The CEO of the Coca-Cola company is pushing back against the mayor of New York City, saying Coke was not responsible for the rise in American obesity, despite Michael Bloomberg's recent moves to limit the consumption of sugary drinks.
"We've gone from being a single-beverage, single-brand company to now 500-plus brands, 3,000 products. Eight hundred of these products we've introduced in the last four or five years are calorie-free or low-calorie," Muhtar Kent wrote in this morning's Wall Street Journal. "It is incorrect and unjust to put the blame on any single ingredient, any single product, any single category of food."
Bloomberg is proposing a ban on super-sized soft drinks that could restrict the sale to 16-ounce servings. The New York mayor said the proposed ban was needed to confront what he called the "epidemic" of obesity, which contributes to rising health costs. The proposed ban would target fast-food and other restaurants, delis and sports stadiums. It would not cover drinks sold in supermarkets or any diet, fruit, dairy or alcoholic drinks.
Instead of diet, Kent pointed to what he called was a larger factor in American obesity: being sedentary. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60 percent of Americans are not regularly active and 25 percent are not active at all.