Are you listening Michael Bloomberg? Coca-Cola, the largest beverage company in the world, has produced a two-minute pro-calorie counting commercial set to air on the highest-rated shows of CNN, Fox News and MSNBC starting tonight.
“We are committed to bring people together to help fight obesity,” said Stuart Kronauge, the General Manager for Coke’s North America Sparkling Beverages division. “This is about the health and happiness of everyone who buys our products and wants great-tasting beverages, choice and information. The Coca-Cola Company has an important role in this fight.”
Indeed Coke does. A recent study funded by the National Institute of Health found that people with genes that predispose them to be obese are more susceptible to the weight inducing effects of sugary drinks. For the third of Americans that are obese, some of Coke’s products thus pose an additional health risk. According to the AP, consumption of sugary drinks and obesity rates in America have risen in tandem, doubling since the 1970s. While Coke in recent years has grown its business with sports drinks, bottled water, and low- or zero- calorie sodas, overall soda consumption has declined per capita by 16% since 1998. Coke’s new ad, seen below, is a major attempt to change the company’s public image.
UPDATE: A second spot, called “Be Ok” will debut on American Idol on Wednesday, Jan. 16.