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Controversy over Coca Cola-backed pro-sugar campaign

11:38 12/04/2013

The Flemish Professional Association of Food Experts and Dieticians (VBVD) has courted controversy by launching a new advertising campaign in favour of the consumption of sugar that is funded by soft drinks manufacturer Coca Cola, reports Flanders News. Belgium's High Council for Health has raised concerns, as have dieticians. The campaign states that sugar can be part of a healthy diet, claiming "it is perfectly possible to combine healthy food and enjoyment!" The advert says that sugar is not a poison, but stresses that excess is harmful. The ad points to High Council for Health’s advice that no more than ten percent of our energy needs should come from sugars that have been added to foods, and even displays the VBVD logo. The High Council for Health is unhappy with the ad because it gives the impression that it promotes sugar. "Belgians consume twice as much sugar as they should… Encouraging people to consume more sugar is ridiculous," says food expert and former VBVD chair Patrick Mullie of the Free University of Brussels. "Dieticians should be seen as independent food experts and this is now being seriously undermined."

Written by The Bulletin