The new studies linking consumption of sugary beverages to obesity unleashed a storm of objection from the Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc., the icons of a $110-billion-a-year industry whose products have penetrated the remotest corners of the earth.
“Sugar-sweetened beverages are not driving obesity,” the American Beverage Association, which represents the soda makers, said in a statement released Friday. “By every measure, sugar-sweetened beverages play a small and declining role in the American diet.”
Citing an analysis of government data by the National Cancer Institute, the ABA said sugar-sweetened drinks accounted for just 7 percent of the average American’s diet. “Focusing on a small source of calories rather than on the total diet is a misplaced allocation of resources,” the ABA statement cautioned.