"Carbonating the World" tracks soda industry in big tobacco's global footprints

09th February 2016

The University of Washington and the US Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) have released today a very comprehensive report on the health impact and marketing of sugary drinks in low- and middle-income countries.

The report "Carbonating the World, The Marketing and Health Impact of Sugar Drinks in Low- and Middle-income Countries"calls to public authorities to make improved nutrition a top priority and restrict the sugar content of beverages to about one-fourth of current levels, among other recommendations. 

"Public health officials, researchers, health advocates, and the public have become increasingly concerned about the over-consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages  (SSBs, including sugar-sweetened carbonated soft drinks, energy drinks, teas,fruit drinks, and others), because scientific research has determined that excessive consumption increases the risks of tooth decay, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. [...] The two major global soft-drink producers, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, have sought to maintain their profits in the face of declining sales in wealthier countries by, like the tobacco industry, investing heavily in low- and middle-income countries. Thus, both companies, as well as other multinational and local beverage producers, are spending several billion dollars a year in such countries as Brazil, China, India, and Mexico to build bottling plants, create distribution networks, and advertise their products to maximize sales".

The study was prepared in collaboration with organisations and experts from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.