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SPORT-MED  October 2017

SPORT-MED October 2017

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Subject:

MEDICAL: CONDITIONS: OBESITY : PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND FITNESS : UNITED STATES: CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL (CDC) : CORPORATE SPONSORS AND FUNDING PROVIDERS: COCA COLA: New C.D.C. Chief Saw Coca-Cola as Ally in Obesity Fight

From:

"David P. Dillard" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

To support research in sports medicine <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 7 Oct 2017 15:05:13 -0400

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (280 lines)

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MEDICAL: CONDITIONS: OBESITY :

PHYSICAL EXERCISE AND FITNESS :

UNITED STATES: CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL (CDC) :

CORPORATE SPONSORS AND FUNDING PROVIDERS: COCA COLA:

New C.D.C. Chief Saw Coca-Cola as Ally in Obesity Fight

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New C.D.C. Chief Saw Coca-Cola as Ally in Obesity Fight

Brenda Fitzgerald

New York Times

April 17, 2013

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/22/health/brenda-fitzgerald-cdc-coke.html

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When she was health commissioner of Georgia, the state with one of the 
highest rates of child obesity, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald faced two enormous 
challenges: How to get children to slim down and how to pay for it.

.

Her answer to the first was Power Up for 30, a program pushing schools to 
give children 30 minutes more exercise each day, part of a statewide 
initiative called Georgia Shape. The answer to the second was Coca-Cola, 
the soft drink company and philanthropic powerhouse, which has paid for 
almost the entire Power Up program.

.

Dr. Fitzgerald is now in the spotlight as the Trump administration's newly 
appointed director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 
making her one of the nation's top public health officials. And she finds 
herself facing a backlash from public health advocates for having accepted 
$1 million to fight child obesity from a company experts say is a major 
cause of it.

.

Her new position puts her at the helm of a federal agency that shook off 
its ties to the soda giant, in 2013, after concluding Coke's mission was 
at odds with its own. But Dr. Fitzgerald suggested in an email response to 
questions from The New York Times this past week that she would consider 
accepting Coke money for C.D.C. programs and would evaluate any proposal 
through the agency's standard review process.

.

Georgia Shape was established by Gov. Nathan Deal in 2011, after the 
legislature called for a statewide school fitness program, and was run by 
Dr. Fitzgerald. In 2013, Dr. Fitzgerald started Power Up for 30 with a 
million-dollar contribution from Coke. The money amounted to most of the 
program's $1.2 million budget over the past four years.

.

Coke -- which, like the C.D.C., is based in Atlanta -- has also had two 
employees on Georgia Shape's advisory board, in various years. One was 
Rhona S. Applebaum, Coke's chief science and health officer. She left the 
company in 2016 after The Times reported that she had helped orchestrate a 
strategy of funding scientists who encouraged the public to focus on 
exercise and worry less about how calories contribute to obesity.

.

Ben Sheidler, a Coke spokesman, said that someone from the Georgia 
Department of Public Health had solicited the grant for Power Up for 30 
from Coke's foundation, but that he did not know who it was.

.

The program emphasized Coke's longtime contention that exercise is the key 
to weight loss. A search of the program's website turned up no mention of 
the role of sugary drinks and sodas in weight gain. The company has spent 
millions on studies that support exercise over reducing soda consumption, 
and that, critics say, deflect attention from the role sugar-sweetened 
beverages have played in the soaring rate of obesity and the spread of 
Type 2 diabetes among children.

.

But numerous other studies, including research from the C.D.C., have come 
to the conclusion that sugar-laden drinks are a major factor contributing 
to obesity. The C.D.C.'s website notes: "Frequently drinking 
sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight gain/obesity, Type 2 
diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, nonalcoholic liver disease, 
tooth decay and cavities, and gout, a type of arthritis."

.

In a local television interview in May 2013, announcing a $3.8 million 
pledge from Coke, which would also be used to underwrite other 
exercise-related health programs, Dr. Fitzgerald said Power Up for 30 
would add exercise before, during and after school. Noting that Georgia 
had moved up slightly from its position as having the second-most 
out-of-shape children in the nation, Dr. Fitzgerald said, "Thirty minutes 
of exercise will go a long way toward better health."

.

Some details of the relationship between Dr. Fitzgerald and Coke were 
reported in earlier news accounts. After her new post was announced, U.S. 
Right to Know, a nonprofit research group that focuses on transparency in 
the food business, sent journalists links to the broadcast along with 
emails between Dr. Fitzgerald and Coke officials.

.

Dr. Fitzgerald also said on the television show that Georgia Shape would 
push children to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

.

"We're going to concentrate on what you should eat," she said, making no 
recommendation for what children should not eat. But the major focus was 
on increasing exercise, long a tenet of Coke's public relations efforts. 
In fact, an essay on the topic by Dr. Fitzgerald is posted on Coke's 
website. The title: "Solving Childhood Obesity Requires Movement."




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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
(215) 204 - 4584
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.


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