While there is little doubt that the obesity rate in the U.S. has risen in recent decades, there is a lot of finger-pointing and “not me”-ing when it comes to placing blame. And with NYC Mayor Michael “I’ll just have water” Bloomberg trying to put the smackdown on high-calorie sodas, Coca-Cola is letting it be known it won’t fold without a fight.
“There is no scientific evidence that connects sugary beverages to obesity,” Katie Bayne, Coca-Cola’s president of sparkling beverages in North America, tells USA Today.
According to Bayne, between 1999 and 2010, while the number of obese children and adults jumped by 13% and 17% respectively, sugars from soda consumption fell 39%.
She says that Coca-Cola understands that obesity is a problem, but the company believes the solution is for cooperation between business and regulators.
A rep for Bloomberg countered by telling USA Today, “sugary beverages are a key driver of the obesity crisis that is killing 5,800 New Yorkers and costing the city $4 billion annually.”