Facing court action in the United States and denied air time for its ‘responsible’ advertising in the United Kingdom, Coca-Cola is running into turbulent times as it predicts declining financial returns for the coming year.
US restaurant chain has joined KFC, Burger, King and others in the Vietnamese market with opening of an outlet in Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam joins Trinidad, Bosnia and Armenia as new outlets for the world’s largest fast food chain, which has expanded by 3000 outlets worldwide over the past five years.
Latest figures from the World Health Organisation rank New Zealand 14 on the obesity ladder, with top position going to Mexico, which has taken over from the United States. According to the WHO, 27% of the population of New Zealand are obese, the same proportion as in Slovenia, and higher than Australia (25.1%).
The fad diet of the moment involves regular fasting, which, according to research improves general health by more than just the reduction in calorie intake that the diet demands. Whether this is good news for the challenge being posed by our increasing levels of obesity is a moot point, and one that begs the question; what is causing our obesity crisis?
The news is grim. Not only do we have one of the world’s highest incidences of obesity, but our health is so bad that we will no longer be able to sustain our health services if we keep going the way we are. It is time for drastic measures, not least of which should be to apply the sort of draconian tax regime on fast food that is currently driving us away from smoking and the consequent health costs of widespread tobacco use.
New research from the University of Guelph in Canada suggests that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) might be the common denominator amongst causes of the current obesity epidemic. The research shows that the product causes behavioural responses in rats that is similar to that promoted by cocaine.
In a statement to US media, the Coca-Cola Company has declared its intention to lower calorie levels in its soft drinks and other products.
A research paper published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood contributes to the growing weight of evidence that skim milk is a more significant factor in weight gain than whole milk. Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, which is tracking the long term health of a representative sample of US children born in 2001, researchers found the prevalence of obese and overweight children was greater amongst those that consumed low fat milk than those who drank full fat milk.
A study published in the latest issue of the British medical journal The Lancet has linked a lack of dedicated family meal times with high levels of obesity.
Coca-Cola’s purported desire to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony in 1971 has been exposed in subsequent years by a series of profit-driven decisions that potentially compromised the health of its consumers. So Coca-Cola’s recent disrespect for the office of the Otago-Southland Coroner and one of its biggest supporters, the late Natasha Harris, is no more than we should expect from one of the global food industry’s largest corporations.
Contrary to claims by the British Prime Minister that government funding of the London Olympics is an investment in improved physical activity and public health, The Children’s Food Campaign (CFC) has accused games organisers of turning the event into a promotion of junk food.
The launch last week of Eating Planet-Nutrition Today: A Challenge for Mankind and for the Planet in New York presents the notion of agriculture as a potential leader in the fight to address global nutrition and environmental issues.