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Cartoon Bears Take on Big Soda


Michelle Obama and Michael Bloomberg aren’t alone in their quest to instill healthier habits in the American people. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a non-profit health advocacy organization, is taking the fight straight to the “Big Soda” industry by invoking the sweetness of Coke’s polar bears—and subjecting their bodies to the effects of excessive soda consumption.

CSPI escalated its longstanding campaign to reduce the consumption of soda and other sugary drinks with the release of “ The Real Bears ,” an animated short film exposing soda’s serious health consequences (can you say cartoon bear foot amputation?). CSPI even got Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Jason Mraz to perform the videos theme song.

See the clever (and brutal) video here:

Soda consumption has declined slightly in recent years, but sugary drinks are still the biggest single source of calories in the American diet, accounting for about 7 percent, CSPI said in a press release . The organization says each additional sugary drink consumed per day increases the likelihood of a child becoming obese by about 60 percent. Drinking one or two sugary drinks per day increases one's risk for type 2 diabetes by 27 percent.

"Coke and Pepsi have skillfully cultivated incredibly strong emotional bonds with consumers around the world even though their products actually cause quite a bit of misery," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. "The Real Bears seeks to sever some of those bonds, and to get people thinking about what they're drinking. We don't have their budgets but we do have the truth. And the truth is that soda equals sadness."

And is there anything sadder than seeing a cartoon polar bear struggle with erectile dysfunction? I don’t think so.

What’d you think of the video?

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Mark Micheli is Special Projects Editor for Government Executive Media Group. He's the editor of Excellence in Government Online and contributes to GovExec, NextGov and Defense One. Previously, he worked on national security and emergency management issues with the US Treasury Department and the Department of Homeland Security. He's a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and studied at Drake University.

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