Operation: DEFEAT SODATRON - KENYA

Please join us in supporting Operation: DEFEAT SODATRON Kenya mission, a youth led, art inspired rebellion against BIG SODA's aggressive efforts to sell our communities a drink known to cause disease.

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As Operation DEFEAT SODATRON has spread the truth about soda in the United States there has been a dramatic drop in U.S. soda sales.  Youth are rebelling against BIG SODA's aggressive efforts to target their communities with a drink known to increase obesity, type 2 diabetes, tooth decay, and heart disease.  Coke and Pepsi have responded to this drop in domestic sales by spending billions of dollars to market and disseminate soda in South America, India, China, Indonesia, Africa, and beyond.  

Here is a quote from Joe Tripodi, Chief Marketing Officer at Coca Cola, March 2014...

"Vision 2020 is Coke's plan to double its business by 2020...  This aggressive plan is focused on dramatically increasing consumption of sugary beverages by young people, mostly Latino and African-American communities in the United States and developing nations abroad... "

A prime example of this effort to increase global sales  was on display during the World Cup soccer tournament.  Every World Cup highlight video that we watched started with a Share A Coke advertisement.  Pop star Jason Derulo's Coca Cola Anthem for the World Cup had over 41 million views as of July 10th.  Our network of community health volunteers in Kenya tell us that Coca Cola soccer balls are being handed out in villages. 

 Coca Cola World Cup Advertisement, 2018.

Coca Cola World Cup Advertisement, 2018.

 

The Coca Cola Corporation, otherwise known as SODATRON, is actively invading nations with its robotic tentacles of greed, pumping children full of addictive sugary poison, spraying billboards that sell soda as happiness, yanking kids off water fountains, and paying off government officials to play along. 

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We have seen this playbook before with the tobacco industry.  As Americans learned the hidden truth about the devastating effects of cigarettes, BIG TOBACCO aggressively targeted developing nations with their highly toxic and addictive products.  The global health fallout from this relentless dissemination rumbles on to this day.

 British American Tobacco advertisement in Kenya

British American Tobacco advertisement in Kenya

 

SODATRON, like BIG TOBACCO, is working overtime to use its money and power to derail regional and global efforts to educate children on the truth about its products.  This strategy has been effectively employed in the United States with Coke money flowing to organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the National Institute of Health (NIH).  This high level health policy corruption helps explain our inept response to the catastrophic rise in national obesity and diabetes rates.  With over 2 billion people worldwide either overweight or obese, this national problem has become a global health crisis of unseen proportions.  

We feel the best way to DEFEAT SODATRON is to rally the people.  Our youth led, art inspired rebellion against BIG SODA empowers youth with the truth about soda so they can choose health over a path to chronic disease and premature death.  In 2017, we piloted a DEFEAT SODATRON campaign in Kenya to coincide with International Quit Soda Day.  Our friends at Global Health Disrupted utilized our DEFEAT SODATRON counterbranding materials to engage youth in an art infused rebellion against soda.  Kenyan youth embraced the campaign.  Empowered with new knowledge, they began creating rebel art of their own. 

 Empowered by knowledge, these Kenyan youth create art to express their dissent.

Empowered by knowledge, these Kenyan youth create art to express their dissent.

 A parade of colorful DEFEAT SODATRON artwork from school children in Kenya. Youth art becomes a nidus for rebellion against BIG SODA greed and propaganda.

A parade of colorful DEFEAT SODATRON artwork from school children in Kenya. Youth art becomes a nidus for rebellion against BIG SODA greed and propaganda.

 An impressive SODATRON created by Alex, a grade 3 student in Nairobi... he has been reflecting on the health dangers of sugary drinks and wants to avoid diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay, and obesity.

An impressive SODATRON created by Alex, a grade 3 student in Nairobi... he has been reflecting on the health dangers of sugary drinks and wants to avoid diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay, and obesity.

 Who wants to quit soda for good? An auditorium full of Nairobian and International students make the pledge to DEFEAT SODATRON.

Who wants to quit soda for good? An auditorium full of Nairobian and International students make the pledge to DEFEAT SODATRON.

