Another Silly Coca Cola Ad

What do you do if you’re trying to sell the most unhealthy product in the universe?

You do what Coca Cola is doing. You try to fool your customers. In their new “Calorie Dictionary” ad they’re really hoping that nobody stops to think.

Here’s the problem:

Coca Cola logic

By the simplistic Coca-Cola calorie logic all you need to do is burn the calories you ingest and everything will be fine. It’s not necessarily that simple, but let’s accept it today.

One small bottle (12 oz) of coke is 160 calories:

Coca Cola

Five minutes

In the ad Coca Cola shows how many calories are burned doing different activities. Briefly at the start of the ad they mention that the numbers are for 5 minutes of the activity. The problem? Most of the activites they later show take about 5 seconds. Coca Cola hopes that we won’t notice the difference.

The always great Dr Yoni Freedhoff noticed though. Here’s a few added comments on the Coca Cola math:



Hug your friends for 5 minutes = 7 cals.

One small bottle of Coca Cola = hug your friends for 114 minutes. If they’re still smiling they must be really good friends.



Chased by angry dog for 5 minutes = 28 cals.

One small bottle of Coca Cola = being chased by angry dog for 29 minutes. Don’t get caught and eaten.



Zip up your dress for 5 minutes = 12 cals.

One small bottle of Coca Cola = zip up your dress continously for 67 minutes. Hopefully you won’t dislocate you shoulder.



Shout loudly for 5 minutes = 13 cals.

One small bottle of Coke = shout loudly for 62 minutes. It could be painful.

By the way, look at this guy’s teeth. Clearly he’s not drinking Coca Cola.

Another way

If you don’t want to spend an hour or two every day hugging, zipping, running and shouting every chance you get, just to burn the sugar from one small bottle of Coke, there is another way.

Don’t drink it.


Why You Can’t Trust the Weight Loss Advice of a Dietitian

The Official Disease of the 2012 London Olympics!


  1. CF
    Should I also be concerned that they've written calorie rather than Calorie? In other words are they talking gram calories or dietary calories. Big difference.
  2. Jackie
    Thank you! I saw this ad and thought it sounded fishy. Luckily for me, I don't like the flavor of dark soda drinks. I still have to resist Sprite, but it's pretty easy for me since I love Iced Tea without sugar!
  3. Patrick
    I had to laugh at this video. Once again coke is trying to treat the cals the same as another cals. Drink coke and use these exercise methods to help burn of those sugar cals. Ah... I don't think so. Just like what the doc said, don't drink the coke or any other sugary sodas and chemical cal free sodas.
  4. mezzo
    Not badly done if you jugde it by its video-making merits alone. But such fun to pick it apart! And there is, of course, one little snag: nobody drinks those small bottles anymore, right? It's all about the Big Gulp and I would dearly like to see people trying to work those calories off by zipping and unzipping whatever the favourite object may be...
  5. Sensible One
    Nothing wrong with Mexican coca cola that is made with real sugar. The coca extract is highly anti-inflammatory and has other protective properties. The CO2 in it is great for the body as it helps to utilize oxygen better. The sugar is instant energy for the cells. The natural flavoring in it also has protective qualities. Caffeine is a metabolic enhancer and does many wonderful things for the body. That does not mean to make it a brunt of your calories though. Drinking one a day should be fine.

    Here is an article on caffeine:

  6. Ondrej
    Nobody can deny that a calorie is a calorie.

    A calorie is a measure of energy. So a calorie by definition must be a calorie, just like an inch is by definition and inch and a pound by definition is a pound.

    What is typically meant when someone says “not all calories are equal” is “not all macro-nutrients are equal” which is a valid statement.

    The problem arises again in language… someone is thinking “Not all macro-nutrients are equal”(which is true) but says “Not all calories are equal” (which is not true).

  7. Zepp
    Calories is not calories.. its Atwater factors!

    And there are comon factors and special factors!

    For instance every fatty acids have both there own energy property and some of them have different metabolic patways!

    Reply: #8
  8. Ondrej
    @ Zepp, you did not comprehend my post. Let me repeat:"A calorie is a measure of energy. So a calorie by definition must be a calorie, just like an inch is by definition and inch and a pound by definition is a pound."
    Replies: #10, #14
  9. JAUS
    To those who must drink sodas I recomend sodas that are swetened with sucralose. Generally artificial sweeteners like aspertame should be avoided, but sucralose is very massivly tested and has passed without any problems.

    I don't recommend Stevia, even though it's "natural".

    Whatch this video if you wonder why:

  10. FrankG
    Yes of course a "calorie" of butter will have the same thermal effect as a "calorie" of sucrose IF burned in a bomb-calorimeter (yawwwwn) -- but are you saying that they will both be digested, processed and partitioned the same way within the human body? Where they are not simply "burned" but potentially used to derive energy, be stored, built into tissue, or excreted (among other possibilities).

    THIS is the distinction that is meant when saying one calorie is not the same as another or "a calorie is not a calorie".

    This is fundamental to understanding why CICO fails and LCHF works.

  11. Jan
    The marketing team are working overtime, no doubt keeping 'fueled up' with sandwiches and coca cola!

    My perfect answer is DON'T drink the stuff. Now where have I already seen that written?

    All the best Jan

  12. 1 comment removed
  13. Zepp
    Well if you know about Atwaters work.. then you know about the diferens about calories burnt in a bomb calorie meter and digestibel energy!

    And if you take in consideration Atwaters special factors, then you know that ordanary calories are a blunt instrument to calculate energy!

    And did you know.. I have no problems adressing calories as energy, and to count on those.. and I know its a blunt tool, but I know its more about whats make one eat those calories, and that different calories have different metabolic propertys.. and that can make a big different in the regulation of apetite!

  14. Nan
    Coke is not going to let go of the billions they make on their chemical sugar water. Sadly, many people will be fooled by their highly researched ads. We can only hope that messages like this blog keep pressing forward to help those who really want it.

  15. Tim
    I haven't seen this analogy yet in all my low-carb reading, but for the people that say a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, ask them this.

    For body composition, is a pound is pound is a pound? (or kg) If the macro-nutrient composition of _who we are_ matters regarding metabolism, then whys shouldn't the macro-nutrient composition of what we eat matter? If the fat composition of who we are matters, then why not the fat composition of what we eat matter?

    Heck, even if you look at the metabolism of glucose (or glycogen), a calorie ISN'T a calorie ISN'T a calorie. If you have 100 grams of glycogen, you will get vastly different energy(calories) for use depending on whether you have aerobic or anaerobic metabolism. I could be wrong, but doesn't aerobic metabolism give you 36 units of ATP for every unit of glucose, while anaerobic metabolism only gives you 4 units? That's a big difference.

  16. Fletcher
    another silly coke ad

    notice at the end in small print "calories burned may vary"

  17. nonegiven
    Maybe they meant adult hugs?

Leave a reply

Reply to comment #0 by

Older posts