The Heart Truth is a Lie

Coca-Cola is lying to consumers. What?! But wait, how could I make such a strong claim? I’m referring to the current Diet Coke heart ad campaign. Hold on, you say – the company’s advertisement campaign promoting heart health seems innocent enough, right? It’s even philanthropic at the least! This internationally known and acclaimed, multi-billion dollar beverage company would surely not promote any false advertising, would it? Let’s tackle the facts, and you can decide for yourself.

Diet Coke and The Heart Truth have teamed up to launch a campaign called Capture the Flag, a national fundraiser to draw awareness to women’s heart health. Every soda can has a cute stick figure woman in a dress, holding a white flag, bearing the image of a big red heart. The campaign’s goal was to raise $100,000 for the cause of heart disease – which they did. There’s nothing wrong with that. I applaud the cause.

However, while it appears quite appropriate for The Heart Truth, sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), to champion this cause, I’m hesitant to trust the motivation behind Coca-Cola’s involvement… especially after new research showing the detrimental effects that Diet Coke has on the heart when consumers drink it. According to Medpage, “Drinking diet soda — but not regular soda — was associated with a greater risk of stroke, MI, or vascular death in an older, multiethnic cohort, researchers found. Individuals who reported drinking diet soda every day were 48% more likely to have a vascular event through more than nine years of follow-up.”

Recent studies show that diet soda drinking is associated with more health problems than regular soda drinking. In fact, a recently published article shows that die sodas are linked with higher rates of stokes and heart attacks.

The Heart Truth’s choice to combine forces with Diet Coke for their Capture the Flag campaign makes this seemingly altruistic fundraiser cloudy with untruths. Personally, I see Coca-Cola’s participation in this campaign as deceitful to say the most and hypocritical to say the least. I’ll stick with the honest heart-healthy drinks like water, juice and fruit smoothies.


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