By Dr. Mercola
Earlier this year, Coca-Cola Company rolled out an ad campaign encouraging people to unite in the fight against obesity. The irony of the situation was not lost on most people however, and the ads drew fire from consumers, consumer advocates and obesity experts1,2 alike.
After all, there’s no doubt that soda is one of the primary beverages responsible for skyrocketing obesity rates, and Coke’s campaign was seen as little more than an effort in damage control.
Soda sales are down, and Coca-Cola should be applauding this fact as it is matched by some small improvements with our childhood obesity rates. Instead, they are marketing sodas harder than ever to make up for lost sales.
Coca-Cola believes a calorie is just a calorie, and if you consume more than you burn – that’s why you become obese. In other words, their products and marketing to children are not to blame – the problem is that Americans just don’t exercise enough.
Now, Coca-Cola Co. has launched another ad campaign—this time to assure consumers that its no- or low-calorie beverages containing the artificial sweetener aspartame are a safe alternative.
As reported in the featured article by AdWeek3:
“It’s Coca-Cola’s first ad explicitly defending its use of artificial sweeteners in an ad, but the print execution is an extension of the company’s campaign, launched this January, to combat detractors who blame it for contributing to obesity, by pointing to the host of diet and other beverages it sells beyond traditional, sugary cola.”
According to the ad, aspartame is a “safe, high-quality alternative to sugar.” Clearly they’ve not reviewed the hundreds of studies on this artificial sweetener demonstrating its harmful effects… Center for Science in the Public Interest’s (CSPI) Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson issued the following statement in response to Coca-Cola’s new ad4:
We certainly want Coca-Cola to shift its product mix toward lower- and no-calorie drinks, but aspartame’s reputation isn’t worth rehabilitating with this propaganda campaign. The company would be better off phasing out its use of aspartame and accelerating its research into safer, natural sweeteners such as those extracted from the stevia plant.”