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.
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.
Public health and nutrition dialogues need clear, explicit messages. Naturally-occurring sugars and added sugars are very different animals. The same goes for processed foods. How is it that a national nutrition organization can simply choose not to recognize that cooking a pot of oatmeal is vastly different from making a Three Musketeers bar in a processing plant?