Coke funds research to show exercise, not dieting, impacts weight

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HARTFORD–Last week, Coca Cola announced that the company would be funding a health research group called the Global Energy Balance Network, which actually launched last year.

Coke donated more than $1 million to get the research off the ground. The group’s claim is that Americans focus too much on what they eat, and not enough on exercise in relation to weight gain and loss.

On Tuesday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal has added his voice to the increasing number of people against the group.

Blumenthal called the group’s research “pseudo-science,” and said he plans to send letters to three universities that are doing research on the link between sugary drinks and diet. The research is funded by Coke.

“New research is a good thing,” he said. “Unfortunately, the history of research funded by companies that make sugary drinks is that they are five times more likely to find no connection between sugary soft drinks and weight gain.”

Coke released the following statement:

“We believe moderation and calorie reduction are tools for a healthier life.  Coca-Cola is supporting solutions to obesity, including funding scientific research.  We recognize diet, including what you drink, and exercise play pivotal roles in managing health and weight. In fact, we continue to take steps to help people manage their calories – whether it’s through the introduction of smaller-sized packs, front of pack calorie labeling or innovation through reduced-calorie products such as Coke Zero and Coca-Cola Life.

In partnership with the American Beverage Association and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, we committed to an unprecedented national initiative to help fight obesity by reducing beverage calories consumed per person by 20 percent by 2025. We can’t solve obesity alone. But when we work together with government, academia and civil society, we have a much better chance to achieve that goal.”