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AAFP Makes Deal With Coke For “Educational” Content

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AAFP Makes Deal With Coke For “Educational” Content

The Chiro.Org Blog

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has struck a deal with Coca-Cola to sponsor its consumer-focused website,

Amusingly enough, the AAFP’s Consumer Alliance is a program that allows corporate partners like The Coca-Cola Company to work with them to educate consumers about the role their products can play in a healthy, active lifestyle. Isn’t that amazing?

Coca-Cola will underwrite the development of “consumer education content on beverages and sweeteners,” according to the AAFP. The medical society expects to sign up other corporate sponsors in coming months, but the Coke agreement is likely to raise eyebrows in light of the fact that soft drinks and other sweetened beverages have been implicated in our obesity epidemic. was recently named one of “Five Great Health Sites” on a blog, and one of the “‘Top Ten’ Most Useful Web Sites” by the Medical Library Association. The new beverage and sweetener content is expected to launch in January 2010.


About the Author:

I was introduced to Chiro.Org in early 1996, where my friend Joe Garolis helped me learn HTML, the "mark-up language" for websites. We have been fortunate that journals like JMPT have given us permission to reproduce some early important articles in Full-Text format. Maintaining the Org website has been, and remains, my favorite hobby.


  1. karl November 28, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    This has the feel of that saying “keeping your enemies close to you”. There’s no doubt in my mind that soft drinks are part of the growing Obesity “epidemic”. It’s projected that up to 43% of Americans could be obese by 2018 at a cost of $344 billion dollars. This of course will increase the Type II diabetic demographic which in it’s self is expensive to treat/manage. I personally don’t have an appreciation for this relationship between coca-cola and AAFP.

  2. Dr. Kevin Smith November 29, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Oy vey. What’s next? Pepsi sponsors nutrition classes for school children?

  3. nene November 29, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    I am disapoointed with this, IMHO, sort of “knee-jerk” criticism.

    Corporately, Coca-cola owns MANY different beverages(waters, teas, juices) NOT just the carbonated “COKE”.

    IMO- the chiropractic profession would do very well to learn from this and perhaps indeed, consider initiating a “consumer alliance” with Pepsico(which, BTW, owns Tropicana and Quacker Oats).

  4. Matthew Loop November 29, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    I love it when big corporations sponsor “consumer” websites. Kind of like putting the fox in front of the hen-house, no? I’ll pass on Coca Cola funded education, or whatever you would prefer to call it…

  5. karl November 30, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    many of us are aware that coca-cola is involved in H2O and “juices” but i would like see what the average person thinks when asked what comes to mind when coca-cola is mentioned. i’ll bet it’s not water and/or “juice”.

  6. nene December 1, 2009 at 8:51 am

    Instead- I think of the huge possibilities of what an ‘inkind” $500,000 from Pepsico could do for the chiropractic profession(eg. research/colleges/scholorships etc)…..not to mention the enormous promotional potential……..say, for example, to see a chiropractic “blip”/logo on every carton of Tropicana or Quacker Oats!

    …..So that….”When the Average person thinks when asked what comes to mind when” Quacker Oats is mentioned……they will associate it with chiropractic.

  7. Dr. Kevin Smith December 1, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    The juices are also loaded with high fructose corn syrup. I don’t think it’s “knee-jerk” at all to identify these companies for what they are, and to steer clear of them altogether.

  8. Dr. Kevin Smith December 2, 2009 at 11:53 am

    By the way, according to the current research the diabetes epidemic is expected to double in the next 25 years. One of the primary causes of this is our over-consumption of high fructose corn syrup. And guess where much of that is coming from? From our friends over at Coca Cola.

  9. karl December 2, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    wow maybe i’m underestimating the “huge possibilities” of having a chiropractic message/logo on a fast food Pepsico biggee cup. i believe in marketing/advertising but in my opinion this sends the wrong message. it’s a fact soft drinks are part of the “obesity epidemic”. i understand people make choices and i also understand the need to hydrate…..but i also believe soft drinks are somewhat addictive and play into the metabolic syndrome. I believe medicine/chiropractic needs to further evolve into the preventive/wellness model. certain consumers have been advocating this model but there’s opposition from the medical-foods industrial complex. consequently chronic disease is soaring/expensive. i say pick another brand for that “huge possibility”. Consider the guilty/part of the problem by association. Huge ideas can be great but consider the consequences.

    COMMENT: To be fair, the other author did mention Quaker Oats as a possibility, and didn’t merely focus on Coke.

    I posted this because sodas and corn syrup are definitely associated with Syndrome X (Metabolic Syndrome) AND osteoporosis, and so I thought it was amusing to see the AAFP invite the fox into the henhouse. Ain’t capitalism wonderful?

    It sure left me scratching my head in wonderment.

  10. Marco La Starza, D.C. December 2, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Funny posts guys!

    Do we need diabetes to be any higher among kids?

  11. karl December 2, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    I totally get the Quaker Oats point……but I still believe there can be confusion/misunderstanding in the wellness/prevention market when you have a financial relationship with a giant food/drink corporation that has a diversified product line. And no we don’t need to encourage “higher” childhood diabetes. this increasing epidemic is going to cost us billions.