In 2018, with the help of our partners at Global Health Disrupted (GHD), we are expanding our efforts in Kenya.  GHD has been training Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) in Kenya to deliver the truth about soda and sugary drinks to the surrounding communities. Our Design Director, Mike Rich, is creating a comic to inspire a youth rebellion against SODATRON's invasion of Africa.

 SODATRON sets his sights on Africa with his robotic tentacles of greed ready to pump kids full of sugary poison. Draft comic cover by Mike Rich Design.

SODATRON sets his sights on Africa with his robotic tentacles of greed ready to pump kids full of sugary poison. Draft comic cover by Mike Rich Design.



We will invite Kenyan youth to submit their own comics that tell the story of a youth led rebellion to defeat SODATRON.   Our Hip Hop Director, Mike Be, has produced a new music track, titled POISON, protesting SODATRON's invasion of Africa and India with contributions from legendary hip hop artist General Steele of Smif-N-Wessun and Los Angeles based hip hop artist SETI X, aka Mandeep Sethi, with roots in India and hailed by GQ Magazine as “India’s booming hip hop scene’s new voice.”  The chorus of this track is designed for Kenyan youth to learn, perform, and share through their digital media networks.

Please join us in supporting Operation: DEFEAT SODATRON Kenya mission, a youth led, art inspired rebellion against BIG SODA's aggressive efforts to sell our communities a drink known to cause disease.  We empower youth with the truth about SODA so they have the knowledge to choose health over a path to chronic disease and premature death.  Empowered by knowledge,  with art as their weapon ...  YOUTH will DEFEAT SODATRON !      

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Cancer and School Lunch

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We know that the high sugar content of school food contributes to the childhood obesity and diabetes epidemics.  But could it also be increasing a child's cancer risk?  Scientific leaders in cancer research make a strong case for YES.  

The connection looks like this….

Excessive sugar consumption = Increasing obesity rates

 Increasing obesity rates = Increasing cancer rates

so by the transitive property excessive sugar consumption = increasing cancer rates.

 There is strong new evidence linking obesity to an increased risk of 13 different cancers.              ( http://nyti.ms/2bGbAwZ )  There is also no debate on the leading cause of obesity, excessive sugar consumption.  

The next logical question is how much sugar do our kids consume through the school lunch and breakfast program?  Here are some numbers from a public elementary school near me….

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The answer as demonstrated in Figure 1 and Figure 2 is a child in elementary school can consume about 30 teaspoons of sugar if they eat breakfast and lunch at school.  Figure 3 shows the recent American Heart Association recommendation that children consume no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day.  Therefore, by eating breakfast and lunch at school, a child can consume 5 times the recommended amount of sugar each day.

Figure 3

To magnify the enormity of the sugar exposure at school I have included an article from the New England Journal of Medicine that demonstrates the effect of JUST 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day on a child.   These effects were measured in a double blinded, randomized placebo controlled study that demonstrated statistically significant effects on weight gain, skinfold-thickness measurements, waist-to-height ratio, and fat mass.  Here is the link to this invaluable study… 

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1203034

Remember that the effects seen in this study were from 6 teaspoons of sugar per day, while kids consume about 30 teaspoons of sugar per day by eating breakfast and lunch at our public schools (5 times the amount in this study).  

The logic connecting school lunch to cancer risk follows quite nicely from the above elucidation.  By eating breakfast and lunch at school your child can consume 30 teaspoons of added sugar, 5 times the recommended amount of sugar by the American Heart Association and 5 times the amount of sugar that showed statistically significant effect on weight gain, skin fold-thickness measurements, waist-to-height ratio, and fat mass in the NEJM study on children. 

If you still think connecting the high sugar content of our school food to cancer seems far-fetched then perhaps these cancer experts can sway you...

Lewis Cantley, Director of the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School, put it this way:  "Sugar scares me."

Craig Thompson, the President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York says,  "I have eliminated refined sugar from my diet and eat as little as I possibly can, because I believe ultimately it's something I can do to decrease my risk of cancer."

 

The above quotes are borrowed from the NY Times Magazine Article from 4/13/2011, Is Sugar Toxic, written by Gary Taubes (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?pagewanted=all ).  

 

The Failure of Michelle Obama's LETS MOVE Campaign

Michelle Obama is an incredible person.  Michelle Obama has been an outstanding First Lady of the United States.  The Lets Move campaign has been an outstanding movement for promoting exercise to our youth.  The Lets Move campaign has done a nice job promoting gardens and the consumption of vegetables.

