Global Energy Balance Network Analysis

1138 Words 5 Pages
Despite the emphasis the media and society seem to put on dieting in order to lose and maintain weight, large corporations are trying to accentuate the importance of exercise over a nutritious diet. Recently, a new organization known as the Global Energy Balance Network has backed the idea that people should get more exercise and worry less about cutting calories in order to maintain or lose weight. The Global Energy Balance Network has published two research papers claiming that the best way to prevent weight gain is to maintain an active lifestyle and eat more calories. This differs from many other studies which believe that there must be a balance between diet and exercise in order to lose weight. For instance, one of the most rigorous …show more content…
So far, Coca-Cola has provided $1.5 million to start the organization plus nearly $4 million since 2008 to two of the organization’s founding members, Dr. Steven N. Blair of the University of South Carolina and Dr. Gregory A. Hand of West Virginia University for various projects. In addition, Coca-Cola was not mentioned as a financial contributor on the Global Energy Balance Network’s website despite the fact that Coca-Cola registered the website for the company. Coca-Cola’s backing of this organization has caused numerous controversy between nutrition and obesity researchers. In fact, Dr. Marion Nestle of New York University and author of the book “Soda Politics”, went as far to call the Global Energy Balance Network “‘…a front group for Coca-Cola…to confuse the science and deflect attention from dietary intake’” (O’Connor, para. 22, 2015). Furthermore, Dr. Barry M. Popkin of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill believed that Coca-Cola’s tactics are similar to those used by the tobacco industry when they recruited experts to refute the hazards of smoking. Many people believe that Coca-Cola is getting involved in America’s obesity crisis because sales for the company are declining and numerous political and media outlets continue to blame fast food and sugary drinks for why people cannot control …show more content…
By having corporations in the food and beverage industries provide financial contributions towards studies regarding obesity and dieting, researchers and the general public have every right to be skeptical with the study’s results. For instance, Coca-Cola’s involvement in creating exercise programs and funding research that supports exercise over dieting to lose weight, deflects negative attention away from the unhealthy lifestyle choices Coca-Cola is offering to the public. In addition, Coca-Cola’s creation of drinks such as Diet Coke and Coke Zero gives many obese individuals the false impression that they are making a healthier choice by consuming these drinks as opposed to a regular can of Coke. Although these newer drinks contain fewer calories, they still contain many ingredients that are harmful to one’s health. I believe that researchers of the Global Energy Balance Network have produced some very valuable and credible information that diet is not the only answer to losing weight. Furthermore, I agree with their arguments that the media has overhyped the importance of dieting to lose weight. Additionally, as reflected by other researchers, exercise does seem to be an imperative component to losing and maintaining weight loss (Stelter, 2015; Stroebe, 2008;

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