New Report Examines Relationship Between Coca-Cola, CDC, Company’s Attempts To Influence Nutrition, Exercise Policies

CNN: Old emails hold new clues to Coca-Cola and CDC’s controversial relationship
“Private emails between employees at the Coca-Cola Co. and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been exposed in a new research paper, raising questions about just how extensive of a relationship the soda company has had with the nation’s public health agency. The paper, published Tuesday in the journal The Milbank Quarterly includes excerpts from emails and suggests that current and former Coca-Cola staff tried to influence the CDC by attempting to frame the debate around whether sugar-sweetened beverages play a role in America’s obesity epidemic, as well as trying to lobby decision-makers…” (Howard, 1/29).

Washington Post: The Health 202: Coca-Cola emails reveal how soda industry tries to influence health officials
“…Emails sent between Coca-Cola employees and top CDC officials from 2011 to 2015 show the corporation tried to use its influence with the agency to push the World Health Organization to emphasize exercise over diet as the solution to the obesity epidemic, per a report published today in the health policy journal Milbank Quarterly. It’s not the first time public health advocates have drawn attention to ties between Coca-Cola and public health agencies … But the exchanges provide fresh evidence of the ways the food industry — in this case, the world’s leading producer of sugar-sweetened beverages — seeks to direct public policy in its favor, often in ways that run contrary to science…” (Cunningham, 1/29).

Additional coverage of the report, produced by researchers from U.S. Right to Know and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, is available from the Associated Press and POLITICO.

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.