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New rule (as Bill Maher would say): If you make billions of dollars a year selling unhealthy food, you don’t get to tell us to work out.
It was one thing when Cookie Monster began telling kids to eat vegetables. Cookie Monster doesn’t earn a living by selling cookies, and vegetables are a fantastic alternative to cookies.
But it was a totally different story when Ronald McDonald went all Richard Simmons on us, visiting schools to tell kids to work out.
Exercise is a great idea, but it’s not diet advice. Yet this is a frequent tactic of many of the corporations that rake in profits by selling us junk.
Take Coca-Cola’s shameless new fitness campaign. “Are you sitting on a solution?” asks a photo on the company’s website, depicting two people cuddled up, sitting on a beach. The thing is, they’re drinking the problem: Coca-Cola.
Let me translate Coke’s new campaign into plain English: “Don’t blame us for America’s public health crisis.” The company is also asking you to not notice that while the American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons of sugar per day for women (nine for men), a single can of Coca-Cola has nearly 10 teaspoons of the sweet stuff.
Or maybe this is what the ad campaign is really saying: “Please ignore the fact that, over the years, we’ve sold our flagship product in larger and larger containers. Just exercise a bit more – here, we’ll even help with some tips – and then you won’t notice that our product is terrible for you. Keep drinking Coke, and don’t regulate us.”