The Coca-Cola problem is getting uncomfortable – coke gets dumped by doctors and dietitians

At the Academy of Pediatrics' national conference

At a recent Academy of Pediatrics’ national conference

It’s getting uncomfortable for the organizations taking Big Sugar’s money. After Coca-Cola made all their “donations” known this is suddenly getting a lot more attention:

NYT: Coke Spends Lavishly on Pediatricians and Dietitians

Consider that the American Academy of Pediatrics – doctors treating sick children – have Coca-Cola as their biggest sponsor, their only “gold” sponsor. This in the middle of an epidemic of childhood obesity! Coca-Cola has paid them $3 million dollars.

The result? Look at the picture at the top. That’s American pediatricians at a recent national conference. Apparently a lot of pediatricians have objected to this sponsorship. A quote from the article above:

At the academy’s Annual Leadership Forum in March […] one of the top two resolutions called for the academy to sever its relationship with Coke.

“The purpose of the academy, of which I am a proud member, is to protect the health and lives of children,” said Dr. Arnold H. Matlin, a retired pediatrician from New York who drafted the Coke resolution. “Coca-Cola is bad for children, and the A.A.P. should never accept sponsorship from Coke or any other company that makes sugar-sweetened beverages. It’s obscene.”

The end of the obscenity

To their credit the Academy of Pediatrics is now ending the sponsorship by Coca-Cola at the end of this year.

Today it was also reported, via an email to its members, that AND, the major American organization of dietitians, is also ending their Coke collaboration at the end of this year. This after 8 years of taking the sugar money and bizarrely allowing Coca-Cola to “educate” their members. Coke is not even going to be at their conference, which starts on Sunday, so it seems the they even pulled the plug early.

There’s some talk about Coke being the one who ended it, but that may just be spin, an attempt at damage control from Coke.

These two major players ending the sponsorships may be the start of a stampede to quickly get away from the Coca-Cola problem. It’s not free to take the sugar money any more. It now comes with a huge cost to an organization’s credibility.


The American Academy of Family Physicians have also decided – earlier this year – to stop taking Coke’s sugar money at the end of this year (they started taking sugar money in 2009).

Next in line?

Here are four more organizations that really should rethink taking the sugar money:

  • The American College of Cardiology – taking sugar money since 2010 – UPDATE 1 Oct 2015: ACC is ending the Coke partnership at the end of this year
  • The American Cancer Society – taking sugar money since 2010 (tell them on Facebook)
  • The Obesity Society – taking sugar money since 2013 (tell them on Facebook)
  • The American Collage of Sports Medicine – taking sugar money since 2010 (tell them on Facebook)


Exposed: The Scientists and Organizations Taking Sugar Money

“Coca-Cola Caught Funding Scientists Who Deflect Blame for Obesity Away From Sugary Drinks”


  1. Randal L. Schwartz
    I'm suspicious of this. I wonder if Coke is now instead funding a shell "foundation" that will replace the money they formerly gave directly.
  2. Gloria
    The vast majority of dietitians never backed Coca Cola but the money grubbing leaders of our organization liked to take money from them, Kraft and others. After the numbers of Dietitians joining AND dwindled, and a vocal group started their own movement against them, they had to bow to pressure.

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