Drink more soda…it’s good for you

soda obesity nyc Drink more soda...its good for you

Not everyone is happy with the anti-obesity/anti-soda ad produced by the NYC Dept of Health.

And it isn’t just the people who lost their lunches after seeing that globby/fatty/veiny cup of goo.

It’s groups like the Center for Consumer Freedom.

In fact, the CCF was so upset, that they produced their own rebuttal ad and had it printed in the New York Times

you are too stupid consumer freedom Drink more soda...its good for you

BTW, a full page ad in the Times costs upwards of $158,004.


And we’re not even including the costs associated with creating the ad.

We’re talking big money.


And thinking about that big money awakened the skeptic in me. And that inner skeptic started thinking…who is the Center for Consumer Freedom and why are they spending a ton of money defending our freedoms against anti-cola advertisements?

So, I did a little research into the CCF.

My findings?

Apparently, there are a lot of people who don’t like the CCF.

To them, the CCF is nothing but a front group for the restaurant, alcohol and tobacco industries.

It runs media campaigns which oppose the efforts of scientists, doctors, health advocates, environmentalists and groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, calling them “the Nanny Culture — the growing fraternity of food cops, health care enforcers, anti-meat activists, and meddling bureaucrats who ‘know what’s best for you.’ ”

Over 40 percent of the group’s 2005 expenditure was paid to Rick Berman’s PR company, Berman & Co. for “management services. As part of its operations CCF runs a series of attack websites.


But, don’t take their word for it….Check out the “attack” websites

And, if that ain’t enough, watch this video…

Or listen to the man himself as Rick Berman is interviewed by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow…

So, what do you think?

Is Rick Berman…

  • standing up for your freedom against the American nanny state?
  • or is he spinning lies in order to promote the interests of his anonymous donors?


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Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, a social media nerd and a student of nutrition and exercise science. Since 2008, Doug has brought his real-world experience online via his health & fitness blog, Health Habits.


  1. Pingback: Big Food Fights Dirty in the War Against Obesity

  2. Juan

    October 27, 2010 at 9:52 am

    No problem, I really enjoy reading your blog and participating every once in a while. Lots of good content on your page !

  3. Juan

    October 26, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Quick answer after a run with my wife and daughter and before taking my son to soccer practice.
    I have attached a link from the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging Related Statistics. the name of the report is “Older Americans 2010″ Key indicators for well being.
    I have pasted the introduction of this work:

    Federal Report Details Health and Economic Status of Older Americans
    Today’s older Americans enjoy longer lives and better health than did previous generations. These and other trends are reported in Older Americans 2010: Key Indicators of Well-Being, a unique, comprehensive look at aging in the United States from the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics.
    Older Americans 2010, the fifth report prepared by the Forum since 2000, provides an updated, accessible compendium of indicators, drawn from the most reliable official statistics about the well-being of Americans primarily age 65 and older. The indicators are categorized into five broad areas—population, economics, health status, health risks and behaviors, and health care. The 155-page report contains data on 37 key indicators.
    The Forum—a consortium representing 15 agencies with responsibilities for federal data collection, programs serving older Americans, and research—assembles these data and makes them available to a wide constituency including other agencies, policy makers, researchers, and the public.
    WHEN: Older Americans 2010: Key Indicators of Well-Being will be available online at http://www.agingstats.gov on Monday, July 19, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. EDT.
    SPOKESPERSONS: The following individuals are available to comment on the report:
    National Institute on Aging: Richard Suzman, Ph.D., Director, NIA Division of
    Behavioral and Social Research


