Coca-Cola speaks on soft drinks proposal

Comment on this story
iol new spic large soda AP New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposing a ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks in the city's restaurants, delis and movie theaters in the hopes of combating obesity, an expansion of his administration's efforts to encourage healthy behavior by limiting residents' choices.

Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent insists his company is not responsible for the rise in United States obesity despite New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's recent moves to limit the consumption of sugary drinks.

“This is an important, complicated societal issue that we all have to work together to provide a solution,” Kent told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published late on Monday.

“That's why we are working with government, business and civil society to have active lifestyle programmes in every country we operate by 2015,” he said.

His remarks came just weeks after the health-conscious Bloomberg proposed a ban on super-sized soft drinks that would restrict the sale to 16-ounce (about 470ml) servings, more than an average can but far less than the bucket-sized beverages offered at cinemas, service stations and sporting events.

Kent said Coca-Cola has diversified from its namesake, offering a wide range of healthy teas, juices, sports drinks and other products.

“We've gone from being a single-beverage, single-brand company to now 500-plus brands, 3,000 products. Eight hundred of these products we've introduced in the last four or five years are calorie-free or low-calorie.

“It is, I believe, incorrect and unjust to put the blame on any single ingredient, any single product, any single category of food,” he said.

Bloomberg said the proposed ban was needed to confront the “epidemic” of obesity in the United States, which contributes to rising health costs.

Critics have derided the proposed ban as a “nanny state” overreach of government power.

They have also faulted the mayor for seeking to restrict certain unhealthy habits - like smoking and sugary drinks - while the city hosts eat-athons like the annual Coney Island hotdog competition.

The proposed measure would target fast-food and other restaurants, delis, and places of public entertainment like stadiums. It would not cover drinks sold in supermarkets or any diet, fruit, dairy or alcoholic drinks. - AFP


sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.