Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo. sponsor 96 national health and medical groups, including those that publish studies about sugar's effects on human health.
A study published by Boston University Medical Center found that the soda giants also lobbied against at least 28 bills designed to make people drink less soda and eat healthier.
The study authors also noted that PepsiCo doesn't publish a list of groups it sponsors, while Coca-Cola does.
Corporate philanthropy is a marketing tool that can be used to silence health organizations that might otherwise lobby...
The American Heart Association insisted "under no circumstances does such occasional funding have any influence on our science and the public policy positions we advocate for."
Coca-Cola spent more than $6 million a year on lobbying between 2011 and 2014.
A report cited by EurekAlert estimated that drinking soda caused one-fifth of all weight gain in the U.S. between 1977 and 2007. Soda is also tied to diabetes, but the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is on the study's list.
Many saw this as a significant conflict of interest.