Wednesday in Atlanta, the Coca-Cola Company announced it's launching a global plan to fight obesity. It's making a hefty contribution that will benefit programs right in our area. But while Coca-Cola is making an effort to be a part of the solution, critics say the company's products are the problem.
"It is a very complicated societal issue that impacts everyone, every family, and therefore we want to be part of the solution," said Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent. The Coca-Cola Foundation is pledging $3.8 million to boost fitness and health in the Peach State. Programs like Walk Georgia - -a free, online, interactive fitness program offered by the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. "We're thrilled to be in partnership with Coca-Cola and we're thankful to the governor's office to support our program," said Jennifer Davidson, Columbus Office Director.
180,000 deaths worldwide are linked to sugary beverages. Beth Bussey is a dietitian at Columbus Regional's John B. Amos Cancer Center. "Half of sugar breaks down to fructose and there is no pathway in the liver for fructose and fructose is made into triglycerides and it is really the biggest cause of insulin resistance, weight gain and future health problems," said Bussey. Coca-Cola says its iniative to fight obesity includes listing calorie counts on the front of its labels and sponsoring fitness programs. Also, limiting advertising to children.
"We offer 3,500 beverages. There's a place in active, healthy lifestyles for all our beverages, with sensible diets, with regular training, and also exercise and also sensible diet," said Kent.
Bussey reminds you, sugary drinks aren't limited to soda...so, while Coca-Cola offers other products, you should steer clear of many sports drinks and even some juices. She says you're better off quenching your thirst with water or milk instead.