UCSM says thanks, but no thanks, to Coke

11 Nov 2015

The University of Colorado School of Medicine (UCSM) has notified Coca-Cola that the University is returning a $1 million contribution to support the establishment and operation of the Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN).

UCSM says thanks, but no thanks, to Coke

The University of Colorado School of Medicine (UCSM) has notified Coca-Cola that the University is returning a $1 million contribution made by the company to support the establishment and operation of the Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN). While the network continues to advocate for good health through a balance of healthy eating habits and exercise, UCSM said, the funding source has distracted attention from its worthwhile goal.

Obesity and related health issues are serious concerns for personal medical care and public health, UCSM said, noting that the School of Medicine and physicians and researchers on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus are making significant contributions to the understanding of and care for these health-related issues and the source of funding for the network should not distract from their efforts.

Coca-Cola said it agreed with the university’s decision and that the money would instead be given to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

“While the network continues to support a vigorous scientific discussion of the contributions of dietary and physical activity behaviours to the obesity epidemic, it has become evident that the original vision for GEBN has not been realized,” Coca-Cola said in a statement.

GEBN emphasised the importance of exercise and healthy eating in the fight against obesity, but was criticised for what appeared to be its attempt to downplay any connection between sugary drinks and obesity, calling its motives into question.