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.

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Sugary drinks may boost uterine cancer risk

Sugary drinks may boost uterine cancer risk

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New research suggests that postmenopausal women who consume a high volume of sugar-sweetened drinks may have an increased risk for developing endometrial cancer, which is the lining of the uterus.

For the study, researchers looked at dietary and health data from 23,000 postmenopausal women between 1986 and 2004. Participants completed questionnaires about their intake of 127 different foods, including sugar-sweetened beverages, such as colas, carbonated beverages and fruit drinks.

The researchers found an association between consumption of sugar drinks and endometrial cancer, which affected more than 500 of the women by 2010. The results, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, also showed that older women with higher body mass indexes, diabetes or those who had used estrogen had a higher risk for endometrial cancer.

Whether cancer risk and sugar consumption have a direct causal relationship is unclear; however, researchers said that one explanation for the study’s findings is that increased intake of sugar contributes to obesity, which increases risk for cancer. Sugary drinks are of particular concern because the way sugar is consumed affects how it is metabolized and absorbed—for example, digesting natural sugar with fibers in fruit is less harmful than digesting sugar-sweetened sodas, the researchers said.

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NEWS SHOCKER – Fruit Smoothies

NEWS SHOCKER

This week on National TV

“Don’t use fruit smoothies as they have as much sugar as a can of Coke”

What message are we trying to get out to people?

Are we really telling people that calories are all that matters when you’re deciding how to stay healthy?

Are we really expecting people to understand that this sort of knee jerk reporting is NOT to be taken seriously….

The message should be .. If you rely on counting calories you’ll be making lots of bad choices.. YES – a can of Coke may have the same calories as a fruit smoothie

BUT – the calories in the smoothie come from real fruit, they bring healthful nutrients and important fibre that a can of coke cannot offer.

The hidden end comment of the news Package was .. Eat fresh Fruit Of course everyone will immediately swap from Coke to fruit! The 5-A-Day message has continued for years and has made very little change to our eating habits.

However, these miss-leading, headline grabbing stories help NO-ONE.  I’m very used to calming worried clients down when the Daily Mail runs it’s weekly ‘Health Horror Story’

Come on BBC you can do better….                    Jax Allen Fitness 50/2012