Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Fizz Off! Youth Challenge Soda Industry's Sugar-Coated Thinking

Health + Wellness
Fizz Off! Youth Challenge Soda Industry's Sugar-Coated Thinking

By Wendy Lesko

Coca-Cola’s mission is “to refresh the world” and promote “open happiness.” The world’s number one beverage company boasts about its initiatives “to support active, healthy living” such as donating to youth fitness programs.

Here are a few examples of young people who are questioning this sugar-coated thinking:

  • Truth Unfiltered, Flavored Lies is an award-winning rap documentary produced by three high school students in Columbia, MD with the verdict: “Soda is the new nicotine.”

  • P.H.A.T [Powerful, Healthy, Active, Teens] video has a reporter interview Youth Radio interns in Oakland, CA to askt hem about the amount of sugar in a can of soda and whether they might switch to water.
  • Saludable Omaha YouthPower leader Jessica in Nebraska believes people feel more “refreshed” without junk foods and “Change is gonna happen” because of the movement.
  • Youth Empowered Solutions! 15-year-old Dylan Goodman is part of a multi-generational team that’s exploring with store owners in Asheville, NC a plan that includes positioning healthier foods near checkout registers instead of candy and sodas.
  • Zane Middle School Health Club in Eureka, CA conducted a photovoice project and learned from their student survey that many dislike the fountains because “the water is dirty and tastes bad.” Their research led them to propose hydration stations that dispense water into refillable bottles using infrared sensors. The student plan won unanimous approval by school authorities and demand for water is up.
  • Kick the Can essay contest winner Shannon Segall of Davis, CA writes “Since teens are the largest consumer demographic these companies are targeting, then it’s time to use that power—the power to make different buying and drinking decisions, while sending a message to beverage corporations that these aren’t the products we want.”

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Let’s hope more young people will question the All-American facade of Coca-Cola and the soda industry, considering the figures below, amongst other things:

  • Latino teens were exposed to 99 percent more soda ads and 80 to 90 percent more for African American youth than their white counterparts in 2010 than two years earlier.
  • Each year Coca-Cola provides $3 million for its College Scholars involving 250 high school seniors; compare that with Coke’s $16 million to LeBron James or $35 million to sponsor American Idol.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America, National 4-H, Girls Inc., NAACP, American Diabetes Association are among hundreds of organizations that receive Coca-Cola charitable donations.
  • Philadelphia Children’s Hospital received a one-time $10 million donation from the American Beverage Association as part of its successful strategy to defeat a two-cents-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks projected to reduce consumption and raise more than $18 million/per year in revenues for city health programs.

Support the MomsRising.org soda Thunderclap and band together with others to send a one-time message to Burger King and Wendy’s to remove soda as the default drink in kids’ meals.

Visit EcoWatch’s FOOD and HEALTH pages for more related news on these topics.

Eat Just's cell-based chicken nugget is now served at Singapore restaurant 1880. Eat Just, Inc.

At a time of impending global food scarcity, cell-based meats and seafood have been heralded as the future of food.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

New Zealand sea lions are an endangered species and one of the rarest species of sea lions in the world. Art Wolfe / Photodisc / Getty Images

One city in New Zealand knows what its priorities are.

Dunedin, the second largest city on New Zealand's South Island, has closed a popular road to protect a mother sea lion and her pup, The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending


piyaset / iStock / Getty Images Plus

In an alarming new study, scientists found that climate change is already harming children's diets.

Read More Show Less
Wildfires within the Arctic Circle in Alaska on June 4, 2020. Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data processed by Pierre Markuse. CC BY 2.0

By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.

Earth had its second-warmest year on record in 2020, just 0.02 degrees Celsius (0.04°F) behind the record set in 2016, and 0.98 degrees Celsius (1.76°F) above the 20th-century average, NOAA reported January 14.

Read More Show Less

In December of 1924, the heads of all the major lightbulb manufacturers across the world met in Geneva to concoct a sinister plan. Their talks outlined limits on how long all of their lightbulbs would last. The idea is that if their bulbs failed quickly customers would have to buy more of their product. In this video, we're going to unpack this idea of purposefully creating inferior products to drive sales, a symptom of late-stage capitalism that has since been coined planned obsolescence. And as we'll see, this obsolescence can have drastic consequences on our wallets, waste streams, and even our climate.

Read More Show Less