Measures to help cut down one's calorie intake is not strongly linked to obesity, thus the type of food and drinks one consume should not be a major player in the development of obesity - at least, this is what Coca-Cola is trying to impart. For the popular beverage company, a healthy weight depends on exercise as backed up by a new scientific research, which is funded by... them.

Coca-Cola has established collaboration with Global Energy Balance Network, a non-profit organization of scientists that supports the idea that U.S. residents are too much focused on the amount of the food and beverage they consume but are not looking at the importance of physical activity or exercise enough. With this, the beverage company has given the organization financial and logistical aids to help spread the word. The prominent experts of the Global Energy Balance Network have been emanating this message to medical journals, seminars and even social media.

"Most of the focus in the popular media and in the scientific press is, 'Oh they're eating too much, eating too much, eating too much' - blaming fast food, blaming sugary drinks and so on," says Steven N. Blair, an exercise scientist and the organization's vice president. Amidst these popular notions, the truth is there has been no compelling proof that these are actually the culprits, he adds.

The Global Energy Balance Network deems that the attainment of a correct balance between the calories consumed and the calories used up by the body during metabolic processes is the main driving force to reducing obesity, and not by decreasing caloric intake, particularly sugary drinks and fast food products. This means that weight loss may be achieved when an individual uses up more calories than he/ she has consumed. Weight gain or eventually obesity, then becomes apparent when an individual eats more calories than the body utilize in activities. The organization hopes to conduct essential studies about this concept and hopefully advocate a world that exudes a healthy balance of energy.

Some health experts, however, think that Coca-Cola is just using this organization to sway the public into believing that exercise can counter a bad diet even in the presence of numerous scientific data suggesting that physical activity exhibits very little effects on weight in comparison to food consumption. For these medical professionals, the message is misleading and is a component of Coca-Cola's interventions to dissuade the public from thinking about the role sugary drinks play in the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Amidst the criticisms, Coca-Cola is "not running the show," says James O. Hill, the president of the Global Energy Balance Network.

"We partner with some of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and physical activity," states Coca-Cola. Researchers sharing their own opinions and scientific results with the company are of great value to them, no matter what the outcome is.

Photo: Mike Poresky | Flickr

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