As the Chief Technical Officer of The Coca-Cola Company, I am responsible for developing new beverages, ensuring that all of our drinks are safe and overseeing our scientific research partnerships – and I was dismayed to read the recent New York Times’ inaccurate portrayal of our company and our support of the Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN). The story claimed Coke is funding scientific research to convince people that diets don’t matter – only exercise. In fact, that is the complete opposite of our approach to business and well-being and nothing could be further from the truth.

Yes, we fund scientific research through GEBN and we are proud to support the work that scientists such as Dr. Jim Hill and Dr. Steve Blair do – because their type of research is critical to finding solutions to the global obesity crisis. 

At Coke, we believe that a balanced diet and regular exercise are two key ingredients for a healthy lifestyle and that is reflected in both our long-term and short-term business actions.

In fact, not only have we joined with America's food and beverage industry to promote moderation and healthy eating across the United States, we are doing this globally. 

Our business strategy is for more people to enjoy our products more often, but with exactly the size, calories and content that fit their lifestyles. And from top to bottom at Coca-Cola, we have called on our people to innovate on more natural products, to create low-and-no calorie options – and to simply make our packages smaller

People are smart and they are buying the products that fit their lives – whether water, juice, diet or full calorie drinks – we are listening and responding.                                                                     

Dr. Ed Hays is the Chief Technical Officer of The Coca-Cola Company.