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August 10, 2015

Coca-Cola Nonprofit Pays for Research Refuting Soda-Obesity Link

Through a new nonprofit called the Global Energy Balance Network, Coca-Cola has been providing funds and logistical support to scientists who promote the argument that exercise is more important than cutting calorie consumption in combating the obesity crisis, according to a report in The New York Times.

The group maintains that the popular image of fast food and sugary drinks as the enemy is not based on "compelling evidence," and that physical activity can offset the effects of a poor diet, a message that health experts say is misleading. The nonprofit's efforts come as efforts to tax soda and remove it from schools have been gaining traction.

The Times reports that the beverage company put $1.5 million into the nonprofit's start-up last year, and that since 2008, it has given close to $4 million to two of its founding members for various projects. The article cites nutrition experts saying that company's tactics are reminiscent of those used by the tobacco industry.