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Coca-Cola runs 'obesity awareness' advert in the US

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Coca-Cola has launched a new TV advert in the US that addresses the issue of obesity for the first time.

The fizzy drinks maker's new two-minute commercial focuses on its record of producing 'healthier' drinks, but also notes that all foods contain calories.

Bottle of Diet Coke

© PA Images / Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Obesity fat man

© Rex Features



Coca-Cola sad that the move was not in response to criticism of its industry, but rather about raising awareness among consumers.

But the ad, which debuted on US cable TV networks yesterday (January 14), comes at a time of growing pressure on the soft drinks industry to change its ways.

New York City will soon ban the sale of sugary drinks in cups bigger than half a litre in restaurants, stadiums and cinemas.

Last year, Disney became the first major US media firm to announce a wide-ranging ban on junk food advertising across its television, online and radio networks by 2015. The company has already introduced healthier meal options at its theme parks.

Meanwhile, industry tracker Beverage Digest has said that consumption of fizzy drinks in the US has been falling steadily since 1998, suggesting that people are favouring perceived healthier soft beverages.

In a statement to Associated Press, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola said that it wants to be part of the "important conversation" going on about obesity.



Coca-Cola's advert, titled 'Coming Together', features a female voice saying: "We'd like people to come together on something that concerns all of us: obesity. The long-term health of our families and the country is at stake."

The ad says that Coca-Cola is now offering smaller size drinks and is working on better-tasting, low-calorie sweeteners. It also claims the firm has voluntarily introduced lower-calorie drinks at schools.

But the video also warns that "all calories count, no matter where they come from", adding: "If you eat and drink more calories than you burn off, you'll gain weight."

Another Coca-Cola advert, due to air in the US this week, features the range of activities that it takes to burn off the "140 happy calories" in a can of Coke.

But Coca-Cola has been criticised for running adverts highlighting the dangers of a high-calorie diet, whilst also fighting the introduction of a "soft drink tax" in the US.

Discussing the new ad, Mike Jacobson, executive director for the Centre for Science in the Public Interest, told the BBC: "It looks like a page out of Damage Control 101. They're trying to disarm the public."

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