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How Coca-Cola Shaped the International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health: An Analysis of Email Exchanges between 2012 and 2014

1
Global Obesity Centre, Deakin University, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia
2
U.S. Right to Know, Oakland, CA 94611-5221, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8996; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238996
Received: 16 September 2020 / Revised: 29 October 2020 / Accepted: 5 November 2020 / Published: 3 December 2020
There is currently limited direct evidence of how sponsorship of scientific conferences fits within the food industry’s strategy to shape public policy and opinion in its favour. This paper provides an analysis of emails between a vice-president of The Coca-Cola Company (Coke) and prominent public health figures in relation to the 2012 and 2014 International Congresses of Physical Activity and Public Health (ICPAPH). Contrary to Coke’s prepared public statements, the findings show that Coke deliberated with its sponsored researchers on topics to present at ICPAPH in an effort to shift blame for the rising incidence of obesity and diet-related diseases away from its products onto physical activity and individual choice. The emails also show how Coke used ICPAPH to promote its front groups and sponsored research networks and foster relationships with public health leaders in order to use their authority to deliver Coke’s message. The study questions whether current protocols about food industry sponsorship of scientific conferences are adequate to safeguard public health interests from corporate influence. A safer approach could be to apply the same provisions that are stipulated in the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on eliminating all tobacco industry sponsorship to the food industry. View Full-Text
Keywords: conference sponsorship; food industry; The Coca-Cola Company; corporate political activity conference sponsorship; food industry; The Coca-Cola Company; corporate political activity
MDPI and ACS Style

Wood, B.; Ruskin, G.; Sacks, G. How Coca-Cola Shaped the International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health: An Analysis of Email Exchanges between 2012 and 2014. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8996. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238996

AMA Style

Wood B, Ruskin G, Sacks G. How Coca-Cola Shaped the International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health: An Analysis of Email Exchanges between 2012 and 2014. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(23):8996. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238996

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wood, Benjamin, Gary Ruskin, and Gary Sacks. 2020. "How Coca-Cola Shaped the International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health: An Analysis of Email Exchanges between 2012 and 2014" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 23: 8996. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238996

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