Sunday, November 29, 2009

Coke adds bull

Full-page ad in the Washington Post this morning from the Coca-cola corporation. They claim that they're helping Americans "live healthy and active lifestyles". They point you to their new website, which I don't recommend you visit because too much Flash animation is bad for your soul. The want to help you "make the right choices". They even have "portion-control cans" now. For those who only speak English, that's a 7.5-ounce can, which is slightly larger than a standard Coke bottle was in the '60s.
The best way to read an advertisement is to figure out which words aren't there. The invisible elephant in the room is High-Fructose Corn Syrup. This ad is pretty obviously in response to the growing concern with corn syrup, its ubiquity in our diets, and the health problems that seem to appear wherever it goes.
Doctors and health experts don't like it much, but the real worries come from new hesitation amongthe people who sell indulgence.
If you have the patience to find it, that website has an amusing little pocket guide to "Facts and Myths" about Coke. Does corn syrup cause obesity? No, that's from too many calories, so we recommend drinking coke in moderation. Does corn syrup cause Type 2 diabetes? No, that's caused by obesity. Does corn syrup cause cavities? No, not if you brush your teeth after you drink it. Does corn syrup contribute to a bad diet? Not if you eat a healthy diet, and limit your consumption of coke.
Although the pamphlet is a masterpiece of corporate responsibility-dodging, reading it still gives you the feeling there's some way you could simultaneously stop gaining weight, avoid obesity, reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, make your teeth stronger, and improve your diet. I wonder what that might be?
By the way, the Coca-Cola Corporation describes their products as "sparkling beverages". (Them and Dom Perignon.) The products they make with all the calories are "non-diet sparkling beverages". "Non-diet." There's a word to ponder. What do you suppose would be the opposite of "diet"? Well, your diet is the things you put into your alimentary canal....

No comments:

Post a Comment