Is Coke Paying Dietitians To Tweet Against the Soda Tax?

Kyle Pfister
Oct 5, 2016 · 4 min read

You may remember the surprise last year that Coca-Cola had paid health experts and university researchers to deflect blame about the health harms of soda. Upon further analysis of the payola list, we found that the majority of them were dietitians. Specifically they were all paid to write articles, TV appearances, and social media content touting mini-Coke cans as a “healthy snack”.

So when a group of dietitians suddenly began offering their opinions on the #sodatax hashtag on Twitter this week, I got a little suspicious. Soda taxes are a strategy dietitians should (and do) support in order to decrease soda consumption and promote healthy options. Yet these dietitians were all posting content against the soda tax, including the industry talking point that a soda tax is a grocery tax. That’s just a coincidence right?

So I compared these tweeters against Coke’s payola list, and guess who appears? Carol Berg Sloan, Robyn Flipse, Pat Baird, Sylvia Klinger, and Kim Galeaz are all part of Coke’s paid dietitian network. And Rosanne Rust discloses her consulting with the American Beverage Association in her Twitter profile.

In several of their tweets, they mention @cartchoice (Your Cart Your Choice), a project fighting soda taxes funded by the American Beverage Association and sugar industry. That’s just a coincidence, right?

Guest bloggers on the Your Cart Your Choice Blog are familiar faces: Robyn Flipse, Carol Berg Sloan, Neva Cochran, Amy Mydral Miller, Amy Goodson, Slyvia Klinger, Rosanne Rust, Kim Galeaz.

Excerpt from a blog post on June 20, 2016:

It looks like Coke is doing it again: Paying dietitians to perpetuate lies that promote soda and swing public opinion against policy solutions to the obesity epidemic it helped cause. These aren’t “health experts”, they are paid promoters of the sugar industry.

Shouldn’t their tweets be required to read: “Sponsored Post”? Or even better — reject soda industry sponsorship all together!

Here are a few public Twitter Lists to monitor the social media accounts of the dietitians and organizations funded by Coke: Coke-Funded, Coke-Funded Organizations, Cart Choice Advisors.

#CokeLeak

Leaked Emails from an Unhealthy Industry

Kyle Pfister

Written by

Founder of Ninjas for Health, a public health innovation team. Join the movement at ninjasforhealth.com

#CokeLeak

#CokeLeak

Leaked Emails from an Unhealthy Industry