November 13th, 2015
Coca-Cola is funding obesity research with a biased message, nutrition experts say
By Ariana Eunjung Cha
The Washington Post
Coca-Cola came under fire Monday for donating millions of dollars to a nonprofit that has been spreading the message in medical journals and through social media that the blame for America’s obesity epidemic is not about diet but a lack of exercise. The issue, the New York Times reported, is that the view is misleading and meant to deflect attention away from recent studies about sugary drinks and their link to obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
“Coca-Cola’s agenda here is very clear: Get these researchers to confuse the science and deflect attention from dietary intake,” Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University, told the Times. As government funding for scientific research has dwindled over the past few decades, corporate donations have stepped in to make up for the shortfall, resulting in a tangled web of conflicts of interest in nearly every research area with any money-making possibilities. Obesity research has been among the most controversial areas for corporate sponsorships or partnerships because of its impact on hundreds of billions of dollars of food and beverage sales annually.