Having written some strong words of warning on sugary soft drinks as well as chemical-laden diet soft drinks, not to mention the scourge of obesity, what to make of Coca-Cola’s Anti-Obesity ads?
Some facts first, 60 percent of us are overweight and 30 percent of us are outright obese. We have teenagers coming down with adult onset diabetes. We are the first generation of people starving ourselves to death in obese bodies.
We gain weight when we take in more calories than we burn off. The Center for Science in the Public Interest says that soda contributes six percent of the total calories in our diets. That is more than anything we eat or drink.
So soda is a major player in the obesity crisis.
I was not able to get a copy of the Coke ad to run with this post, but I did find this “Honest” version which carries the original video but has a fresh new voiceover. The source is listed as John Pemberton which by no small coincidence happens to be the name of the pharmacist who invented Coca-Cola.
Back to the headline. What about Coke having an anti-obesity ad?
Why not? Anything that raises people’s awareness of the problem seems to be a step in the right direction. I don’t think the coke ad will encourage people to drink more of it. I certainly hope not.
Everyone knows that Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to cap soda servings at restaurants at 16 ounces was halted by the New York Supreme Court last week.
I have written numerous posts on the evils of soft drinks, both sugary and diet (chemical-laden). But, I think that people have to right to make up their own minds and if they want to drink these concoctions they should be able to despite the fact that the drinks are a major cause of the obesity problem plaguing this country.
So, clearly I have mixed feelings about it, I oppose the drinks but support the rights of individuals to drink them.
I was very disappointed to learn that other opposition to the ban resulted not from concern about individual rights, but from generous gifts by the soft drink industry, Coca-Cola.
The NAACP joined the opposition to the ban, despite the fact the the obesity rate for African-Americans in New York City is higher than the city average. The New York Times said that “minority neighborhoods would be among the key beneficiaries of a rule that would limit the sale of super-size, calorie-laden beverages.”
Coca-Cola donated $100,000 to the NAACP as recently as December. Ironically, it was for Project H.E.L.P., (Healthy Eating, Lifestyle Change and Physical Activity), a program dedicated to promoting active and healthy living.
The Hispanic Federation also lists Coke as a donor. In February 2012, its president, Lillian Rodriguez Lopez, left the nonprofit group to become director of Latin Affairs at Coke.
It seems really disappointing to see these minority groups taking gifts from the soft drink industry and then supporting the industry in a situation that is clearly harmful to their members.
According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest CSPI, the soda industry’s generosity includes groups representing doctors, dentists, dieticians, anti-hunger advocates and others.
Sad to see this money possibly standing in the way of the war on obesity.
What are we talking about here? Wikipedia says Nature-Deficit Disorder refers to a hypothesis by Richard Louv in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods that human beings, especially children, are spending less time outdoors resulting in a wide range of behavioral problems. This disorder is not recognized in any of the medical manuals for mental disorders.
I confess that on first blush this term sounded kind of tree-hugging and politically-correct to me. Don’t we have enough important things to concern us without worrying about being out in nature?
While this being nature deprived is usually applied to children, it doesn’t have to be. I am indebted to Kelly, The Spunky Caregiver, for introducing me to the concept in the first place.
Kelly mentioned it regarding care giving for seniors. She wrote, “Getting outside alleviates our stress and can literally change the mental state we are in. I have personally seen this in caring for seniors with moderate to advanced dementia. Having trees, gardens, horses and walking trails around, is like heaven after being inside. They begin to remember stories, smile more and connect. I have also seen it in rehab patients, how it inspires and elevates their optimism for recovery. For me personally, I need to get outside to feel alive in my body and the thought of being inside for days is painful. I love the sun and the trees and the air. Taking the seniors outside is a serious paid benefit!” Continue reading →
It shouldn’t be surprising that since 60 percent of us are overweight and 30 percent obese that many people don’t understand the risks of obesity. Duh. This is twice as many as 20 years ago. Even our children are getting fatter. Among young people, 15 percent of those ages 6 to 19 are seriously overweight. That’s nearly 9 million, triple the number in 1980.
Maybe if people had a better idea about how damaging obesity is, there wouldn’t be so many overweight.
About one out of four people think it’s possible for someone to be very overweight and still be healthy, according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Only seven percent of people in the survey mentioned cancer. Yet doctors have known for years that fat increases the risk of a number of cancers. It was recently reported that cancers of the esophagus, uterus, pancreas and kidney have risen despite declines in cancer rates. Experts said that excess weight triggers production of insulin and hormones that play a role in cancer growth.
Also, with overweight people excess fat makes it difficult to spot some tumors.
John Seffrin, the American Cancer Society’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.”For people who do not smoke, excess weight and lack of sufficient physical activity may be among the most important risk factors for cancer.”
As an arthritis sufferer, I was not surprised to learn that excess weight takes a toll on one’s joints, especially the knees. Only about fifteen percent of people were aware that obesity can contribute to arthritis, which then aggravates joint pain and makes it harder to exercise creating a vicious downward spiral in health.
The study also found that half of the people think their weight is just about right and only 12 percent of parents think their child is overweight. Nevertheless, about 60 percent of adults and 30 percent of children and teens are either overweight or obese.
Several cities and states throughout the country have recently reported declines in their childhood obesity rates, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Declines occurred in locales where comprehensive action took place to address the problem. Nonetheless, obesity rates persist in various socionomic and geographic areas. Racial and ethnic disparities also persist.
The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 20% in 2008. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to 18% over the same period, according to The Centers for Disease Control.
The long term health risks are ominous. The New York Times reports that “Obese children are more likely to be obese as adults, creating a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. The American Cancer Society says that being overweight or obese is the culprit in one of seven cancer deaths. Diabetes in children is up by a fifth since 2000, according to federal data.”