ISBN : 9780190263430
Sodas are astonishing products. Little more than flavored sugar-water, these drinks cost practically nothing to produce or buy, yet have turned their makers - principally Coca-Cola and PepsiCo - into multibillion dollar industries with global recognition, distribution, and political power. So how did something so cheap come to mean so much and to have such devastating health and food policy consequences? Soda Politics is a story of the American food system at work, written by the incomparable NYU scholar and public health champion Marion Nestle. It is the first book to focus on the history, politics, nutrition, and health impact of soda, asking how we created this system, what its problems are, and what we can do to change things. Coke and Pepsi spend billions of dollars a year on advertising and lobbying to prevent any measures to limit soda, a product billed as "refreshing," "tasty," "crisp," and "the real thing" that also happens to be a major cause of health problems, from obesity to Type II diabetes. They target minorities, poor people, and children, and are involved in land and water grabs in underdeveloped countries, where they also have redoubled their efforts at building their market share. In fact, the marketing practices of soda companies are eerily similar to that of cigarette companies - both try to sell as much as possible, regardless of the health consequences, in any way that they can. And the public is starting to scrutinize sugary sodas in the same way that they do cigarettes. Soda consumption is falling, and Americans are only partially replacing soda with other sugary drinks. This did not happen accidentally: the fall in soda sales is a result of successful food advocacy. Soda Politics provides the overwhelming evidence to keep up pressure on all those involved in the production, marketing, sales, and subsidization of soda.
Foreword, by Mark Bittman Introduction What is soda and why should anyone care? 1) Sodas: the inside story 2) Soda drinkers: facts and figures 3) The sugar(s) problem Sodas and health 4) Dietary advice: sugars and sugary drinks 5) The health issues: obesity, diabetes, and more 6) Advocating health: soda-free teeth The soda industry and how it works 7) Meet Big Soda: an overview 8) Obesity: Big Soda's response 9) Marketing sugary drinks: four basic principles Targeting children 10) Starting early: Marketing to infants, children, and teens 11) Advocating health: Ending soda marketing to kids 12) Advocating health: Getting sodas out of schools 13) Advocating health: Getting kids involved Targeting minorities and the poor 14) Marketing to African- and Hispanic-Americans: a complicated story 15) Selling to the developing world 16) Advocating health: excluding sodas from SNAP Playing softball: Recruiting allies, coopting critics 17) "Softball" marketing strategies: Corporate Social Responsibility 18) Investing in communities 19) Supporting worthy causes: health professionals and research 20) Recruiting public health leaders Playing softball: Mitigating soda-induced environmental damage 21) Advocating sustainability: defending the environment 22) Advocating sustainability: protecting public water resources Playing hardball: defending turf, attacking critics 23) Lobbying, campaign contributions, and the revolving door 24) Using public relations and front groups Taking action: soda caps and taxes 25) Advocating health: capping soda portion sizes 26) Advocating health: taxing sugary drinks 27) Advocating for health and the environment: take action Afterword, by Neal Baer Appendix I: the principal US groups advocating for healthier beverage choices Appendix II: National, state, and local campaigns to reduce soda consumption: selected examples Selected bibliography List of tables and figures Reference notes Acknowledgments Index