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September 29, 2015

Coke Cuts Financial Ties With Dietetics Organization

Coca-Cola, which has come under fire for financing research that critics contend aims to downplay the role of sugary drinks in fostering obesity, is ending its sponsorship of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, The Wall Street Journal reports. The beverage giant has given the organization $2.6 million in the past eight years for conferences and programs.

Last week Coke disclosed nearly $120 million in spending since 2010 to support health studies, fitness programs, and prominent medical groups. The company promised greater openness about its giving and grant making following media reports that it funded a nonprofit that subsidized scientists who contend exercise is more important than diet in preventing obesity.

The academy, a professional organization representing U.S. nutritionists, has also drawn criticism in recent years for taking millions of dollars from big food and beverage companies, including Pepsi and Unilever as well as Coke. Joanna Price, a Coca-Cola spokeswoman, said the firm's decision to end the sponsorship was based on budget reasons and that Coke is broadly reviewing its partnerships aimed at tackling obesity.