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FILE - In this March 17, 2011 file photo, Jane Choi holds cans of Coca-Cola and Diet Coke in Anne's Deli, in Portland, Ore. Coca-Cola Co. said Tuesday, July 19,2011, its second-quarter net income rose 18 percent as its business grew around the world, led by the strength of its namesake beverage.  (AP Photo)

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo sponsor health and medical groups that publish studies about sugar

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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...
Michael Siegel, study author

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.

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FILE - In this May 31, 2012 file photo, a man leaves a 7-Eleven store with a Double Gulp drink, in New York. If New York City bans big sodas, what's next? Large slices of pizza? Double-scoop ice cream cones? Tubs of movie-theater popcorn? The 16-ounce strip steak? Opponents of the proposed ban may use that slippery-slope argument along with other legal strategies to try to block the first-in-the-nation rule. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

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.

Should the government restrict how much soda we drink?

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