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Boxes of Coca-Cola seen at a grocery store. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Coca-Cola's advertising continues to target teenagers despite public-health concerns about childhood obesity, according to a paper published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Why it matters: Childhood obesity is expected to cost the U.S. $14 billion a year in direct health expenses. Rising obesity rates will translate into Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The big picture: Scientists have called on national sports organizations to seek healthier sponsors, as a way to curb childhood obesity.

  • But Coca-Cola spent millions on an ad campaign during the 2016 summer Olympics that was targeted at teens, the paper says.
  • It cites several internal memos from Coca-Cola, which said the campaign was designed to "increase Coke brand health scores with teens” and “cement credibility in the health and well-being space.”

The other side, per Coca-Cola:

"At Coca-Cola, we recognize that too much sugar isn’t good for anyone. That’s why, around the world, we are reducing the amount of sugar in our products and taking other steps to help people reduce their sugar intake.
We have long had a global policy of not marketing to children under 12, and all of our marketing campaigns are designed to comply with that policy."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

N.Y. Times faces culture clashes as business booms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York Times columnist David Brooks' resignation from a paid gig at a think tank on Saturday is the latest in a flurry of scandals that America's biggest and most successful newspaper company has endured in the past year.

Driving the news: Brooks resigned from the Aspen Institute following a BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered conflicts of interest between his reporting and money he accepted from corporate donors for a project called "Weave" that he worked on at the nonprofit.

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.

2021 sees a record number of bills targeting trans youth

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Republicans in at least 25 states have introduced over 60 bills targeting transgender children — a legislative boom since January that has beaten 2020's total number of anti-trans bills.

Why it matters: LGBTQ advocates say the unprecedented push was catalyzed by backlash to Biden's election and the Supreme Court ruling that workers cannot be fired for being gay or transgender.