So I’m making my way to the beautiful city of Plymouth, MI after work today to visit one of my besties and her husband and little one. Seeing my friend = super fun, but 5+ hour drive from Chicago in Friday rush hour traffic = super not-so-much fun. My other friend is coming with me and she promised tunes from the new Backstreet Boys CD so I mean, I guess we’ll be fine.
In other news: I came across an entirely disturbing, yet not surprising article this week. It’s from this new blog I found, which is awesome, and I’m so sad it took me so long to come across it! The blog is called Weighty Matters, and it’s written by an obesity doc out of Ottawa. Anywho, this article details how the American College of Cardiology is promoting a number of initiatives backed by Coca-Cola. Yep, the company responsible for a ridiculous amount of obesity in this country (the No. 4 source of calories in the standard American diet, in fact).
diabetes: it’s a family affair.
One of these initiatives that they are pushing is a Coca-Cola family field day. Yay! Fun! Ha not quite. Essentially it’s a huge marketing gimmick designed to reach families and younger audiences by trying to associate Coke products to exercise, sports and family togetherness. Gross.
But what’s worse is the banner at the bottom of the page: “Balancing Calories with Physical Activity. What is Weighing Us Down? Calorie Imbalance Impacts Us All”. This links to an infographic that can only be deemed hilarious and ludicrous. The infographic was designed by the Coca-Cola Company, “from government data and third-party researchers to promote understanding of calorie (energy) balance and active, healthy living.” Aw, aren’t they sweet (pun intended), helping us understand calorie consumption and learning to live a healthier lifestyle?
In this incredibly enlightening and non-biased infographic, we learn things like:
1. The three most common calorie contributors are: grain-based desserts, chicken dishes and breads.
2. Weight management is simply calories in, calories out.
3. Sugar consumption is actually decreasing among Americans.
4. If you do a TON of physical activity, you can eat basically anything you want!
This infographic seriously makes me want to punch someone in the face. I mean, seriously?
Number one blames obesity on chicken dishes, grain-based desserts and breads. Okay, even if I don’t agree with the chicken dish part (probably because people are adding sugars and breads to the chicken dishes), why omit #4? Oh RIGHT, because that’s you. Convenient. And what food is responsible for one-third of calories from added sugars in adult diets? Yep – sugary drinks. (PS: the number is even higher with children and adolescents.)
Two, I’m pretty sure the idea of calories in, calories out went out of date around the same time my scrunchies and Jnco jeans did [read: 1990’s]. 300 calories in a large Coke = 300 calories of grilled chicken and veggies? I think not. Idiots.
And the icing on the cake, or should I say, HFCS in the Coke, is number 3. If you actually pull up the study they are referencing, this is the actual conclusion to the study: “Although the consumption of added sugars in the United States decreased between 1999–2000 and 2007–2008, primarily because of a reduction in soda consumption, mean intakes continue to exceed recommended limits.”
Sugar consumption went down because people STOPPED DRINKING AS MUCH SODA. And even more, intakes STILL continue to exceed recommended limits. Agh.
And four is just annoying: do a bunch of physical activity everyday. Here’s tons of examples. But here’s no help whatsoever for how to maintain healthy eating. Here is all that they say: Calories come from many sources and they all count. Start by focusing on the whole diet. Pay attention to everything you eat and drink. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!?! And how does that help anyone struggling with their weight?
Oh, okay, Coke. Thanks for all the help! You guys sure are great. And leadership at ACC? I hope that big paycheck from Coke helps you sleep better at night on your yacht in the Maldives.