Coca-Cola Criticized For Its Research Funding, CEO Apologizes
For some time now, the Coca-Cola Company has been working with a number of public health and scientific communities to help promote overall well-being, especially in countries where the brand has presence. The recent revelation that Coca-Cola has been funding the Global Energy Balance Network, however, has come under criticism. And for that, Coca-Cola’s Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent has somewhat issued an apology.
The Global Energy Balance Network believes that a healthy lifestyle can be achieved through good energy balance. Moreover, the organization also believes that an increase in caloric intake is not the main cause of today’s increase in obesity.
Coca-Cola is disappointed
In an op-ed article published in The Wall Street Journal, Kent says he is “disappointed” that some of the Coca-Cola’s action towards scientific research as well as health and well-being programs have seemed to have done more harm than good. Moreover, he said that it seemed to have created “more confusion and mistrust.”
Kent explained that Coca-Cola simply wanted to capitalize on its global presence to help spread the word that a healthy lifestyle can be achieved with a healthy diet combined with regular exercise. Earlier this month, the Coca-Cola Company announced that its Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded $26.2 million to 74 community organizations that are dedicated to various causes, including well-being.
In the article, Kent has reaffirmed Coca-Cola’s commitment to providing its consumers with “calories and ingredients that fit their lifestyle.” This means continuously working on coming up with lower-calorie drinks, lower-sugar drinks, diet soda, zero-calorie drinks and waters. Moreover, Kent has also promised more choices and small pack sizes.
Greater transparency promised
And to keep everyone updated with Coca-Cola’s progress, Kent has said that he has asked Coca-Cola North America President Sandy Douglas to publish the company’s efforts in reducing calories on their website, for everyone to see. Moreover, the company shall also publish all of its health and well-being partnerships as well as research activities for the past five years. Updates will also be made every six months.
Kent promises Coca-Cola is “focused on real change.”