Coca-Cola is the world’s largest beverage distribution company with consumers in more than 200 countries consuming the company’s beverages at a rate of 1.8 billion servings a day. Coca-Cola is working with its partners to address the growing social issue of obesity. This is a world-wide problem. According to the World Health Organization, worldwide obesity has nearly doubled since 1980. Over one billion adults are overweight today and 11% are obese, while obesity levels continue to rise.
Coca-Cola has developed programs and policies to address obesity because “the health of our business is interwoven with the well-being of our consumers, our employees and the communities we serve. The prevalence of overweight and obesity is one of today’s most critical health concerns.”
In its obesity campaign, Coca-Cola drives home the sentiment that “beating obesity will take action by all of us, based on one simple, common-sense fact: All calories count, no matter where they come from … And if you eat and drink more calories than you burn off, you’ll gain weight.”
In 2012, Coca-Cola developed “Our Position on Obesity” which outlines the company’s commitments to addressing obesity. These commitments include promoting active healthy living, marketing responsibility educating around choice, and informing with transparency.
To support their commitment to active healthy living Coca-Cola takes a three-pronged approach to educating people on the importance of energy balance, providing variety in their products and package sizes and encouraging active, healthy lifestyles that include a sensible, balanced diet and regular physical activity. Coca-Cola is taking a number of actions to address obesity including increasing the availability of smaller portion sizes, offering a wider selection of low calorie drinks, and clearly displaying calorie information. Coca-Cola sponsors physical activity programmes, and runs television advertisements onhow calories affect weight.
In September 2009, Coca-Cola made a commitment to provide front-of-pack energy labeling (as calories, kilocalories or kilojoules) on nearly all of their packages to increase the transparency of nutrition labelling. This goal was met at the end of 2011. As well, Coca-Cola’s commitment to responsible marking prohibits marketing products directly to children under 12 and purchasing advertising directly targeted at audiences that are more than 35% children under 12. To support this policy, Coca-Cola will not offer their beverages in primary schools unless asked by parents or school authorities.
Coca-Cola supports more than 280 nutrition education and physical activity initiatives in more than 115 countries, and aims to implement programs in every country they do business. For example, to date 26 million people have been reached through Coca-Cola’s physical education programs in Latin America. In addition, the company has a website outlining partners and locations to help connect individuals to programs. This website also publicly and actively measures the scale and reach of its efforts and “invites people to learn more about what the Company is doing, track its progress, post feedback and exchange ideas on how we can collectively promote choice, energy balance and movement”.
Working with key stakeholders, adopt business models and strategies that address systemic social, economic and environmental problems; scale solutions with customers and suppliers.