The idea that Coke could simply abandon its top full-calorie brands and still offer a healthy portfolio to investors was absurd. So the company turned to overseas markets to make up for lost revenue at home by selling more Coca-Cola abroad, in places like India, where the company happily reported caloric beverages enjoying double-digit growth in 2012.
Watchdogs say the project, ironically called the Banking on Women initiative, is merely a savvy way for Coca-Cola to increase its own reach in the country while diverting so-called development funding from the International Finance Corporation, a subsidiary of the World Bank, to subsidize Coca-Cola's profit-seeking activity.
Today, the Earth got a little hotter, and a little more crowded. California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a package of bills to promote more CA electric cars, while New York Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled plans for $1 billion in energy retrofits for municipal buildings and pressuring landlords into reducing energy use.
I don't begrudge the soda executives their photo op with former President Clinton. But if the companies were really serious about reducing Americans' caloric intake from beverages, they would stop reflexively fighting sensible public health measures, such as taxes, warning labels, and limits on sugars in beverages, that would drive down consumption by 75 percent.
For me, there is no cemetery. I sit on the stairs facing the bookcase on the landing where my father's ashes are beautifully boxed. Usually, I have a Coke and a couple of French fries in hand. Sometimes, I'll play an old Earth, Wind & Fire CD from my dad's collection, maybe Sammy Davis Jr., or Barry White.
The nutritional fable goes something like this: Rather than criticize industry for its questionable practices, health organizations should "sit at the table" with industry leaders and see what compromises can be reached. This all sounds wonderfully cooperative and democratic, but it also ignores some stark realities.