Updated: Mar 20, 2019
All rights reserved © 2013, 2019 Louis Antonio Abate, D.C.
Originally patented in 1886 as a medicine, similar to cough syrup, Coca-Cola was introduced by John Pemberton as a way to deal with headaches and exhaustion. Only when salesmen realized that people didn’t want to drink medicine daily did the ad campaigns change. For nearly one hundred years the original recipe remained unchanged.
That is until 1982 when the Coca-Cola company wanted to position itself in a better, healthier light. We saw the introduction to the culture of Diet Coke. Quickly following the American obsession with Diet Coke we saw Cherry Coke, Caffeine-free Coke, Classic Coke, Vanilla Coke, Coca-Cola Orange, Coke Zero, Coke Black Cherry Vanilla, Cherry Coke Zero, Coca-Cola Blak, Coca-Cola C2, Coca-Cola Citrus, Coca-Cola with Lemon, with Lime, or with Raspberry, Coke II, and the recent Diet Coke Plus which is ‘fortified’ with vitamins B3, B6, B12, and the minerals zinc and magnesium. The most recent attempts by the company are to position themselves within the organic realm.
The makers of Coke claim their Diet Coke Plus is a healthier alternative to regular soda. That was until the FDA forced them to take their misleading claims off the label. “Based on our review, we have concluded that this product is in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act,” reads a letter from the FDA to Coca-Cola. “Your Diet Coke Plus product is misbranded ... because the product makes a nutrient content claim but does not meet the criteria to make the claim.”
There is even a class action lawsuit filed against the Coca-Cola company by the Center for Science in the Public Interest that states “...Coke fears, probably correctly, that they’ll sell less soda as Americans become increasingly concerned with obesity, diabetes, and other conditions linked to diets too high in sugar. [this] is Coke's attempt to dress up soda in a physician's white coat. Underneath, it’s still sugar water..." -CSPI Litigation Director Steve Gardner.
With the positioning of Coke as a healthier product, or one designed (read ‘engineered’) to promote health benefits what’s next? Healthy fast food? Fat-free Big Macs with an injection of all your daily vitamins and minerals? Pepsi Cola with more fiber? Or a free endoscopy with every super-sized meal?
As Americans become more health conscious, I urge you to buy your groceries from organic and local farmers, avoid processed foods and drink filtered water. Basically, know what is going in your mouth. Afterall, you are what you eat.