Chris Brook-Carter

Soft drinks makers? It's ALL your fault!

By: Chris Brook-Carter - 4 November 2005 14:01

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Some years ago this may have seemed impossible. Even now I am struggling to believe there is actually a case to answer. However, the soft drinks industry looks as if it may have to defend itself in the American courts for the nation’s obesity problem.

In an article on a CBS Boston website today, it was reported that a class action lawsuit could be filed by the end of this month, accusing soda companies of using unfair and deceptive practices in marketing to children.

Dick Daynard at Northeastern University Law School - who apparently helped sue cigarette makers ten years ago - is using the same arguments, this time against the soda manufacturers.

“They (children) shouldn’t be exposed to things that are unhealthy,” Daynard says. “They (soda companies) are marketing to kids. Just like cigarette machines, the soda machines shouldn’t be there.”

Let's just re-read that quote. A can of Coke is being likened to a cigarette! I have drunk many cans of Coke in my lifetime, but am perfectly healthy. And why shouldn't I be? Drinking CSDs in moderation is nothing like smoking in moderation.

This sort of lawsuit completely misses the point. Coke and its peers can be drunk as part of a balanced diet, to my knowledge, without any ill effects whatsoever. Moreover, the problems of obesity cannot be linked solely to soft drinks.

Do you start suing the makers of Sony Playstations and other game consoles for stopping children getting outside and exercising? Or perhaps we should sue the schools for failing to educate their pupils on the need for a balanced diet? Maybe the parents should stand trial for providing the drinks in many cases in the first place and not encouraging their kids to play enough sport?

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