The company allegedly ran deceptive campaigns intentionally.
Two African-American pastors, Willam Lamar of Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington D.C. and Delman Coates of Mount Ennon Baptist Church in Maryland, have filed suits against the American Beverage Association (ABA) and Coca-Cola.
They claim that the soft drink industry knowingly misled customers about health risks linked to sugar sweetened beverages. According to a major media house, the case was filed in a DC Superior Court. The filing was done in behalf of the pastors and the Praxis Project, a public health group. The lawsuit states that the ABA and the Coca Cola Company ran the campaign to confuse customers about the reasons for obesity.
According to the pastors, they are tired of conducting funerals of those whose main causes of death were over-consumption of sugary drinks. Pastor Coates said that he has seen parents give their children bottles filled with sugary drinks. It is no wonder that many among the black population have died of strokes, heart diseases, and diabetes. He said that the misinformation is continuing even now.
It cited a Coca-Cola advertisement that showed that a drink consumption of 139 calories could be burned off from the body by laughing for about 75 seconds or a victory dance. The advertisement title was “Be OK.” Coates said that it is clear that the African-American community has lost more people to sweets than any other cause. He blamed the soft drinks companies for that, concentrating on the deceptive marketing campaigns commissioned by them.
The Coca-Cola company was quick to respond. It said that it will defend to its best against such charges. The company said that it comprehends the role it plays in reducing sugar consumption. The ABA termed the allegations based in the lawsuit as “unfounded.”
The Coca-Cola company dismissed all charges, mentioning a similar charge brought against the company sometime before, which was then dismissed. The company pointed out that the same legal team was present in both the cases.
A study made by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention proved that Latino and African-American communities are more affected by problems related to health compared to their White counterparts. According to the Praxis Project, the current trends indicate that almost 50 percent of the Latino and African American children will develop Type 2 diabetes. The case filed cited the obesity rate jump from the nine percent in 1984 to about 25 percent in 2017.