'Experts' Say Soda Won't Make You Fat & Pigs Can Fly Too!

woman drinking sodaWe're more prone to believe something scientists say. Especially about weight loss. If they're making a specific claim, they must have an objective opinion, as well as more information at their disposal than we do, right? Well, turns out that there's also this little thing called MONEY. And according to some critics, Coca-Cola is spending a lot of cash to get "experts" to lie.

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The New York Times reports that Coca-Cola gives buckets of money (our term, not necessarily a scientific one) to researchers who in turn assure the rest of us that drinking sugary beverages won't affect our weight or health.

If you want to lose weight, these experts explain to medical conferences and in published research, don't focus so much on what you eat or drink. Just exercise more.

To promote that message, Coca-Cola shelled out $1.5 million last year to establish a nonprofit called the Global Energy Balance Network. In the past 7 years, they've given millions more to individual scientists.

More from The Stir: Turns Out Diet Soda Messes With Your Body In Just 1 Hour, Too! (GIFS)

Of course, exercise is crucial to losing weight and staying healthy. But wait a second. We shouldn't care about the calories -- and the TYPES of calories -- we're eating and drinking? As the article points out, one can of Coke will set you back 140 calories. And contains 10 teaspoons of sugar. You'd have to walk 3 miles to offset that drink.

Plus, what about all the research that ties soda to soda to obesity, Type 2 diabetes, even cancer?

One expert interviewed for the NYT story compared Coke's tactics with that of the tobacco industry, which recruited experts to assure the public that smoking was totally okay.

Sure seems similar, especially when you look at a recent study, cited by the Times, that analyzed beverage research and found that those funded by Coca-Cola (or Pepsi, the American Beverage Association or the sugar industry) were FIVE times more likely to find no link between guzzling soda and packing on the pounds.

So, what's the parable of this little tale?

Don't buy everything you read, especially when it comes to weight and nutrition. We're conditioned to believe scientists and doctors are authorities without ulterior motives, but that's not always the case. After all, they're humans, too, who have mortgages to pay and kids to send to college. 

Do your own research. Ask questions. Think about who might profit from your doing what a particular study recommends.

And at this point, we'd definitely suggest you only drink WATER if you're thirsty.

 

Image via kainoi007/iStock

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