Press Clips: Coca-Cola Pulls the Plug on the Global Energy Balance Network

gebnCoke Cuts Ties with GEBN

The Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN) is no more. The Associated Press (AP) reported that the Coca-Cola Company-backed non-profit is ceasing its operations, citing “resource limitations.” GEBN’s end comes three months after The New York Times first shined a light into the organization, which posited that the United States’ obesity epidemic is the result Americans’ lack of exercise rather than their eating habits. Things only got worse for the GEBN from there when it was revealed that Coke’s involvement with the nonprofit extended well beyond just funding its scientific studies to selecting its leadership team, editing its mission statement, and recommending content for its online platforms. The AP also revealed that Coke’s chief health and science officer Rhona Applebaum, who managed the relationship between the soda giant and GEBN, has retired.

Beyond the Gatorade/Powerade Binary of Sports Drinks

The Wall Street Journal recently explored an emerging subset of sports drinks being used by runners, cyclists and triathletes. Featured within are Nuun, Hüma, Honey Stinger energy gels, Untapped, and Ultima Replenisher, which shun sugar and artificial ingredients seen in category leaders Gatorade and Powerade.

Meanwhile, VICE Media’s food channel Munchies is saying the that best sports drink out is plain old H2O with a spoonful of sugar. According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology & Metabolism, researchers from The University of Bath in England found that cyclists who drank sugar with water benefited more than those who drank water alone or glucose-based sports drinks.

imgresNick Saban: “You can ask the bottle, but don’t ask me.”

University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban deferred all questions surrounding his defensive coordinator Kirby Smart’s job to a bottle of Coca-Cola this week. Deadspin’s got the video of a recent press conference, in which a reporter asked Saban to comment on recent reports that Smart may be headed to the University of Georgia to lead the Bulldogs as head coach.

“You all speculate and create things and then you want people to respond to it,” Saban told reporters before lifting the bottle of cola from the podium. “Get this bottle to respond to it because I don’t know anything more than that.”

The Macho Posturing of Monster’s Marketing

scaleIn a recent piece entitled “How Energy Drink Companies Prey on Male Insecurities” The New Yorker took a look at the (alpha) male-centric marketing of the energy drink segment. The piece centers around a new study published in the November issue of Health Psychology, where researchers at the University of Akron polled 467 men on the degree to which they subscribed to traditional ideals surrounding male masculinity and their energy drink consumption and sleep patterns. Their findings? The more a man adhered to the macho stereotypes of manliness, the more energy drinks he consumed and as a result, the worse off his sleep was.

“There are so many men who still struggle with the belief that they are obligated to perform traditional masculinity or they’re worthless,” said professor Ronald F. Levant, who led the study. “That’s the vulnerability that marketers and advertisers tap into.”