Posted by: Benedict Lam23 JAN 2013
Coca-Cola has recently released a two-minute advertisement in the US addressing the issue of obesity. If you ignore the cheesy film and soundtrack, there are bits of information worth teasing out from the ad.
In the video, Coca-Cola claims it offers 180 low- and no-calorie beverages out of more than 650 beverage products. Also, it emphasised that it is rolling out smaller calorie-controlled portions (I bet they cost more to the consumer though, but I digress). The calorie content is printed in front of all its bottles and cans as well.
However, the message that Coca-Cola tries to drive home is that: “Beating obesity will take action by all of us, based on one simple, common sense fact: all calories count, no matter where they come from, including Coca-cola and anything else with calories. And if you eat and drink more calories than you burn off, you’ll gain weight.”
People armed with knowledge have the power to take control of their health. As health professionals it is easy for us to understand the consequences of consuming too many calories, including sugar and fats. So, at the risk of stating the obvious, Coca-Cola attempts to make an important point about the cause of obesity: eat and drink too much of anything and it cannot be good for you. Many critics say this is damage control from a corporate giant which has used every method to promote its drinks to consumers. But I think the main message in this video is educational and useful.
Although corporate responsibility is important (and I agree super-sized cups are an irresponsible way of selling fizzy drinks to people, so thumbs up to New York City for banning the sale of these in restuarants), the general public needs to take responsibility for their health as well. If people know and understand what causes weight gain and obesity but choose to continue to consume too much and exercise too little, can we really continue to put the blame solely on corporate companies? After all, an individual has to make a choice to consume calorific products in an unbalanced way.