American Academy of Family Physicians Strikes an Agreement with Coca Cola to “Educate” Consumers

The image to the left and others like it have over the last century and more become synonymous with American values. It is an icon that has become associated with having fun, being glamorous, and cool. But is it really cool to foist your poisonous product upon an organization that is supposed to be responsible for helping to influence the betterment of health of the overall populace? You decide.

The American Academy of Family Physicians has made a partnership with Coca-Cola to promote an “educational movement” to consumers about the use of various products in moderation for good health. The campaign will focus on teaching people about different sweeteners and their continued use “in moderation” as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Smells like money to me.

Is it really any different than what Philip Morris did back in the 80′s where they emphatically stated that no one could sue them for heart disease or lung cancer since they had health warnings on their products?

Well – there are actually two major differences. Coca Cola won’t actually come out and say that their products harm people – and, Philip Morris lacked the blessing of the AAFP.

This development should come as no surprise to those of us who are food activists and in the traditional food camps. But it’s no less maddening that a health organization which has influence over so many people is being allowed to provide consumers with false information about a toxic, unhealthy product.

It’s clear that companies will stop at nothing, even the ruination of the health of billions of people, to whore themselves out like prostitutes just to keep their stocks up.

Here is the message written by Dr. William Campbell Douglas to consumers, alerting them to yet one more stick in the fire for big corporations and Agribusiness:

Do you want the Coca-Cola Company getting into bed with your family doctor?

Too late.

In the ultimate betrayal of family medicine, the American Academy of Family Physicians has accepted a six-figure payment from Coca-Cola. In return, the soda pusher gets to help “educate” people about sweeteners.

This is like Dracula buying his way into the blood bank.

At least 20 doctors have resigned from the organization in protest, with hopefully many more still turning in their cancellation notices.

Already, the spin is in full swing.

Dr. Douglas Henley, executive vice president of whatever remains of AAFP, said, “We will move forward with this commitment together by providing educational materials on sweeteners and how to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle while still enjoying many of the foods and beverages consumers love.”

Sorry, doc – but you should take your degree, stick it in an envelope and send it back to your medical school. Consumers may love sodas and diet sodas – but these drinks are in no way part of a “healthy, active lifestyle.”

Remember, Coke’s idea of health food is adding small amounts of vitamins to its concoctions and giving them new names, like “Diet Coke Plus.”

We haven’t seen the results of their joint propaganda effort yet, but the ingredients in Coke’s sugar-free products speak volumes.

Aspartame is one of the worst substances ever put into our food with Uncle Sam’s blessing. This artificial sweetener has been linked over the years to everything from migraine headaches and memory loss to seizures and even cancer.

One new study even finds that artificially sweetened sodas can cause kidney damage. Just two drinks a day can impair the kidneys’ ability to filter blood, according to a study presented at the American Society of Nephrology’s annual conference.
And we’re going to let the people who sell this stuff educate us about it? It doesn’t take much to see this plan was flat the moment they opened the bottle.

Proving again that Coke ISN’T the real thing,

William Campbell Douglass, M.D.

PS: Another win for common sense! The “Smart Choices” program is being flushed down the toilet of history. I told you about this scandalous food-labeling scheme just a few weeks ago. The food industry created a fancy new logo to make some products look like health food – when, in fact, they were nothing but junk. You didn’t fall for it – and now, the program is being cancelled.

Read an account of one family physician who believes this move is a-okay, and that responsible consumer education is the word of the day. Having worked with Coke and other companies on other “educational endeavors,” she says, “we [the AAFP] know that we share common goals.” In this particular case, she notes, the goal is “to talk about sweetened and unsweetened beverages, and how you integrate that into a healthy, active lifestyle.” Don’t you just want to shake her?

Some physicians have actually been reported to have left the AAFP over this occurrence.

“I resigned in protest of (AAFP’s) judgment this time of epidemic obesity,” Dr. William Walker, director of Contra Costa Health Services said, “Our public health department has been waging a battle against pediatric obesity.”

