For the first time in history, Coca-Cola is acknowledging the perverse connection between soda and “the long-term health of our families” (corporate-speak for “pop makes you fat”). Now a new two-minute commercial makes the case that the company is a partner in our fight against obesity: Out of 650 Coca-Cola beverages, 180 are low- and no-calorie choices; portion-controlled sizes will be stocked in 90 percent of the country by the end of this year; beverage calories in schools are steadily reducing; Coke is working with scientists to find zero-calorie sweeteners, miracle berries, etc, etc. It’s fine that Coca-Cola is addressing this issue head-on, but the safety of all those artificial sweetners is still questionable — low-cal or not.
Update: Mark Bittman emailed his official response to Coke’s ad to Grub and CBC Radio: “So professional. So brilliant. So smart. And so deceitful. Seven percent of our calories come from soda — it’s the biggest single source in our diet. And the most harmful. It’s good that Coke recognizes that and is beginning to apologize. But all calories are not the same — those from soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages are actually worse than others. So it’s up to us to remember that Coke makes its money selling sugar-sweetened beverages, and even when they’re apologizing for that, as they appear to be doing here — they’re still selling them.”