Health organizations and medical groups are key advocates when it comes to promoting healthy lifestyles and preventing disease. A recent study done by two Boston University researchers has shown that either Coca-Cola or Pepsi has been sponsoring just shy of 100 of these organizations. Some of these organizations include the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The researchers identified ninety-six sponsorships from 2011-2015. During that time, there were 29 proposed public health bills or regulations that either one or both of the companies lobbied against. These bills or regulations were aimed to help reduce soda consumption. An advocate for soda tax, Save the Children, ended their support for such bills after receiving a $5 million grant from Coca-Cola. They denied the grant had any influence on their policy.
This article really appealed to me as an exercise science major who’s a big advocate on reducing not only obesity, but child obesity as well. Clearly these health organizations integrity is jeopardized when this conflict of interest is introduced when receiving sponsorship from a soda company. On the other hand it shows just how much power these big soda companies have. These companies wear the ring of Gyges. The ring of Gyges is a ring that makes whoever wears it, invisible. This gives that person the power to perform an action and avoid any sort of consequences. The “ring” in the case of the soda companies is money. They are able to use their money to keep these health organizations quiet about the detrimental scientific evidence they have about sugar. Sugar of course is abundant in soda and causes more health problems than originally thought. There are no consequences after the unjust action of paying to keep these organizations quiet. Therefore they wear the ring of Gyges.