Health Advocates Call on Beverage Industry to Make Changes that Matter

    Health Advocates Call on Beverage Industry to Make Changes that Matter

PR Newswire

DAVIS, Calif., Jan. 17, 2013

DAVIS, Calif., Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Just as the nation's
largest soda producer launches an advertising campaign applauding their role
in addressing obesity, public health advocates are challenging them and their
industry cohorts to step from behind the public relations curtain and make
real, constructive changes that will have a meaningful impact on the nation's
obesity epidemic.

"The Coca Cola Company admits in their new advertising campaign that there is
a serious obesity crisis and they say that they want to be part of the
solution," says Dr. Harold Goldstein, executive director of the California
Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA). "Since they and their beverage
industry brethren played such a major role in creating the problem (43 percent
of the increase in daily calories Americans consumed over the last 30 years
came from sugary drinks), we encourage them to use their considerable assets –
a broad product mix, unrivaled access to youth markets and unparalleled
influence on what Americans drink – to make real changes to protect the health
of Americans."

To that end, CCPHA and other health advocates from around the nation have
outlined seven concrete steps the beverage industry can take to address the
nation's growing obesity crisis. All of these, Goldstein stresses, are doable
and allow the soda corporations to maintain profitability, but they will
demand a fundamental shift in the industry's traditional marketing practices.


  oStop all advertising and promotion of sugary drinks to children under the
    age of 16.
  oPrint warnings on containers stating the link between consumption and
    obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.
  oStop selling sugary drinks in parks, afterschool programs and other places
    frequented by children.
  oPut in large print the number of teaspoons of sugar per container.
  oStop marketing sports drinks as healthy beverages.
  oCharge more for sugary drinks than equivalent no-calorie beverages.
  oStop promoting the sale of sugary drinks at store entrances, checkout
    aisles and in store windows.

For rationale behind these steps, visit:

"The new Coca Cola ads leave you with the mistaken impression that the soda
giant has voluntarily made meaningful changes to its business practices. In
reality, Coke's minor changes came only after enormous public pressure,
through legislative mandate and as the result of growing public pressure to
regulate their marketing practices. We're inviting the industry to demonstrate
their commitment to the health of our children, our families and our nation,
by making important changes that can have a dramatic impact on obesity rates
across the country. Our proposals are aimed at the largest consuming sector
(children) and at the marketing practices that make heavily sweetened
beverages nearly irresistible to youth."

Over 20,000 people, including some of public health's most esteemed
professionals, have signed onto a petition urging the beverage industry to
enact these seven steps.

The California Center for Public Health Advocacy  is  a nonprofit, nonpartisan
organization dedicated to improving the health of Californians. To learn more
about CCPHA visit:

SOURCE California Center for Public Health Advocacy

Contact: Dr. Harold Goldstein, California Center for Public Health Advocacy,
+1-530-400-9106; Michael Miller, Brown?Miller Commun., +1-800-710-9333
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