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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Waistline vs Bottom Line

Julia Havey, a St. Louis weight-loss instructor, has filed a lawsuit against Coca-Cola over its "My Coke Rewards" product promotion. At her web site, she claims:

It is virtually impossible to win the top prizes if you follow the rules and guidelines. And if you did consume enough Coke to allow yourself a chance to win, you just might DIE! That's right, DIE! ... with the course we're on the entire country (U.S.) is going to be overweight by the year 2030.

A statement from Coke claimed that Havey attempted to draw attention to her weight-loss book. The argument from either side has its merits. However, can suing a soft drink company help put an end to the obesity epidemic?

Has the fattening bottom line of the soft drink companies come at the cost of our expanding waistline? Some would say "Yes" and others would say "No".

Is our overweight problem rooted in our own personal choices or corporate marketing gimmicks? Companies will always do whatever they can to unload their products, whether it is a sugar-loaded soda, a fatty burger, or a get-slimmer diet. That is just the way how capitalism works. It has been working for hundreds of years and will continue for hundreds of years to come. No lawsuits can change that.

By pointing our fingers at the soft drink companies, have we given up the ultimate control over our personal choices? At the end of the day, it is us who shove that fatty burger in our mouth and wash it down with an ice-cold fountain drink, all done at our own will instead of coercion by someone else.

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