Coca-Cola has announced plans to help tackle obesity by displaying the calorie counts of its fizzy drinks more visibly and promoting regular exercise. The measures, which will cover more than 200 countries, are part of the strategy to improve its reputation among consumers amid concerns that its sugar-laden carbonated drinks are helping to fuel the global obesity epidemic.
The company is also ending advertising aimed at children under 12 around the world, a measure it implemented in the UK in 2009, and has pledged to offer low- or zero-calorie drinks in every country it operates in. “We want to be part of the solution,” Coca-Cola’s chairman and chief executive, Muhtar Kent, said in recent interview.
He did not specify how the company might promote healthier life-styles, but said: “We all know that taking in calories is more fun than spending calories and we want to make spending calories also a little bit of fun. We believe that this will begin to make a difference [and] create awareness around the importance of active, healthy, lifestyles.”
The move, which coincides with the 127th anniversary of the company, comes after Coca-Cola broadcast its first advert to mention obesity, earlier this year – which was believed the first in the history of food and beverage advertising to address the issue directly.