March 06, 2006
Soft Drink Industry = Tobacco Industry?
More and more I'm starting to think that manufacturers of soda and other soft drinks have a heck of a lot in common with the makers of cigarettes.
Recently I saw an ad in a magazine, paid for by the Coca Cola Bottling Company, that was so similar to a Philip Morris ad that it was eerie. The ad stated that recent studies indicate that in regards to hydration, liquid is liquid, so coffee, tea and soft drinks can be substituted for water.
Now I have to admit that I have read this in the past, but I would say you're probably not doing too bad if you're drinking (real) fruit juice in moderate quantities along with either coffee or tea. But lumping soft drinks into the mix is an incredibly BAD idea.
They went on to state that of course water is better for you, but hey, it's OK if you drink something else (preferably one of their products, of course). In my mind this is so close to the Philip Morris "Cigarettes are really bad for you and we don't want you to smoke... but we won't stop selling them." hypocritical ad campaign that it gave me pause.
As if people aren't uneducated enough when it comes to nutrition in general and how terribly bad soft drinks are for you, here comes an ad like this.
Following on the heels of that, I saw an article in the paper discussing that some studies have linked the massive (no pun) rise in obesity in the U.S. primarily to the increased consumption of soft drinks in general and soda in particular. Of course an industry spokesman quickly came out rebutting the results, saying that the cause and effect of obesity is being confused. In other words more people who are obese drink soda, but they drink soda because they're obese and it's not the soda that contributed to their obesity.
That's such a stupid statement that it would laughable if it was coming from some shmoe on the street. Coming from a representative of the soft drink industry it's as scary to me as the tobacco industry executives' denials that cigarettes cause lung cancer back in the 70s.