Coca-Cola shrinks cans to fight obesity

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Coca-cola

Coca-Cola has introduced a 90-calorie mini can - billed as a better way to help consumers manage their calories.

It is the latest obesity fighting measure from the company and comes as the US government considers a tax on sugary drinks.

Lower portion sizes

The idea behind the new can is that it cuts portion size and therefore enables people to keep their soft drink consumption down to healthy levels. At 7.5-fluid ounces, the can is just over half the size of the standard 12 ounce can.

Drink can size hit the headlines several weeks ago when the American Heart Association (AHA) released strict added sugar guidelines that put a woman well over the daily limit for drinking just one 12-ounce can of regular soda.

By offering smaller can sizes Coca-Cola can allow people to drink a fizzy drink without breaking these recommended limits.

Smaller cans are one of several recent obesity fighting initiatives from Coca-Cola. Most recently, the company began adding calorie counts to the front of drinks packaging in the US and Mexico. It plans to include energy information on the front of all packs around the globe by the end of 2011.

Industry fights back

Coca-Cola has also joined other leading companies including PepsiCo and Kellogg’s to create an industry coalition called the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation.

Advocating the need to balance calories consumed with those expended through physical exercise, the industry group comes into being as obesity climbs up the political agenda.

Soda is a particularly hot topic in the US at the moment. A tax on sugary drinks is a strong possibility and the industry is working hard to present alternatives.

Smaller portion sizes, awareness campaigns, and better labelling are all methods that the big companies are now embracing to demonstrate a commitment to fighting obesity and poor health.

Coca-Cola is introducing its smaller can in Washington DC and New York before it is rolled out across the country next year. Brands available in the 7.5-fluid ounces include classic Coca-Cola as well as Sprite, Fanta Orange, Cherry Coca-Cola and Barq’s Root Beer.

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