July 17, 2013

Sickly sweet

Finally, a few media outlets (including The Huffington Post) are giving attention to what seems to the major hypocrisy surrounding Beyonce Knowles Carter signing a $50 million deal to promote Pepsi while having also been a significant part of first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move fitness campaign.

As reported in The Huffington Post, “Like Coca-Cola, Pepsi has long been criticized for targeting children (and adults) with sugary drinks that, when consumed in excess, have negative effects on long-term health.” Readers of this blog will not be surprised to know that I consider soda (both sugar-drenched and so-called “diet”) to potentially be one of the leading factors that contribute to obesity — not to mention poor health in general.

In a recent interview with Flaunt, Beyonce responds to the few critics who’ve called her to task on what seems like a major conflict of interest. Asks Flaunt, “Some were critical at your participating in a Pepsi campaign after you moved your body for childhood obesity. Where is the balance between your career objectives and your philanthropy?”

To which Beyond responds, “Pepsi is a brand I’ve grown up seeing my heroes collaborate with. The company respects musicians and artistry. I wouldn’t encourage any person, especially a child, to live life without balance.”


Some reporters, including The New York TimesMark Bittman, aren’t letting Beyonce off quite so easily. He writes, “Knowles is renting her image to a product that may one day be ranked with cigarettes as a killer we were too slow to rein in” and even goes onto note, “From saying, as she once did in referring to Let’s Move, that she was ‘excited to be part of this effort that addresses a public health crisis,’ she’s become part of an effort that promotes a public health crisis.”

I, for one, applaud Mr. Bittman for taking Beyonce to task. It’s this kind of hypocrisy that undermines the efforts being made to fight childhood obesity. CNN’s diet and fitness expert, Melina Jampolis, shares more on the dangers of drinking soda in her column, Is Drinking Soda Really That Bad for You?, which you can check out by clicking here.

As for Beyonce, I imagine the $50 million she’s supposedly earned from Pepsi will help contribute a lot to the overall health and well-being of her and her family. But what about the health and well-being of everyone who idolizes her and drinks Pepsi as a result of seeing her constant promotion for the company?

Kind of hard to swallow, isn’t it?

Photo Source: ONTD

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