Cigarette companies don’t sponsor the Olympics. Why does Coca-Cola?奥运已经禁止烟草广告20余年，可为什么要姑息垃圾食品赞助商？ 时间:2018-02-13 单词数:8600
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Professor Ian D Caterson is president of World Obesity Federation and Dr Mychelle Farmer is chair of NCD Child
关于本文作者：Ian D Caterson教授是世界肥胖联合会主席，Mychelle Farmer博士是NCD儿童（世界卫生组织非传染性疾病儿童）的联盟主席
On Friday, nearly 3,000 of the world’s best athletes took to the slopes, rinks, and half pipes in Pyeongchang, South Korea, for the Winter Olympics.
The images beamed to televisions in the 92 countries with athletes competing and beyond will create new sporting heroes for hundreds of millions of children from Tennessee to Tunisia, Moscow to Mali.
The Olympic stories written over the next weeks will inspire many of those kids to put on their first pair of skates or skis.
These images will also be interrupted every other minute by advertisements from official sponsors like Coca-Cola and partners like McDonalds, the very companies that provide the food products that could be the biggest obstacle not only to becoming an Olympic athlete, but also to living a healthy and happy life.
Even before the Winter Olympics kicks off, the world is already in the grip of a global health epidemic that’s only getting worse.
In 2016, according to the World Health Organization, 39% of the world’s population was classified as overweight and 13% obese.
It is predicted that by 2030, if the current prevalence continues on its existing trajectory, almost half of the world’s adult population will be overweight or obese.
In Korea, which has historically been one of the healthiest countries in the world, obesity is projected to almost double by 2030.
Children all over the world will be inspired to replicate the success of their heroes at Pyeongchang but for many, the reality is that those dreams will be shattered by the impacts of obesity, which include cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
According to a 2014 McKinsey study, the cost of obesity on GDP was a whopping $2tn and at the heart of the problem are Olympic sponsors like Coca-Cola and McDonalds.
Only smoking and war negatively impacted the world’s finances more.
The major risk factor that drives the most death and disability combined around the world is diet.
It’s unbelievable to think that the Olympia brand of cigarettes was marketed at the Japan Olympics in 1964.
According to Michael Payne, the author of Olympic Turnaround, the cigarettes generated “over $1m in revenues for the [Olympic] Organizing Committee”.
Future generations will no doubt look back at the sponsorship of South Korea’s Olympic games by fast food chains with similar incredulity.
The advertising of tobacco products at the Olympic games has been outlawed since 1988.
But to bar tobacco from advertising at the Olympics, yet to allow companies like Coca-Cola and McDonalds, is nonsensical, given that the major risk factor that drives the most death and disability combined around the world is diet.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), given historical criticism of the Olympics’ association with junk food, must be aware of this fact.
Yet through neglect or design, it has done nothing to stop Olympic athletes from being courted by brands like Coca-Cola.
It should know better.
In November 2017, Coca-Cola introduced the world to its 2018 Olympic Winter Games athletes, dubbed the “4-pack”.
One must assume that part of the reason that the athletes were excited to be joining the Coca-Cola family as Coca-Cola sponsored athletes was because they somehow felt indebted to the company.
But that reliance and the resulting legitimisation of the Coca-Cola brand, particularly in the eyes of children, is quite literally unhealthy.
Since 1975, obesity rates have tripled, resulting in almost 2 billion adults being overweight or obese.
Nor is the problem limited to rich countries.
As fast food has moved into low- and middle-income countries, obesity and related diseases have surged, putting a massive strain on already fragile health systems
Efforts to stem this tide to date have been largely unsuccessful.
However, there are some green shoots of hope.
Amsterdam showed that by promoting tap water over juice in school, banning fast food advertising and teaching healthy cooking, child obesity can be curbed.
New York and Denmark successfully banned trans fats, which led to significant drops in heart attacks and strokes.
Soda taxes in Mexico and South Africa have led to reduced consumption of sugary drinks.
In Fiji, excise duties were added to imported sugary beverages and removed from fruits and vegetables.
Soda and other junk food are clearly playing a substantial role in fuelling a child obesity epidemic around the world.
The Olympics is one of the world’s greatest sporting events and we do future generations of potential athletes a gross disservice by allowing the Games’ association with companies that promote that epidemic.
Tobacco advertising ended two decades ago.
The time has come when we can enjoy elite athletics without having to endure the constant advertising for fast food.
Coca-Cola’s tagline is “taste the feeling”.
With the obesity epidemic skyrocketing, it’s time to rein the feeling in and for the Olympics to ban the advertising that is fuelling the global obesity crisis.
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