When I first saw this new ad for Coca-Cola on obesity, I thought it must be a joke.
But the new Coke ad, titled "Coming Together," is the real thing, baby. And it is a joke.
Coke's claim: by adding artificial sweeteners and offering consumers smaller serving sizes, it is fighting obesity, which, by the way, the American Medical Association just recognized as a disease (albeit an easily preventable one, if you don't drink sodas like Coke and Sprite and Fanta).
The problem: artificial sweeteners have been closely tied to obesity and Type 2 diabetes, and are worse for you than sugar. Instead of satisfying your sweet craving, artificial sweeteners make you crave sweets and rewire your taste receptors to dislike healthier, not sweet foods. Which is why so many folks who guzzle Diet Coke and other diet beverages wind up gaining rather than losing weight.
I know. When I met the spouse over 20 years ago, I was a Diet Coke addict -- and weighed almost 30 pounds more than I do now, even though I exercised every other day. When I gave up diet soda (and other "diet" processed foods), I immediately lost 10 pounds. (And when I kicked out sugar and pasta and white bread, I lost another 10 pounds.)
So if you really want to fight obesity, folks, avoid Coca-Cola and other artificially or otherwise sweetened beverages (such as Crystal Light, which is almost as addictive and as bad for you as crystal meth) and stick to water.
And remember, Coke doesn't add life. It just adds pounds.