The debate over soda and public health is a hot topic. Not too long ago, there was a big to-do over New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s attempt to help improve public health by banning people from purchasing large-sized sodas in restaurants. The ban has since been overruled, with a judge calling the mayor’s idea “arbitrary and capricious” and many others feeling that such a ban would not mesh with the personal freedoms that people deserve.
However, considering that sugar-laden sodas are one of the main contributors to the obesity epidemic, it’s easy to understand where Mayor Bloomberg was coming from. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, two out of every three adults and one out of every three U.S. children are either overweight or obese. With an average of up to 18 teaspoons of sugar in a 20-ounce cup, it’s no wonder that soda is referred to as “liquid candy” and that the majority of people struggle with their weight.
Soda consumption is indeed problematic, and the “diet” labeling isn’t any better. In fact, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition discovered a link between diet drinks and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Introducing the 146-flavor soda dispenser
So, what does Coca-Cola do? They introduce the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, a mega-sugar hub that dispenses over 145 unique soda flavors and combinations. With apps, games and words that illicit a sense of fun and control, it resonates with younger crowds. Heck, with the saying on their website, “Fountain of You” (cleverly summoning Ponce de Leon memories), perhaps they’re attempting to encourage older folks looking to recapture their pop-sipping and 8-track-playing days of yesteryear as well.
Have at it, the conglomerate says, and have at it is precisely what’s happening.