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On Wednesday evening, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent said in an editorial published in The Wall Street Journal that he was disappointed that the company's actions have created "more confusion and mistrust." Moving forward, he said the company will publish "a list of health and well-being partnerships and research activities" the company has funded in the past five years.
That information will be updated every six months, he said.
The Atlanta-based company came under fire after a New York Times story on Aug. 9 that detailed how Coca-Cola gave $1.5 million to help start the Global Energy Balance Network. The story said the group promotes the idea that people are overly fixated on how much they're eating, rather than how much they're exercising.
In a video announcing the group, Steven Blair, a professor at the University of South Carolina and vice president of the network, noted the media focuses on "eating too much, eating too much, eating too much - blaming fast food, blaming sugary drinks, and so on. And there's really virtually no compelling evidence that that, in fact, is the cause."
Later in the video, Blair said people are getting fatter, but that "we don't really know the cause, other than, well, too many people are eating more calories than they burn on too many days. But maybe the reason they're eating more calories than they need is because they're not burning many."
Yoni Freedhoff, a nutrition and obesity expert at the University of Ottawa, said that it has become common for food companies to deflect criticism about their products by talking about the need for physical activity.
"'Energy balance' is a term that the food industry has been using for a while," he said.................
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