    • healthhabits

      October 26, 2010 at 3:56 pm

      Juan – thanks for the info – I love this stuff,

  4. Juan

    October 26, 2010 at 10:10 am

    I am not joking at all, I see it everyday, I work in Healthcare. The average 70 year old I see today is in much better shape than the ones I saw when I started my career twenty years ago. And I am not the only one, it is a shared opinion among colleagues.
    I will agree that people are required to do less physically than fifty years ago on their daily routines but at the same time there has been a booming fitness industry that is serving the needs of all types of consumers. Furthermore why do think that a great percentage of infomertials are selling fitness products ?. Evidently there is a huge market that is consuming exercise products, nutrition supplies, at home boot camps, Pilates, Yoga, Tai-Chi, you name it. So there is a balance that people try to achieve at their own pace, sorting out a extremely wide variety of choices that were not existent through masssive marketing twenty years ago.
    If you really believe that the average citizen in any industrial society is in worse shape than fifty years ago show some hard scientific evidence.

    • healthhabits

      October 26, 2010 at 2:58 pm


      That’s a very interesting observation about the seniors visiting your hospital.

      Like you, my beliefs about the relative “healthiness” of us v.s our ancestors is mostly anecdotal. There is a ton of research illustrating the things we can do to improve our current health dilemmas – obesity, diabetes, cvd, etc…. There are also lots of studies showing that societies that live lives similar to our ancestors don’t suffer from the same chronic diseases that we do.

      However, while they don’t suffer from our chronic diseases, they do suffer because they don’t share the same technological advances in medicine that we do.

      Coming back to your comment about finding some hard scientific evidence…without becoming snarky, I could say the same thing to you, and if my last half hour of searching has shown me, you will also be unable to prove your belief with any hard evidence

      Conclusion: we’re stuck at an impasse.

      Here are my thoughts:

      Our grandparents smoked more than us.
      But, they were more active overall
      However, we exercise more
      But, we also sit on our asses a lot more watching tv and computer screens
      They didn’t wear seatbelts
      And had higher infant mortality rates
      and were less effective at emergency medicine
      and ate real food instead of processed food

      Some aspects of our lives are more pro-health and some are more anti-health…it’s a mixed bag.

      If we’re smart and selfish, shouldn’t we choose the pro-health options…at least most of the time?

  5. Juan

    October 26, 2010 at 8:15 am

    I am sorry but there is little logic on your statement,if people are living longer it is not only due to medical advances that promote longer but disfunctional lifes, they certainly reach advanced ages healthier than in the past. Therefore they are better prepared to combat disease.
    There are a number of factors accounting for the increase in life expectancy one of them is that people are capable of staying active longer, just look around and see how many “Masters” events in almost any sport are organized. They receive massive participation.
    In the big picture we should strive for a well informed society, capable of making individual well informed decisions. Government regulations and the nanny state are on the opposite side of this equation. Educate, inform, promote healthy behavior do not tax, regulate and eventually control people lives.

    • healthhabits

      October 26, 2010 at 9:54 am


      Do you really believe that the typical 40 yr old, 60 yr old, or 80 yr old is healthier today than they were 50 yrs ago?

      And you have to be joking when you say that people are more active than before. There may be more senior athletes (I don’t know), but if we look at the general public, our day to day lives revolve around sitting for hours in cars, at work and at home. Activity levels are far lower than 50 yrs ago.

      I understand that you don’t like the idea of a nanny state (me either), but come on…you don’t really believe this stuff…do you?

  6. Lean Muscle Matt

    October 26, 2010 at 7:11 am

    Thanks for sharing!

    Let’s not forget the sugar-packed so called “energy” drinks that are marketed at youth during every sporting event from MMA to the X-Games. Our society has traded the cigarettes of yesteryear for these “power” drinks that pack over 70 grams of sugar in a 16 oz can. And we can’t figure out why we have an obesity problem? It’s called overindulgence, we DO it. It’s called physical activity, we DON’T DO it. Government can’t change our habits. That’s up to each and every one of us.

  7. Brendan Townsend

    October 26, 2010 at 4:05 am


    That’s a fairly easy question. Just because people are living longer does not mean they are living healthier lives. We’ve made advances in this thing called medical science and it enables doctors to keep unhealthy people alive for much longer than before. Unfortunately, this costs a lot of money and really is the primary reason for healthcare problems in the US and elsewhere.

