Coca-Cola and Pepsi, both are major American conglomerates and soda producing giants, have donated millions of dollars to health organizations. Meanwhile, according to a research study, both are fighting anti-fatness measures such as taxes on soda.
According to a research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo have been sponsoring 96 national health organizations campaigning for public health problems such as fatness, diabetes and heart disease since from 2011.
Both soda companies campaigned against 29 public health bills which were approved to reduce soda consumption and improve nutrition during the same time span.
Daniel Aaron and Michael Siegel, research study’s authors of Boston University said, “These companies lobbied against public health intervention in 97 percent of cases, calling into question a sincere commitment to improving the public’s health.”
They warned that by accepting donations from these companies, health NGOs are unintentionally became a part of their marketing plans.
The ration of these donations have raised in recent years, alongside growing number of public health campaigns regarding soft drinks consumption causing raise in obesity level.
According to Coca-Cola sources, since 2010, it had spent more than $120 million, funding scientific studies fighting fatness.
By supporting health organisations, the companies are trying to improve their goodwill image with the public to distract from their lobbying efforts.
“By being able to say they partner with so many health organizations, they are able to create this image that they are actually contributing to public health,” Siegel said in a phone interview. He added more, “their products are contributing to what is a terrible obesity epidemic.”
According to 2012 official data, approximately 35 percent of American adults are listed as obese, and 69 percent are as overweight.
“We may disagree with some in the public health community on discriminatory and regressive taxes and policies on our products,” said the American Beverage Association (ABA).
The industry lobby, including Coca-Cola and PepsiCo said that they believed their actions are contributing to addressing the problem of obesity.