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.

Florida Wildlife Federation / NBC2News / YouTube

In a dramatic rescue captured on camera, a Florida man ran into a pond and pried open an alligator's mouth in order to rescue his beloved puppy, all without dropping his cigar.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Imagesines / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Jean-Marc Neveu and Olivier Civil never expected to find themselves battling against disposable mask pollution.

When they founded their recycling start-up Plaxtil in 2017, it was textile waste they set their sights on. The project developed a process that turned fabrics into a new recyclable material they describe as "ecological plastic."

Read More Show Less

Trending

Fossil fuel companies received $110 billion in direct and indirect financial assistance during the coronavirus pandemic, including up to $15.2 billion in direct federal relief. Andrew Hart /

By Bret Wilkins

In a year in which the United States has already suffered 16 climate-driven extreme weather events causing more than $1 billion in economic damages, and as millions of American workers face loss of essential unemployment benefits due to congressional inaction, a report published Monday reveals the Trump administration has given fossil fuel companies as much as $15.2 billion in direct relief — and tens of billions more indirectly — through federal COVID-19 recovery programs since March.

Read More Show Less
Flint corn is an example of pre-contact food. Elenathewise / Getty Images

By Ashia Aubourg

As Thanksgiving approaches, some Indigenous organizations and activists caution against perpetuating further injustices towards Native communities. Indigenous activist Mariah Gladstone, for example, encourages eaters to celebrate the harvest time in ways that do not involve stereotypes and pilgrim stories.

Read More Show Less

By Alex Middleton

Losing weight and reducing fat is a hard battle to fight. Thankfully, there are fat burner supplements that help you gain your target body and goal. However, how would you know which supplement is right for you?

Read More Show Less