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Coca-Cola Paid Scientists to Downplay How Sugary Beverages Fueled the Obesity Crisis

Published: September 21, 2020
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Source: cryptogon.com

Evaluating Coca-Cola’s attempts to influence public health ‘in their own words’: analysis of Coca-Cola emails with public health academics leading the Global Energy Balance Network:

Objective:

We evaluate the extent to which Coca-Cola tried to influence research in the Global Energy Balance Network, as revealed by correspondence between the company and leading public health academics obtained through Freedom-of-Information (FOI) requests.

Conclusions:

Coca-Cola sought to obscure its relationship with researchers, minimise the public perception of its role and use these researchers to promote industry-friendly messaging. More robust approaches for managing conflicts of interest are needed to address diffuse and obscured patterns of industry influence.

Via: Daily Mail:

Coca-Cola’s work with scientists to downplay the role sugar plays in contributing to obesity has been called a ‘low point in this history of public health.’

The beverage company donated millions of dollars to a team of researchers at a non-profit claiming to look into causes of excess weight gain in the US.

However, the team ended up being a ‘front group’ for Coca-Cola and promoted the idea that it was a lack of exercise, not a bad diet, that was the primary driver of the US obesity epidemic.

What’s more, the group tried to downplay the fact that Coca-Cola was a donor of its research, and how much money the company gifted.

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