Coca-Cola says it spend $118.6 million on health research, partnerships since 2010

Associated Press

Coca-Cola says it spent $118.6 million on health research and partnerships over the past five years, including funding for a group that was criticized for downplaying the role of sugary drinks in fueling obesity.

The world's biggest beverage maker vowed last month to be more transparent about efforts to promote health messages and programs. The pledge came after a New York Times story detailed the company's funding for the Global Energy Balance Network.

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In a video announcing the network, one of the group's leaders said the media focuses on "blaming fast food, blaming sugary drinks, and so on."

On its website, Coca-Cola said it spent $21.8 million on scientific research and $96.8 million on "health and well-being partnerships," including payments to health experts who share their views with the public.