Coke Targets Kids With Misleading “Balance” Message

business_ethics_highlights_2Obesity is complex, as is its relationship to health. Sugary drinks like Coke are implicated at a population level, even though many people have an occasional Coke without it affecting their health in material ways. But in general, producers of sugary drinks like Coke have an interest in deflecting blame. So they try. One strategy is to focus on the “calories in, calories out” equation. But, “In fact, a raft of recent research suggests that dietary changes—like skipping that soda—will do more to help a person lose weight than…physical activity.” The fact that Coke aims this misleading message at kids. There’s lots of room for debate about the ethics of marketing; but most people probably agree that marketing to kids is a category unto itself, one requiring special care on the part of marketers. >>>

LINK: Coca-Cola’s misleading anti-obesity campaign also targets kids (by Tony Dokoupil for

Rather than fixate on calories, the idea of energy balance invites weight-conscious Americans to focus more on exercise and eat what they want. Earlier this year, in partnership with Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and the American Beverage Association, Coke launched “Mixify”—a lavish multi-platform campaign that pitches kids on this very same idea.
“Coke, Dr Pepper and Pepsi understand that balancing your mix of foods, drinks and physical activities can get a little tricky,” the website says, next to the hashtag “Realtalk,” the first of dozens of youthful details. “That’s where Mixify comes in….”

What do you think?

See also: ‘Front group’: Coca-Cola funds scientists who stress exercise not diet to avoid obesity

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