Coca-Cola ‘trying to manipulate public’ on sugar-obesity link

Coca-Cola has spent millions of pounds funding research institutes and scientists who cast doubt on the link between sugary drinks and obesity.


The drinks firm is said to have links to more than a dozen British scientists, including government health advisers, who counter claims that its drinks contribute to obesity.

The revelation of Coca-Cola’s scientific funding comes weeks after the government rejected a tax on sugar sweetened drinks, despite support from Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies, the British Medical Association and TV chef Jamie Oliver.

An investigation by The Times published on Friday revealed the full scale of Coca-Cola’s funding of scientists.

According to the investigation, Coca-Cola spent £4.86 million setting up the European Hydration Institute (EHI), a seemingly independent research foundation which has recommended sport and soft drinks of the sort the company sells to the public, including children.

The newspaper claimed that Ron Maughan, chairman of the EHI’s scientific advisory board, is an emeritus professor from a university which received almost £1 million from Coca-Cola while he provided nutritional advice to leading sports bodies.

Maughan has advised UK Athletics and the Football Association and has also been a consultant for Coca-Cola and other drinks companies since the 1990s, according to The Times.

Coca-Cola is said to have provided support, sponsorship or research funding to a variety of British organizations including UKActive, the British Nutrition Foundation, the University of Hull, Homerton University Hospital, the National Obesity Forum, the British Dietetic Association, Obesity Week 2013 and the UK Association for the Study of Obesity.

Through its trade organizations, Coca-Cola representatives have met government officials and ministers more than 100 times between 2011 and 2014, according to The Times. Coca-Cola is also said to host a parliamentary dinner.

Faculty of Public Health board member Simon Capewell accused Coca-Cola of trying to shape public opinion.

Coca-Cola is trying to manipulate not just public opinion but policy and political decisions. Its tactics echo those used by the tobacco and alcohol industries, which have also tried to influence the scientific process by funding apparently independent groups. It’s a conflict of interest that flies in the face of good practice,” he said.

New York-based nutrition researcher Marion Nestle warned scientists should not take money from Coca-Cola.

In my opinion, no scientist should accept funding from Coca-Cola. It’s totally compromising. Period. End of discussion,” said Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health.

Coca-Cola of Great Britain said: “We rely on scientific research to make decisions about our products and ingredients and commission independent third parties to carry out this work.”

Professor Maughan recognized “the need for caution” over industry funding but said that much good research would not otherwise have taken place. Loughborough said its research studies were subject to a strict code of conduct.

Portion Control May Be All In The Mind!

  • Portion control may be all in the mind, studies suggest…


  • Restaurants are taking notice, says prominent food-science researcher Brian Wansink of Cornell University. His own tests found children were satisfied with about half the fries in their Happy Meal long before McDonald’s cut back on size and calories, last year.

  • Wansink, author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think. Noted the following, interesting points…

  • 1. Switching from 11-inch plates to 10-inch ones makes people take less food, and waste less food, because the smaller plate makes a normal serving look more satisfying.
  • 2. People think they’re drinking more from a tall skinny glass than a short wide one even if both hold the same volume, a finding Wansink says is widely practiced in bars.
  • 3. Kids shouldn’t eat from the adult bowls. Six-year-olds serve themselves 44 percent more food in an 18-ounce bowl than a 12-ounce bowl.

Neck Pain Again!

  
Here are a few ideas to help you manage the type of neck pain that comes every now and then, is more likely to be related to muscular tension. 

3 Common Upper Body Issues 

1. Upper Trapezius Dominance

  
Daily stress can cause your shoulders to ‘hike’ up which increases tension in your neck and upper back.  This can lead to muscle spasms and interrupt the way your shoulder blades move. Which can, in turn, lead to major shoulder problems. 
2. Winged Scapula (shoulder blade)

  
When your shoulder blades stick our or wing away from your back.  

There are many reasons for this – which should be addressed or the pain will remain.  Often certain muscles are in spasm – tests can identify which muscles need to be released to improve function and therefore reduce or remove any pain. 

3. Rounded Shoulders

  
This must be addressed to avoid shoulder problems and neck pain. 

I see this problem quite often in Pilates classes. As the instructor I have the chance to see where my clients have difficulty in moving arms overhead, and through many shoulder movements. 

  
Simple tests can identify which muscles are working too hard, causing limited movement through some joints. Exercises can, if practised regularly, reduce or remove this pain and improve joint mobility. 

It’s important to understand that

Chronic Pain is Common NOT Normal. 

This rule holds true in training OR in Ageing!

So, next time your neck pain occurs consider what you are doing, how you sleep, how you sit at your desk, when on your computer or tablet ……

Stay Healthy! 

Jax