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New US Coca-Cola ad while Russia tightens food legislation

Soft drinks giant launches low-cal ad in US while Russia plans tough legislation on fast food advertising and labelling, as pressure on fast food companies grows

Coca-Cola for obesityWith obesity levels high on the health agenda in both countries, the soft drinks giant has this week launched a two-minute TV ad highlighting its low- or no-calorie products, while on the other side of the globe the Russian government intends to introduce tough new regulations on all fast food advertising as part of its healthcare programme.

Coca-Cola's new ad will air during high-audience programming as the company looks for ways to address increasing pressure on the fast food industry in the obesity debate.

Within its range of over 650 beverages, approximately 180 are low- or no-calorie drinks. The advert makes the point that weight gain is the result of consuming too many calories overall, not just from soft drinks.

Independent commentators see the ad as part of a damage control exercise rather than a purposeful attempt to address the problem of obesity. The new campaign comes when New York City is set to implement a ban on the sizing of sugary drinks sold in a variety of venues, including cinemas and restaurants.

Meanwhile, the Russian government looks set to pass legislation around fast-food advertising across the country and introduce tough regulations forcing food manufacturers to include nutritional information on product packaging. This will include the soft drinks sector.

A paper Obesity Trends in Russia. The Impact on Health and Healthcare Costs published autumn 2012 stated that: 'In 2000 the World Health Organisation (WHO) has listed Russia among the top 10 countries with the highest numbers of estimated cases of diabetes. Ischemic heart disease is a leading cause of mortality in Russia. Coronary heart disease (CHD) rate is double that found in many European countries. Although these high rates are certainly in part a consequence of high rates of smoking and alcohol, obesity is also certainly implicated in the rise in rates of these diseases.'

In the paper, published by Scientific Research Publishing (SCIRP), the authors also estimate disease-related healthcare costs under three possible scenarios to year 2050. The authors say that one per cent decrease in BMI will save $2.3bn in 2050 and a 5 per cent BMI reduction will reduce healthcare costs by $5.3bn.

16th January 2013

From: Marketing

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