It all sounds so nice – guzzle soda with abandon, put in a little bit of time on the treadmill and the perfect body will be yours in no time.
Coca Cola’s extensive “Coming Together” campaign wants consumers to believe that the calories taken in by drinking the sugar-rich soda can be burnt off through exercise. International experts, however, want people to know they’re being fooled with unnecessary emphasis on exercise for weight loss.
A newly published article in BMJ strikes out against commercial irresponsibility surrounding obesity and unhealthy foods. The authors argue that food industry’s PR tactics have gotten “chillingly similar to those of big tobacco."
Dr. Aseem Malhotra, a London cardiologist, spoke out against the food and beverage industry for spreading the false belief that exercise can completely counter the effects of unhealthy eating. Together with co-authors, he blamed the rocketing obesity trends on the insincere marketing tactics used by giants like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s.
“Let us bust the myth of physical activity and obesity. You cannot outrun a bad diet,” the authors write.
Exercise’s benefits can’t be overstated: It helps the mind and body, fending off conditions from dementia to cancers and cardiovascular disease. But it’s not the road to weight loss. Weight loss has to come through changing eat habits, especially avoiding excess sugar. Where sugar and carbohydrates do not satiate the appetite, fat calories make you feel fuller and quench your appetite.
The international trio also appealed to celebrities to stop promoting sugary drinks and unhealthy meals. They labelled this as “manipulative marketing” by the food giants that slowly drives the youth toward obesity.