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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

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Dr McCartney should take a more balanced view on the subJect of Coke Zero sponsorship of Park Lives in Birmingham and other cities. As a regular participant in the activities on offer, I can say they occur with minimal promotion. We regularly have 30 + participants in our Tai Chi group. Benefits go far beyond physical activity and also lead to more community cohesion and relief of loneliness, a public health problem that the BMJ has recently highlighted.

Of course this is a business venture for Coke. However, there is no sign of the local authority, including its public health wing, giving this a priority.

I agree that soft drink sponsorship is less than perfect but I would say that Coke have thrown down the gauntlet to local authorities. What are the chances they'll pick it up?

Hugh Rickards
Consultant in Neuropsychiatry
Friend of Cotteridge Park, Birmingham

Competing interests: No competing interests

26 July 2014
Hugh E Rickards
Consultant in Neuropsychiatry
44 Franklin Road