Background

Coke as a Sensible Snack?
News report on Coca-Cola’s strategy of recruiting paid dietitians to pitch its products.

Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away From Bad Diets
New York Times article that linked Coke to research conducted by the Global Energy Balance Network.

Coke Discloses Millions in Grants for Health Research and Community Programs
New York Times article on Coke’s funding for a wide range of academic health research, as well as fitness programs and advocacy organizations.

The List: Health and Academic Medical Research Organizations Funded by Coke
In response to the New York Times articles, Coke releases details on the entities and research programs it funded between 2010 and 2015.

‘We’ll Do Better’: Coca-Cola Vows to Improve Transparency
Wall Street Journal Op-Ed by Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent promising increased disclosure of its health research and related funding.

Coca-Cola Funds Returned
The news release from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, announcing it is returning Coca-Cola’s funding for the Global Energy Balance Network.

Critics

A Defense of Sugary Soda That Fizzled for Coke
The New York Times welcomes the disbanding of the Global Energy Balance Network, suggesting that its researchers were scientific surrogates for Coke’s marketing department.

Coca-Cola’s Misleading Anti-Obesity Campaign Also Targets Kids
Article that criticizes Coke’s “mixify” campaign for attempting to deceive kids that the real and only culprit in the obesity epidemic is lack of exercise.

Coke’s Skewed Message on Obesity: Drink Coke. Exercise More
New York Times readers indicate their negative view of Coke’s practices in these letters to the editor.

Nutrition Experts Alarmed by Nonprofit Downplaying Role of Junk Food in Obesity
Scientists interviewed in this article suggest that Coca-Cola’s funding of the Global Energy Balance Network is similar to big tobacco’s ‘merchants of doubt’ campaign.

Why Coca-Cola’s Funding of Obesity Research Crossed the Line
Why the “energy balance” hypothesis—that obesity as simply the result of calories in minus calories burned—is problematic.

Champions

Coca-Cola Defends Obesity Research
Spokespersons for Coca-Cola and the Global Energy Balance Network challenge the New York Times stories, describing the articles as inaccurate representations of their activities.

Setting the Record Straight on Coca-Cola and Scientific Research
Dr. Ed Hays, Coke’s Chief Technical Officer, rejects the suggestion that the company promotes exercise over dieting.

In Defense of Soda
In the view of this author, soda is not really worse than some of the popular foods and drinks we enjoy and is only getting a bad rap because it is so heavily advertised. Plus, it’s an American tradition.

Coca-Cola’s Take on Energy Balance
These resources from the Coca-Cola-owned Beverage Institute for Health & Wellness promote the science of energy balance (videos)

Coca-Cola Health Initiatives
Coca-Cola’s corporate website highlights the various ways the organization is involved in promoting healthy living around the world.

Related Topics

Can Coca-Cola Join the Global Fight Against Obesity?
Experts on both sides of the debate weigh in on whether Coca-Cola can legitimately be part of the obesity solution when its products are part of the problem.

Anti-Obesity Group Funded By Coke Disbanding
News of the Global Energy Balance Network’s closure, after additional revelations of Coca-Cola’s involvement its operations.

Weighty Matters
The blog of obesity expert Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, who blew the whistle on Coca-Cola’s funding of the Global Energy Balance Network.

A Clinician, a Blogger, and Now a Thorn in Coca-Cola’s Side
Article about Coke research funding whistleblower Dr. Yoni Freedhoff and other health research conflict-of-interest watchdogs.

Ethics and Sponsorship
An examination of ethical issues and considerations related to fundraising partnerships between companies and values-led organizations.

A Common Standard for Conflict of Interest Disclosure
Guidelines on how authors of scientific research publications can address issues of conflict of interest through proactive disclosure.

Corporate Social Responsibility: It’s All about Marketing
This Forbes article suggests that socially responsible marketing must begin with listening to and engaging a company’s stakeholders.

Private Non-profit foundations & Public Health
This blog post discusses potential ethical considerations when private non-profit foundations fund public health initiatives.

Other

Coca-Cola
Corporate website of Coca-Cola, the world’s largest maker of sugary beverages

Buy Happiness
Coke’s branding centers on delivering happiness to those who indulge in its products, including offering 10 steps customers can take to be happy.

Globesity: US Junk Food Industry Tips Global Scales
A snapshot of global obesity and the complicity of U.S. companies that feed the epidemic with their fast food and sugary drinks.

Muhtar Kent
A profile of Coca-Cola’s CEO

University of Colorado School of Medicine
The academic institution which housed the Global Energy Balance Network, the recipient of Coke’s controversial funding.

The Principle of Beneficence in Applied Ethics
An overview of the topic from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.