Soft Drink Companies Fund Fitness Programs, Ungrateful Governments Campaign Against Soda Anyway

Soft drink companies have an important message to get across to the public: their products can be part of a healthy lifestyle when used occasionally, and when you burn off that Mountain Dew with regular exercise. They’ve even been nice enough to fund fitness programs in many cities, and those ungrateful cities respond by proposing taxes and warning labels for their products.

Take San Antonio: the city has a type 2 diabetes rate that’s double the average in this country, and the city government resisted anti-soda ad campaigns aimed at the public. The county where San Antonio is embarked on its own campaign, which features a guy gobbling sugar packets while sitting at a counter in a diner. The message: if you wouldn’t eat 16 sugar packets along with your meal, why are you sipping a 20-ounce soda?

Some officials are uncomfortable with the idea of telling residents what to eat, even if it’s only a public-health or education campaign. Yet in San Antonio, the Coca-Cola-funded exercise initiatives didn’t lower the obesity rate among adults, or the percentage of people who say they drink at least one soft drink daily.

Sodas, Health Officials Duke It Out City by City [Wall Street Journal]

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