculating. Certainly there’s a strong beverage industry here,” he said. “I guess I’ll leave it at that.”
* “The way these relationships work is these companies buy something with that investment,” said Kelly Brownell, the dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. “In some cases the companies don’t have to ask for anything in particular because they’re buying silence.”
* “The Center for Science in the Public Interest has published a report called “Selfish Giving.” CSPI’s director of health promotion policy, Jim O’Hara, said it shows soda companies have used grants “to buy friends and silence potential critics.”