In creating products that will sell consistently, food manufacturers learned to walk a line between the extremes of an exciting first bite or sip and the utterly familiar. More than any other product, Coke had mastered this balancing act.
Writer Melanie Warner, whose new behind-the-scenes-look-at-the-world-of-processed-foods book, Pandora's Lunchbox, is out this week, spent the past year and a half investigating how processed foods are actually made.
There's a lot of confusing information about food out there. Here are seven easy changes you can make today to help settle some of these health questions in your life, and start on the path to a longer, healthier life.
Just two weeks ago, Coca-Cola made a big show of "caring" about our country's obesity epidemic, releasing an ad that declared, "We are concerned, we care and we are all in this together." The next week, they announce their successful seduction of Taylor Swift, signing her up to promote Diet Coke.
Sugar -- especially in soft drinks -- should be placed in the same category as alcoholic beverages and cigarettes. I can hear the moans from Coca-Cola and Pepsi, but it is a fact that reducing the amount of sugar in sweetened drinks can make a huge difference.
We confront an era when we have to eliminate the ubiquity of sugary drinks -- including even fruit juice. And, then, what will we drink? Bittman makes clear that it should be water. That's one possibility.
I share my colleagues' visceral opposition to everything Coke. But I think we may be letting our abdominal viscera get the better of vital organs situated higher up.
It seems unconscionable that the NAACP and the Hispanic Federation are supporting Big Soda rather than their constituents' health -- particularly when their communities have been disproportionately impacted by obesity and related chronic disease like diabetes, heart disease, asthma and certain cancers.
A noisy grassroots uprising against Beyoncé could get other celebrities to back off from endorsing non-nutritious products to impressionable kids. Remember, once upon a time, celebrities regularly promoted tobacco products. Now, they wouldn't be caught dead hawking cigarettes.
If Coca-Cola is serious about making a genuine contribution to solving the nation's obesity epidemic, here are seven steps that will put substance behind their latest campaign.
You would have to be living in a bubble to have missed the news that Beyonce cut a reported $50 million deal with PepsiCo. Although the deal may meet Beyonce's and Pepsi's mutually-beneficial marketing needs, it does not serve the best interests of the U.S. public.
Policies that gain controversy in their engagement with obesity are helpful for making a very public (yet uncomfortably avoided) issue further visible. It's hard to talk about obesity, private or public. Policies like the soda rule can be vehicles for those discussions to take place.
Obesity prevention funders can continue to fund dozens of small local or regional anti-soda/anti-junk food campaigns that will have limited impact. Or, they can try something different -- like banding together and funding one brilliant national counter-marketing campaign.
The study doesn't show that soda causes depression, but rather found an association between the two -- soda drinkers were more likely to be diagnosed with depression. It is important not to confuse the two.
Enough is enough. Beyoncé's Pepsi deal was a serious lapse of judgment. And the White House tarnishes its own "brand" by selecting her to sing the national anthem at the inauguration, unwittingly boosting the beverage industry that is helping to drive the obesity epidemic.
We can't solve the obesity crisis facing African-Americans by focusing solely on personal behavior. There is a long and storied relationship between the African-American community and food and beverage companies. The time has come for us to ask if we love their products more than we love ourselves.