Studies have shown that sugar-filled sodas contribute to obesity in children and adults. Ruth Faden, director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, argues in a recent article on theatlantic.com that a new ad from Coca-Cola claiming that "all calories count" willfully ignores such research in an attempt to mislead the public. Added sugars like those in sodas are "empty calories" that don't offer any of the nutrients our bodies need, she says:
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For Coca-Cola to suggest that all calories are equal flies in the face of reality as best as we can determine it. Many foods and drinks contain calories but also nutritional value; these are the calories that fuel our daily lives. Added sugars like those in Coca-Cola, however, add calories but no nutrition--so-called " empty calories." According to the Food and Drug Administration, "In some foods, like most candies and sodas, all the calories are empty calories." So, Coca-Cola's claim that "all calories count" is extraordinarily misleading.