Even Coke and Pepsi Say Soda Is Bad for You

Well, we’ll be darned. Yesterday, representatives from The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo and the makers of Snapple and Dr. Pepper stood next to President Bill Clinton and announced a plan to help Americans reduce their soda consumption by 20 percent by the end of 2025.That’s right: Coca-Cola wants you to drink less Coca-Cola.The consortium, in conjunction with the American Beverage Association, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the Clinton Global Initiative, agreed to use their marketing power to push consumers to buy water and other no- or low-calorie drinks. They’ll also offer smaller cans or bottles of soda, and include calorie information on fridges, vending machines and self-serve soda fountains.“This initiative will help transform the beverage landscape in America. It takes our efforts to provide consumers with more choices, smaller portions and fewer calories to an ambitious new level,” said Susan K. Neely, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association. Right now, according to Howell Wechsler, of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, calories from beverages such as regular sodas and fruit drinks make up 6 percent of Americans’ daily caloric intake.But let us jump in here now to say that diet drinks are not the answer; they’re also linked to weight gain. And research on the dangers of artificial sweeteners of all kinds is mounting. In other words, the lesser of two evils is still evil.Still, the biggest soda companies in the world admitting that soda is a major health problem? We’ll drink to that.MORE: My Doctor Said I Had to Give Up Diet Coke