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Is Coca-Cola’s antiobesity scheme the real thing?

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 09 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4340
  1. Margaret McCartney, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. margaret{at}

The soft drinks manufacturer Coca-Cola is offering to halt the scourge of obesity in its tracks. The Coca-Cola Zero ParkLives scheme—launched last year as a pilot in Birmingham—offers running, cycling, rounders, tai chi, and bushcraft.

The scheme, which Coca-Cola describes as “ground breaking,” is now to be extended to 50 parks in three English cities. It will cost the company £20m between now and 2020,1 and the aim is further expansion. Coca-Cola introduced the scheme because it wants “to play a more productive role in finding solutions to obesity.”2

Local councils seem to have signed up willingly, advertising the scheme on their websites—including the red Coca-Cola logo.3

Since when did public health policy on mass activity get placed in the lap …

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