Salvos continue, so does obesity

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Obviously there’s no single chief cause of obesity, but still certain companies sometimes get fingers pointed at them.

Soft drink giant Coca-Cola is countering criticism of its reputation as a culprit in the growing obesity trend with an online video ad showing the fun people could have burning off the 140 calories contained in a can.

The video, as described in an article carried by The Associated Press – which notes that it takes about 23 minutes of cycling per 140 calories – shows a montage of people on a giant stationary bicycle trying to earn a can of its cola, with carnival music playing in the background.

A mite touchy are we, with health advocates picking Coke as a target? We must acknowledge Coca-Cola is not the only soda pop on the shelves – let alone the only purveyor of high-calorie, nutrient-void snack fare. But the company is a big player and also has the deep pockets it takes to put on such a campaign.

This isn’t the first time Coke has launched a defensive on this subject. In a recent TV ad it noted that weight gain can be attributed to consuming too many calories of any kind, not just soda.

In the same AP article, a health professional speculates that the company’s reaching out for understanding comes in response to the recent movie feature “Fed Up.” That documentary takes aim at the marketing tactics used by the food industry to dull people to the presence of empty calories – that is, loads of sugar – found in so many processed foods.

Obesity is a problem the world can’t ignore.

Certainly someone who maintains an active lifestyle has a better chance of avoiding excessive weight gain – and might feel a whole lot less guilty about guzzling down a can or two of pop here and there.

The cycling or whatever physical activity is certainly an excellent idea. But this pitch will also invite people to ask, what if you did without the junk and did the cycling anyway – that would be the best of both worlds in weight control.

Organizations: Coca-Cola, The Associated Press, Fed

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