And we thought it could not get any worse…..

In an interview with USA today about 4 days ago, Katie Bayne, Coca-Cola’s 45-year-old president of sparkling beverages confirmed what most of us have been thinking all along: Coca-Cola does not give a s**t about you or your health. The interview was conducted in response to Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to limit to 16 ounces the size of sugary drinks sold at New York restaurants, movie theaters and street carts.

When asked if there was any merit to this proposal, Bayne’s response was as follows: “Sugary drinks can be a part of any diet as long as your calories in balance with the calories out. Our responsibility is to provide drink in all the sizes that consumers might need.”

All the sizes consumers need????? How about no sizes? How about no soda? But wait….it gets better.

When asked if anyone at Coca-Cola was trying to find a way to get sugar out of these drinks, Bayne responded with this:

“There is a large portion of the population that relies on the carbohydrates and energy in our regular beverages. When my son gets home from school, he needs a pick-up with calories and great taste.”

Oh no she didn’t. She went there. She involved her child. It just went from bad to worse. Bayne went on to explain that after a 3-hour lacrosse practice, her son needs to re-fuel so she immediately drives to McDonalds (eeek!) to pick up a 32-ounce Powerade. Why not just make sure he has plenty of water to drink and a good carbohydrate in the form of, oh I don’t know, maybe a piece of fruit? A granola bar? Real food? Something other than a sugary drink that will do absolutely nothing for him except rot his insides. Adults don’t need to drink Gatorade after their ride on the elliptical trainer. Neither does a teenage boy after playing outside.

Here is an awesome video by Dr. Yoni  Freedhoff, founder of Ottawa’s Bariatric Medical Institute, a multi-disciplinary, ethical, evidence-based nutrition and weight management centre and author of the blog, “Weighty Matters.” In response to the same interview, Dr. Freedhoff decided to make his own Powerade and video the demonstration. If the video doesn’t disgust you and turn you off from soda and “energy” drinks, then maybe you need to re-think your drinking habits.

Of course, Bayne herself enjoys a nice diet Coke at breakfast and then a couple more in the afternoon. After her run, she re-fuels with a Powerade Zero. Then a couple more diet Cokes and then a real Coke later in the day. Unbelievable. If you think we are going to get anywhere in this country with reducing the amount of sugary crap, think again. This is a president at Coca-Cola talking. Do you really think she is going to let some doctors, specialists, pediatricians, surgeons tell her that sugary drinks are to be blamed for the obesity epidemic? She does not care.

Her response to the statement by the interviewer from USA Today that many have called soft drinks “empty calories” is classic and just lets you know that it is going to be a cold day in hell before we get soda off the supermarket shelves.

“A calorie is a calorie,” she states. “What our drinks offer is hydration. That’s essential to the human body. We offer great taste and benefits whether it’s an uplift or carbohydrates or energy. We don’t believe in empty calories. We believe in hydration.”

She goes on to state that “There is no scientific evidence that connects sugary beverages to obesity.” Ummm, Ms Bayne, can you read? Or rather, comprehend?

Taxing Sugar Drinks: A Tool for Obesity Prevention, Cost Savings and Health Improvement

From Johnson RJ et al, AJCN 2007; 86:899-906

You can read the whole interview with USA Today here.

It truly is a disgrace. No educated person should listen to a word she says. Talk about drinking the Kool-aid….oh wait, that’s Kraft, not Coke. 🙂

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