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Coca-Cola Disbands Sketchy Research Group It Funded

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No matter which way you slice it, soda is bad for you. From the loads and loads of research to back the unhealthy claims of soft drinks to the human trial display in the film “Super Size Me,” all the information we have available to us tells us to step away from the diet coke and reach for just about anything else to quench your thirst.

That’s why it was strange when research from the Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN) trumpeted a lack of physical activity and exercise as the true culprits of obesity, deflecting blame away from harmful, sugary foods and drinks … like Coke. It turns out, Coca-Cola — along with PepsiCo, Nestle and others — donated huge sums of money to GEBN to confuse and distract the public from the dangers of these popular foods. (1)

Since that information was unearthed this summer, Coke and GEBN have been under immense scrutiny for essentially ignoring real science, and it’s finally come to a head. Last week, GEBN, created by Coke, announced it was shutting down. (2)


The Real Facts on Sugary Drinks

This is a major victory for the health movement in America, as it helps prevent the lies groups like GEBN perpetrate about diet. We know that soft drinks and sugary foods are some of the leading causes of obesity. In addition, artificial sweeteners are not only dangerous but addictive. Virtually all the real science out there backs this up.

For starters, sugary drinks like soda are one of the leading contributors to obesity. (3) A review published in the American Journal of Public Health and written by Yale University researchers found that “soft drinks offer energy with little accompanying nutrition, displace other nutrient sources, and are linked to several key health conditions such as diabetes” — which provides “further impetus to recommend a reduction in soft drink consumption.” (4)

Soft drinks labeled “diet” are no better. Just like regular soda, diet soft drinks provide little to no benefits and actually cause you to gain weight. (5)

Even more alarming, a study from Tufts University released this past summer linked sugary drink consumption with an estimated 184,000 deaths each year, including 25,000 in the U.S. The researchers unveiled “that the beverages would be responsible for 133,000 deaths from diabetes, 45,000 from cardiovascular disease and 6,450 from cancer.” (6)

Throw in the fact that these obesity culprits are addictive and typically full of caffeine, and it’s easy to suffer from a caffeine overdose. A 12-year study done by Harvard researchers of over 150,000 women published in 2005 in the Journal of American Medical Association found that drinking caffeinated drinks can increase the risk of high blood pressure. (7)

But another very interesting finding was that the caffeine–high-blood-pressure relationship was not found to be true with coffee consumption and only with caffeinated drinks like sodas. You can see why this raises another issue altogether of the effects of caffeine in combination with sugar on heart health.


Why Coca-Cola Disbands Biased Research GroupCoca-cola closes research group

Amid all the evidence and all the “scientific nonsense” GEBN and Coca-Cola were feeding the public, the health field finally became fed up. In addition to health authorities decrying the tactics used by GEBN to confuse the public on diet’s role in obesity, high-profile organizations like the University of Colorado School of Medicine started to turn their backs on Coca-Cola by returning funding and severing ties with Coca-Cola entirely.

The University of Colorado said it would return a $1 million grant from Coke, while the American Academy of Pediatrics and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics — both of whom accepted millions of dollars from Coke over the years — said they would end their relationships with the soft drink giant.

All this mounting pressure finally forced Coca-Cola to cave. It didn’t help that GEBN President James O. Hill, a prominent obesity researcher and professor at the University of Colorado, said that Coke had no input into the organization despite evidence to the contrary. The AP obtained emails that indicated Hill allowed Coca-Cola to pick some of GEBN’s leaders, create its mission statement and design its website. (8)

Thankfully, the outcry was enough to get Coca-Cola to disband this biased research group that was basically out to absolve sugary drinks and diet from the obesity epidemic in America.


Takeaways 

Sugary drinks, artificial sweeteners and processed foods are terrible for you. There is no disputing that. However, these big corporations don’t want you to know that. That’s why it’s so vital to know exactly what you’re putting in your body — and why it’s so important to understand where you get your information from.

No matter what biased, fake research may want you to believe, the truth is out there, and diet absolutely plays a vital role in weight management. So if you want to treat obesity naturally and maintain a healthy weight, you must follow a healing diet filled with natural, organic foods and drinks — not sugary, processed junk that actually works against your health.

Read Next: Removing Trans Fats from the Diet — Some U.S. Grocery Stores Have Begun


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