- Coca-Cola is ending its financial sponsorship of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as the company performs a funding review. The academy has been criticized over the past few years on its acceptance of millions of dollars from large food and drink companies.
- Coca-Cola contributed $2.6 million to the health organization over the past eight years for conferences and programs.
- The company recently revealed its nearly $120 million of funding of scientific research and health and fitness programs in the U.S. since 2010.
Coca-Cola's transparency push comes as controversy swirls for the soda giant. The New York Times reported the company's funding of the Global Energy Balance Network, which promoted exercise as the solution for obesity rather than diet. Coca-Cola said the report "created confusion."
As for the academy's sponsorship, "Coke spokeswoman Joanna Price said the company made the decision early in the summer not to renew the sponsorship for budget reasons and that it is broadly reviewing its partnerships aimed at addressing obesity," The Wall Street Journal reported. However, this doesn't mean Coca-Cola can't fund the academy again after its sponsorship expires.
Coca-Cola will not have an exhibit at the health group's annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo starting Saturday, where it has held a place for several years.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics made industry headlines earlier this year when it decided to remove its "Kids Eat Right" label from Kraft Singles cheese products, the first product to receive the label, within weeks of issuing it.