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Study Lays Out Coca-Cola’s Efforts To Sway China’s Thinking On Sugary Soft Drinks

January 10, 2019: 12:00 AM EST
China scholar Susan Greenhalgh reports in a new study that Coca-Cola Company cultivated complex personal, institutional, and financial connections in China beginning in the 1970s to inculcate the message that a lack of physical activity – not sugary soft drinks – was the cause of rising obesity rates. The company’s efforts in fact exerted strong influence over the way the Chinese government addressed the country's growing obesity problem. Coca-Cola has promoted its message globally through the nonprofit International Life Science Institute (ILSI), founded by a former Coke executive in 1978. Critics of the ILSI contend that it acts to further the corporate interests of Coca-Cola through 17 international branches positioned mostly in emerging markets, including China. The study was published in the Journal of Public Health Policy and the BMJ.
Jonathan Lambert, "Study: Coca-Cola Shaped China's Efforts To Fight Obesity", NPR, January 10, 2019, © National Public Radio
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