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Dori Monson

Coca Cola fighting obesity through advertising

Soft drinks have long been held as the worst of the worst in the fight against obesity. So much so that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg banned the sale of soft drinks over 16 ounces within city limits.

But Coca Cola's new public relations campaign has them saying they aren't part of the problem, they are working to be part of the solution.

David Boze, filling in for Dori, sees this as a good move. But he's concerned that the message will take emphasis away from the personal responsibility of an individual's health.

Critics, on the other hand, are still angry at Coca Cola. They downplay personal responsibility by saying that the advertising campaign, which focuses on educating the public about obesity, is just a smokescreen that makes them look good while they market sugary beverages to already-overweight Americans.

The advertisement itself touts the wide selection of Coca Cola-owned brands and diet drink options as a major step in the battle against obesity. It also goes on to caution people about the dangers of over-consumption.

"All calories count, no matter where they come from: including Coca Cola, and everything else with calories. And if you eat and drink more calories than you burn off," says the commercial, "you'll gain weight."

The only problem David has with the message is that the commercial is pushing for a national discussion and group consensus on dealing with the obesity epidemic:

"At Coca Cola, we know when people come together we can make a real difference."

David, who struggled with a weight problem at one point himself, firmly believes that the only way Americans can improve health and banish obesity is for every individual to feel personally responsible for their weight.

"The solution is for you to take charge of your own life," says David. "And decide for yourself that you want to get better, and then find a way to do it."

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