The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (C.D.C.) Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald once partnered with the soda giant Coca-Cola to fight obesity in the state with one of the highest rates of child obesity (Georgia). Dr. Fitzgerald started a school fitness program called Power Up which was funded with a million-dollar contribution from Coke.
Several Coke employees on Georgia Shape’s advisory board were dismissed due to a strategy of funding scientists who encouraged the public to focus on exercise and worry less about how calories contribute to obesity. Studies from the C.D.C. and other companies have concluded that sugar filled drinks are a major contributor to obesity.
Nutrition professor at NYU Marion Nestle explained the effect of physical activity, “It’s really important for health. But it doesn’t do much about weight.” While it is important to focus on the physical activity of children, it is more important to teach them healthy lifestyles that stress the effect of sugary drinks and junk food on their bodies.