The Coca-Cola truck was greeted by more than just eager children this Christmas as protesters lined the streets to defend healthy lifestyles.
Protesters from Jamie Oliver’s SugarSmart campaign and the local Sustain UK took to the streets of Bournemouth on the 23 November to argue that Coca-Cola targets younger children in its marketing campaign, adding to the concerning levels of childhood obesity in Dorset.
The campaigners gave out free bottles of water and toothbrushes to the public to encourage a healthy diet and highlight the risk of tooth decay from consuming to much sugar.
Sarah Watson, manager of Sustain Food City in Bournemouth, said: “Coca-Cola may not intentionally market their products to children but if you turn up in a massive red truck with father Christmas and elves around its difficult to see how that wouldn’t attract young people. This may not be with intent but it’s kind of inevitable”.
Coca-Cola spent over 17 million pounds every year on advertising the iconic soft-drink which contains around nine teaspoons of sugar per 330ml can.
“It’s a real struggle to promote healthy living when companies like coca-cola have millions of pounds to throw at marketing and promotion”
Sustain Bournemouth plan to have more involvement within Dorset in the future including promoting food waste reduction at Bournemouth University and campaigning around food poverty in schools across the county.
Rising childhood obesity levels in Dorset
Interactive map of childhood obesity levels in Dorset