Wow, that says something. I guess even this is too much for some conventional doctors.  I hope this sends the right message to the world about this debacle. Are they finally coming to their senses? Probably not.

Here is the press release from the AAFP.

This article is part of Cheeeseslave’s Real Food Wednesdays Carnival. Please visit her site and read the other real food posts linked there.

This article is also part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays Carnival.

6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    I can only assume that they’re going to “educate” us by claiming that aspartame is safe and how all of the research that suggests otherwise is flawed. Give be a break! I once had a nurse practitioner tell me to drink soda to stay hydrated. Perhaps we’ll get more “education” like this as well. A while ago, a registered dietitian commented on my site claiming that no single ingredient in food or beverages can be blamed for causing poor health or weight gain. More great “education.”

    This is like the FDA stating that they support direct to consumer drug advertising because it educates the public.

    It’s at least good to hear that Smart Choices was canceled.

  2. 2

    AS said,

    Vin – yes, the whole thing is just sickening, and every one of those organizations (and corporation) are to blame. I don’t see how they can sleep at night knowing the disservice they are doing to billions of trusting citizens who really believe they have their best interests at heart. This whole thing really boils me because I have had so many negative experiences with mainstream doctors, and this is finally why I left that community for good and went my own way. I feel sorry for people who rely so heavily on “knowledgeable” advice from doctors and aren’t able to get their problems resolved. I know there are some good doctors, but I think most of them won’t tell you what’s really best for you. There’s nothing going on here except deception and profiteering.

  3. 3

    Just when you think it can’t get any worse – it does! Sometimes I don’t know when reading about things like this whether to laugh or to cry. This is especially disturbing since to so many people, their doctor represents the pinnacle of knowledge about health, and won’t consider information from a non-medical source. :(

  4. 4

    pamela53 said,

    Amazing, absolutely amazing. Should we be surprised. What next!!
    I’m going to send you post link to my sister. She’d find this really interesting
    being her son works for Coke.
    No Coke products, actually no other pop company products in our house..it’s water, kombucha and raw milk all the way here.
    I’m grateful we have a specialist Doctor for my husband that is for health – probiotics, etc..
    Even ordered my husband to drink homemade eggnog daily with raw eggs – absolutely no storebought – to help heal and
    gain weight.
    Thanks Raine for your continued as always excellent posts.
    Pamela

  5. 5

    AS said,

    Pamela – We never have any soda in our house. We rarely have juice, and if it is, it’s a special treat and it’s organic. I haven’t drank soda regularly since I was in my early 20′s. When I had one of my first office jobs (and I remember the job well, I was 23), this is what I did each morning. I’d go into work without any breakfast and start drinking coffee that was in the office. I’d usually eat some type of muffin, donut, or other processed item from one of the nearby stores. I usually drank about 3 – 4 cups of coffee. Then lunch would come and I’d go out and probably eat some type of fast food (with soda). Then, I’d drink 3 – 4 cans of Coke or Pepsi in the afternoon. It wasn’t long before I was having terrible diarrhea and stomach cramps. Finally, my Dad said to me one day, “oh, the same thing used to happen to me, so I just started drinking coffee and soda in ‘moderation’”. Somehow, even at that young age, I knew I couldn’t do those things in ‘moderation’, so I just stopped completely.

    I haven’t really drank soda since. I will drink coffee on occasion, but it’s normally organic (my husband likes it, although I have been trying to dissuade him from drinking it as he drinks it most mornings and he’s had ulcers in the past). My normal drink in the morning is some type of organic tea – I love Yogi Organic Mayan Cocoa Spice with raw milk. It tastes like hot cocoa and is delicious! We haven’t tried kombucha yet, I hope to try making it sometime in the near future. Our lives are pretty chaotic right now with our new business we recently started and I am home schooling full-time, so my plate is more than full! :)

    I’m glad you are able to do good things to help your husband’s health (and yours).

  6. 6

    I love looking through a post that will make people think.
    Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!streetdirectory


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