Big Soda vs. public health in San Antonio
Dr. Thomas Schlenker, who directs San Antonio’s Metropolitan Health, asked the City Council to support a “drink less soda” campaign.
The City Council said no. It fired Dr. Schlenker.
A representative of the Texas Beverage Association and Coca-Cola’s director of public affairs sit on the City Council and have veto power over its actions.
Maybe, but as Dr. Schlenker explains, Big Soda has donated millions to city government.
Says the Wall Street Journal,
One of the soft drink industry’s biggest challenges: constantly fighting the perception that soda is really bad for you. No matter how much money it spends on research or argues that exercise lowers obesity, the industry is playing a never-ending game of Whac-A-Mole. When it beats down critics in one place, they pop right back up in another.
Other cities, even in Texas, are looking for ways to slow down the rising prevalence of obesity. Cutting out sugary drinks is a great first step. Other cities should hire Dr. Schlenker.