Coca-Cola has begun a campaign to show that their products may not be the cause of obesity and can be consumed in any active, healthy lifestyle. Hold on, Mayor Bloomberg! Your ambitious soda-banning plans may require a stay of execution.
Let’s examine Coca-Cola’s new “Work It Out” calculator, currently featured on its UK website. A sidebar lists several products (in their smallest available sizes and lowest-caloric versions, naturally). Clicking on a specific beverage yields estimates of various activities — some especially British activities — required to work off the calories in each can or bottle. Coca-Cola categorizes the activities as “with the family,” “more time to spare” and “for a rainy day.” Complex stuff here. So, for example, we learn that you can burn off a can of regular Coke by ironing for 70 minutes or Zumba-ing 17 minutes or playing table tennis for 34 minutes. That can of Dr. Pepper? It will take 11 minutes of squash to rid you of the caloric shame. But would somebody who plays squash drink pedestrian DP? There’s also information about weird British products like Lilt and Oasis Summer Fruits.
Meanwhile, the top portion of the page provides facts about nutrition, calories and just why exercise matters: “Scientific evidence suggests that regular exercise can help you lead a healthier and happier life.”
A small FAQs tab ponders whether Coca-Cola’s drinks contribute to obesity (short answer: no.) The company proudly proclaims that this revolutionary program was developed in association with Dr. Greg Whyte, “the preeminent authority on Exercise Physiology and Sports Performance and Rehabilitation in the UK.”
So be sure to check out the interactive tool next time you’re about to chug a Diet Coke. You’ll be relieved to know that all you need to do is play badminton for 0 minutes to burn it off.