Coke Isn’t It

Sometimes I’m amazed at the hubris of companies like Coca-Cola, who today announced a new program to encourage physical activity in our children.  The program is called "Live it," and will feature sports stars like Lance Armstrong urging sixth grade kids nationwide to stay active. While the idea is laudable (and smart from a corporate image standpoint), it’s also deceptive since Coke is selling its soft drinks in thousands of middle schools around the country.  Instead of positioning themselves as a solutions provider, Coke should find other ways to make money and pull its vending machines out of our nation’s middle schools.  A little less Coke and a lot more exercise would start putting a dent in our nation’s childhood obesity crisis.

4 thoughts on “Coke Isn’t It

  1. How can Coke “encourage” physical activity among the same kids that are sucking down their energy draining sodas? I just watched the documentary “Super Size Me”, which reinforced my support for replacing sodas with healthier options in middle schools. And this posting is right in line. As the era of childhood obesity continues, I imagine this is just the beginning of deceptive positioning platforms in favor of healthy lifestyles.

  2. I would love to know the percentage of Coke’s revenues that comes from those school vending machines. The number of kids — especially girls — whose weight problems are tied specifically to sugar-filled drinks is staggering. And parents are finally demanding that the products sold in schools that contribute to their children’s obesity be removed, so as you say, this is smart, at least on the surface. But I wonder how many parents who are trying desperately to help their children will see through it.

  3. Not to be outdone, Pepsi has posted the following job in its PR department:
    Director, Global Sugar: Pepsi Cola North America
    This is no joke. A friend passed it along after seeing it posted on HotJobs.

  4. Couldn’t agree more. The big question is whether has any real programs to support the need for kids to exercise. Do you know if the company has anything in place?