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Coca-Cola marketing to children is “serious public health concern,” researchers warn

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l7022 (Published 18 December 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l7022
  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

Two major campaigns from Coca-Cola were targeted at teenagers and mothers and used social media influencers and celebrities—including Olympic athletes—to make products seem healthier, researchers have warned.

US Right to Know, a non-profit investigative group that campaigns for transparency in the food industry, issued the warning after it obtained documents from the University of Colorado relating to two of Coca-Cola’s public relations (PR) campaigns: the 2013-14 Movement is Happiness campaign and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games campaign.

The group said that, although the company was publicly pledging to reduce children’s exposure to advertisements for products high in fat, sugar, or salt, behind closed doors it was actively targeting young age groups.

US Right to Know called for government policy to “effectively restrict the exposure of children to the marketing of unhealthy foods” and said that …

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