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Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 9:22am

Coca-Cola Addresses Obesity In Ad

Atlanta-based soft drink giant Coca-Cola is addressing obesity for the first time in its television ads.

The company plans to air a new commercial as public debate continues over the health concerns of sugary drinks.

The ad lays out Coca-Cola's record of providing drinks with fewer calories over the years.

It notes weight gain is a result of consuming too many calories of any kind -- not just soda.

But the effort isn't likely to sway company critics, such as Mike Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

"Legislators are pushing for taxes on soft drinks," Jacobson says. "New York City is limiting serving sizes at restaurants. And they're fighting back. This is clearly a very expensive public relations campaign."

The two minute commercial will air starting next week on on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.

"There's a book called Damage Control 101 that every big company reads when they run into trouble," Jacobson says. "And Coca-Cola's taking a page out of that book by mounting PR campaigns."

Coca-Cola says the ad isn't a response to mounting pressure, but rather is intended to raise awareness of lower-calorie drinks.

The company says it will kick off a variety of moves to help address obesity in the year ahead.