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Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

imageBelieve it or not, Coca-Cola has launched an anti-obesity ad on US TV. The two-minute ad aired for the first time on January 16 depicts healthy-looking people, many carrying Coke bottles, and peddles the high-sugar product as something that can be consumed responsibly.

In the background, a female narrator says Coca-Cola offers smaller portions, is working to make better-tasting, low-calorie sweeteners and has voluntarily made lower-calorie drinks available at schools. “There is an important conversation going on about obesity out there, and we want to be a part of the conversation,” Stuart Kronauge, general manager of sparkling beverages for Coca-Cola North America, told the Associated Press.

Critics are not buying the argument. Mike Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said if the company was serious about tackling obesity it would stop fighting a tax on its drinks. Food writer Susan Milligan says, “In a sense, the ads are similar to those run by liquor companies—drink us, but don’t go overboard. But it misses the point: if you want to make more responsible food choices, don’t drink sugared sodas at all.”

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