Exercise: How Big Soda’s Red Herring Infiltrated China

As soda sales plummet in the US amid growing obesity concerns, Coca-Cola has enjoyed a growing foothold in China—now Coke’s 3rd largest market by volume.

With China facing its own obesity epidemic, the soda giant doubled down to ensure China’s health policies didn’t clash with Coke. Coke’s International Life Sciences Institute cunningly established itself within the Chinese health ministry, according to an investigation by Harvard University’s Susan Greenhalgh, published in the BMJ and the Journal of Public Health Policy.

Greenhalgh explains how “a clear pattern emerged” in China’s health policies that matched Big Soda’s strategy: emphasizing physical fitness over nutrition as the solution to obesity.

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