Coke's Sweet Intentions

"Coca-Cola will work with Weber Shandwick this fall to promote its new, seemingly selfless, Live It children's fitness campaign in schools across the country." The PR firm will "focus on generating local publicity for schools that participate in the week-long program." Kirsten Witt, Coke's "nutrition communication manager," said the $4 million Live It campaign would not address childhood obesity or encourage students to drink Coke, adding that "the company's logo will not appear on Live It materials." In addition to PR and marketing, Coke is paying for campaign "posters, pedometers, and nutrition education materials along with prizes to offer children who meet the program's exercise goal of walking 10,000 steps in a week." In other sugary news, the Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to require labels on sodas warning about "obesity, tooth decay and diabetes."


IMO both Coke and SCPI are both acting due to selfish reasons. Coke could care less about kid’s health, they just want to avoid lawsuits by pudgy self-hating headline hogging lawyers. SCPI may honestly think they have the public’s best interest at heart, but so did Prohibitionists. In reality they were projecting their own private angst unto social issues only to exerbate the problem. Coke’s approach will probably do less harm in the long run. They shouldn’t mention childhood obesity. The antifat hysteria and moral panic has already taken too much of a toll on kids. Too many already live in terror of getting fat and even 3rd and 4th graders are on diets. Which just leads to weight gain and eating disorders in later life. Concentrating on fitness is also beneficial for all kids as studies not sponsored by the diet industry find that fitness is by far more important than weight for good health. So we don’t have both unfair scapegoating of fat bodies and a false sense of security in sedentary thin kids with junk food habits. (Although I do think it is good they are raising the connection between too much soda and brittle bones. Lost in the fat is the cause of all physical, social, mental political, and economic ills broken record are lesser known risks. p.s I don't know if it is just my computer but leaving a message here is a real pain! The box keeps getting merged with the text area.