  12. nene December 3, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    >>>”I totally get the Quaker Oats point……”<<< Get Chiropractic associated with one of the most highly recognizable, respected, and ever-accumulating beneficial, products on the MASS market. (I'll bet NO one here has a patient who has never eaten/or bought Quaker Oats). --- We cannot ignore the realities of the world we live in-----it is what it is.....and we need to get savvy about it, work with it, be a part of it..............we cannot change anything we are not a part of. --- Just think of the "oatmeal" possibilities!!!! -----> A collaboration with Pepsico could fund. eg. a mind-blowing Chiropractic RCT follow-up study on "Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain Increases Fall Risk in Older Adults"(posted above). ---Perhaps some reading this will re-evaluate their intial "knee-jerk" responses, and instead consider how such a collaboration has the potential for a "Win-Win-Win"!!!

  13. nene December 3, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    3rd submission(omitting previous poster quote):

    WOW! the responses have been—well—-um—curious?

    I can see posters here are pretty well of the “my mind is made up” position. That is, IMHO sad…..on many levels.

    Some thoughts and comments(in no particular order):

    —Have any of the posters been to the Quacker Oats site?……. There is already a “healthcare Professionals” tab. Wouldn’t it be great to see a chiropractic presence included on this site?

    —In this day and age, the FACT is: there is NO “giant food/drink corporation” that is NOT diversified.

    —I have never seen an ad for Pepsi on a box of Quaker Oats or Tropicana Orange Juice.(please advise if I am mistaken)

    —Why would a chiropractic blip/logo on a box of Quacker Oats(or for that matter….also on their website….) be confusing to anyone? I don’t know about you, but I try to plant the idea in my patients that oatmeal is an “anytime option/choice”…….then proceed to tell them that from time-to-time I will cook up a big bowl of oatmeal for my ……supper!

    —The benefits of oatmeal are well documented in the scientific literature.

    —I can see ONLY positive possibilities here: >>>> Get Chiropractic associated with one of the most highly recognizable, respected, and ever-accumulating beneficial, products on the MASS market. (I’ll bet NO one here has a patient who has never eaten/or bought Quaker Oats).

    — We cannot ignore the realities of the world we live in—–it is what it is…..and we need to get savvy about it, work with it, be a part of it…………..we cannot change anything we are not a part of.

    — Just think of the “oatmeal” possibilities!!!! —–> A collaboration with Pepsico could fund. eg. a mind-blowing Chiropractic RCT follow-up study on “Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain Increases Fall Risk in Older Adults”(posted above).

    —Perhaps some reading this will re-consider their “knee-jerk” responses, and instead how a collaboration has the potential for a “Win-Win-Win”!!!

  14. Frank December 4, 2009 at 12:08 pm


    I don’t think anyone here suggested they were opposed to product sponsorship, per se.

    The issue is whether professional groups should associate with products that have a track record of adverse impact on health.

  15. karl December 4, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Keep up the good work frank. I’ll move on to a different e-community where I can be heard/appreciated.Best of luck.

  16. Dr. Kevin Smith December 7, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    My mind is made up. It was made up a long time ago, when I was researching the food industry and the decisions the corporations made/make which adversely affects the health of their customers (while serving only to boost the profits for the shareholders). The more I examine the business practices and politics of the food industry, the more disgusted I am with the whole thing. These companies knowingly and willingly poison people. It’s done very slowly, a little at a time, so it doesn’t draw a lot of attention. (Kind of like taxes).

    With an estimated 80% of all disease we have in this country being directly attributed to lifestyle, our food choices MUST come under heavy scrutiny.

    Diabetes is currently the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S. The amount of sugar we consume is just staggering. And the people who are directly responsible for this are the decision makers in the food industry. It is completely pervasive. If chiropractors are to be leaders in the field of health and wellness, it is our responsibility to shine the light of truth on what’s going on and to have the professional integrity to steer clear of everyone and anyone who is part of the problem.

  17. Chiropractic Works December 7, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    Professional groups have no ethical reason for associating themselves with the likes of coke. For the educated it’s very transparent, but for the masses that consume these poison products, it’s business. As some have pointed out it’s like having the fox guard the hen house.

  18. Chiropractic Works December 7, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    Dr. Smith, I am with you. I too am disgusted with the mixing together of health, business, and politics. This has to stop, I agree that it will only happen by teaching, doctors steping up and educating the masses on the great hoax we call health care.

  19. Graeme Gibson, D.C. December 11, 2009 at 2:09 am

    This is pretty disgusting, but the tie ins between the AMA and big business had been going for years. i.e. 4 out of 5 doctors agree that smoking Lucky Strikes after a meal aids digestion etc…

    You would like to think they wouldn’t even try to associate themselves with a beverage made of corn syrup and chemicals, but the money must’ve been THAT good.

    Keeping in mind what many drug companies are pushing doctors to prescribe, Coke might be one of the better options for patients.

  20. How many of your obese patients drink huge amounts of soda? With current epidemic of obesity and diabetes, I think it is revolting and deeply unethical that a “health” organization associates itself with junk food loaded with sugar. And the diet sodas contain aspartame, a chemical that is dubious at best.

  21. woodinville chiropractor July 8, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Wow!!!! This information will be great for me to share with my chiropractic patients. Now they can see how big business has their hands in health care.

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