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Coca-Cola reinforces commitment to fight obesity

Through new programs, policies and products, The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, is reinforcing its efforts to work together with American communities, businesses and government leaders to find meaningful solutions to the complex challenge of obesity, the company says.

On Jan. 14, the company premiered a two-minute video titled “Coming Together” on national cable TV to remind consumers that all calories count in managing weight, including those in Coca-Cola products and in all foods and beverages. The video also highlights some of the specifics behind the company’s ongoing commitment to deliver more beverage choices, including low- and no-calorie options, and to clearly communicate the calorie content of all of its products.

A second spot, called “Be OK,” which mentions the calorie content of a can of Coca-Cola, will make its debut during Fox Broadcasting Network’s “American Idol” on Wednesday, Jan. 16. This spot also encourages people to have some fun burning calories, the company says.

“We are committed to bring people together to help fight obesity,” said Stuart Kronauge, general manager of sparkling beverages for Coca-Cola North America, in a statement. “This is about the health and happiness of everyone who buys our products and wants great-tasting beverages, choice and information. The Coca-Cola Co. has an important role in this fight. Together, with willing partners, we will succeed.”

The company already is promoting healthy lifestyles and physical activity initiatives in local communities across the country. For example, last fall, The Coca-Cola Foundation launched its Chicago Coca-Cola Troops for Fitness Program, which enlists returning military veterans to teach military-style fitness classes like calisthenics, sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups and other fitness and nutritional techniques to families in communities most in need of wellness services. The company plans to expand the program into other key U.S. cities this year. The company also pledged support last year to the newly established ClimbCorp program of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. This program is dedicated to revolutionizing the cardiovascular health and wellness of the American public by encouraging people to incorporate exercise into their daily routines through easy activities like climbing the stairs.

In addition, The Coca-Cola Co. has in recent years enhanced its business practices to better align itself with the fight against obesity. The company has added clear calorie information to its packaging and even some of its vending machines through the Clear on Calories commitment, the Calories Count vending program and other initiatives; pledged not to buy advertising directly targeted at audiences that primarily include children younger than 12 through the Council of Better Business Bureaus Pledge; and helped establish and uphold national school beverage guidelines by voluntarily changing its beverage offerings in primary and secondary schools.

The company’s lineup of products further propels the brand’s work against obesity by offering beverages of varying calorie levels for different use occasions. Coca-Cola’s U.S. portfolio includes more than 180 low- and no-calorie beverages, 7.5-ounce mini cans of many of its full-calorie beverages, and beverages with a natural, zero-calorie sweetener from the stevia plant, the company says.

“Overcoming obesity will require work from all of us,” Kronauge said in a statement. “If we are to reach the goal of Americans achieving a happy, healthy and active future, we all will have to dedicate ourselves to move forward together.”

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