Limit Food Industry Sway on Public Health Matters

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Candice Choi, Associated Press, January 29, 2019

The tweet from a group that finances development in Latin America was direct: Sodas do not offer beauty or joy, just a lot of sugar.

There was one problem for the organization. Coca-Cola was a funder.

The Inter-American Development Bank’s management told Coke it hadn’t been aware of the tweet, and subsequently invited the company to write a blog post explaining how the beverage giant was helping address obesity, according to an email by a Coke executive obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request.

The exchange provides another glimpse of the food industry’s pull in shaping messages about its products. With obesity becoming a more pressing global problem, two reports in science journals are calling for policies that limit industry influence and reviving debate about what role food companies should play in public health efforts.

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