    • healthhabits

      October 26, 2010 at 5:38 am

      My thunder has been stolen – nice answer Brendan

  8. Juan

    October 25, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    I will give a quick answer before I go to bed, answer this question for me: why is the life expectancy growing in industrialized countries ?. If everything that you are stating has hard scientific evidence then how would you explain that people are living longer ? why then the average 70 year old in the US looks and feels healthier than twenty years ago ? ask any of your colleagues in the states.
    At the same time, I do not drink soda however it is not because big government is my substitute mother and slaps my hand either with a tax on it or with overblown regulations.

  9. Juan

    October 25, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Rachel Maddow’s show is nothing else but liberal propaganda, her demeanor,sarcasm and self imposed aura of superiority do nothing else but to sink her at the bottom of the TV ratings.

  10. Juan

    October 25, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Yes I get the idea, you support persistent government illumination for every choice we need to make, obviously the majority of us are ignorant, brain dead, utterly irresponsible citizens.

    • healthhabits

      October 25, 2010 at 8:54 pm

      Sorry Juan, you don’t get my ideas.

      I don’t like rampant obesity, diabetes, alzheimer’s, heart disease
      I don’t like people & businesses who sell products that directly contribute to the lifestyle diseases mentioned above
      I don’t like spin doctors who try to manipulate public opinion & government legislation by means of psychological and biochemical / neurological manipulation if not outright bribery.

      If you think that you are being afforded an opportunity to make a well informed / non-manipulated choice, you are sadly mistaken.

      Soda tastes good…I agree with that.
      It’s refreshing on a hot summers day and it tastes good with some rum or jack Daniels

      It is also directly responsible for contributing to the above mentioned diseases
      It is addictive due to various hormonal and neurological processes
      It deadens your tastebuds and makes health/less sweet foods taste bland and unappetizing
      The food scientists hired by the manufacturers know all this and are constantly trying to find ways to make it more addictive
      The marketing experts hired by the manufacturers hire very expensive mental health experts to devise ways to convince you to buy more of their product
      The lobbyists that work for the manufacturers spend a lot of money to convince politicians to pass laws which will drive down the cost of producing soda
      The advertising arm of the business hire major celebrities to make the products appear en vogue
      The distribution arm of the manufacturers pay a lot of money to learn how and why people buy one product over another while shopping in the supermarket. Then they pay the store owner to place their products in the most desirable location

      So, please tell me how you are able to make an informed choice?

      You don’t even know that you are being played.

      For a few minutes of tastebud derived pleasure, America’s parents are selling out the health of their children.

      Say no to drugs, Say yes to diabetes

      And I have never watched Rachel Maddow before or after finding that youtube clip…but I did find it funny on last week’s 30 Rock how Alec Baldwin said that he and Rachel had the same haircut…funny stuff

  11. Roger

    October 13, 2009 at 10:22 am

    Term: Astroturfing comes to mind.
    Rachel Maddow does Excellent TV Journalism to present the stories behind the story without the high drama. It suprised me that Rick Berman appeared in person with her. I see it as indication of Rachel’s Credibility of her profession.

  12. NewsWarrior

    October 11, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Chill down man. take some soda.
    Interesting post. I like your writing style. Subscribing to your RSS feed. :)

  13. Brit

    October 8, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Rachel Maddow!!! Love her. But she’s a pundit on MSNBC, not CNBC.

  14. Tom Accuosti

    October 8, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Feh, shows how much you know. Soda, as it happens, is an excellent source of water! In fact, it’s one of the first ingredients listed.

    So there.

  15. DR

    October 8, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Damn you and your logic!!!

  16. DR

    October 12, 2009 at 12:10 am

    Thanks for the compliment & the rss

    Your comment made me think of this song

  17. DR

    October 13, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Astroturfing…that’s perfect