However, if we judge the Lets Move campaign on its stated mission to "solve the problem of obesity within a generation" then the campaign has been a tremendous failure.  This failure is no surprise to the scientists and doctors who work in the field of childhood obesity.   The science based key to reversing the obesity epidemic lies in decreasing exposure to added sugars.  If you tell a child to exercise more BEFORE you get them off sugary drinks then they actually gain more weight.  The science is simple….A 30 minute soccer practice is NOT enough exercise to burn off the gatorade the child brings to "rehydrate" with.   Every week I see children in my office who are frustrated that their efforts to exercise have failed to solve their weight problem.  These children and families feel hopeless.  They have followed the instructions of our national leadership and continue to gain more weight.  The first thing we do is to explain the TRUTH about beating childhood obesity…. LETS NOT DRINK SUGAR.  We challenge the children to battle SODATRON, the evil SODA monster, who is ravaging our communities.  They must NOT drink the poison of the enemy for one month ( no sugary drinks for one month) and then they return to our office.   Inevitably, upon return, their weight has plateaued or even decreased. More important then the successful weight loss is that THESE CHILDREN FEEL EMPOWERED, their sense of hopelessness has disappeared.  

WE MUST ACT NOW TO CHANGE THE NATIONAL STRATEGY as obesity rates have hit an all-time high this year.  The public health consequences of our flawed national strategy are catastrophic. 

 OPERATION: #DEFEATSODATRON

OPERATION: #DEFEATSODATRON

For those who want to read more on the science of reversing the obesity epidemic, we recommend this article by Dr. Aseem Malhotra.

For those who want to learn more about the science of sugar we recommend this video lecture from Dr. Robert Lustig. 

In 2012 our campaign attempted to warn Michelle Obama and the Lets Move campaign of the imminent failure of their strategy with this blogpost. 

 

 

America Needs a Sugar Tax Yesterday

Thanks to the efforts of vocal public health advocates, Jamie Oliver and Dr. Aseem Malhotra, Britain passed a sugar tax this week.  This tax on sugary drinks will raise an estimated 730 million dollars a year to be used for funding sports and breakfast programs in the schools.  

Mexico passéd a tax on sugary drinks and has seen consumption rates drop by 12% in one year.  Simultaneously, Mexico has ramped up a program to ensure kids have safe drinking water in their schools.

America urgently needs a sugar tax of our own.   The obesity rate in the US hit an all time high this year of 30%.  Also, this year, it was announced that 90 million Americans have pre diabetes. The science is clear.  Drinking one sugary drink per day increases your risk of obesity by 60%.

 Drinking 1 to 2 sugary drinks per day increases your risk of type 2 diabetes by 25%.

 Current projections suggest that half of all Latino and Black children in the US will end up with type 2 diabetes in their lifetime.  Data from Mexico clearly show a tax will decrease consumption.  WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR?   

The sugar tax revenue could be used to:

1)  Ensure all families and schools have safe drinking water for their children.  

2) Eliminate junk food from our school food program (Fruit Loops, Chocolate milk, Chicken Nuggets, Cocoa Puffs) and replace it with real food so our most vulnerable children have the nutrients they need to thrive.

3) Promote a more sustainable food system by teaching families and communities to grow their own food.   (see The Ron Finley Project)

4)  Subsidize the purchase of real food through the SNAP program and phase out the purchase of sugary junk food.  

From a public health standpoint a sugar tax is a NO BRAINER.  

For the anti tax people out there….please think about the looming cost of 90 million pre diabetics. We are looking at catastrophic healthcare costs from the exorbitant complications that diabetics suffer from including heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, blindness, infections, impotence, and amputation.

In conclusion, WE OWE IT TO OUR CHILDREN to provide clean drinking water, real food, and a childhood that guides youth away from the path to chronic disease.

 

 

4th Annual DunkTheJunk Superbowl Hashtag Hijack

4th Annual DunkTheJunk Superbowl Hashtag Hijack

WHEN:   Superbowl Sunday, Feb 7th, ALL DAY… and especially during the game.

WHAT:   Tweet the TRUTH about SODA to the #PepsiHalftime hashtag.

WHO:   Anyone interested in disseminating the TRUTH about SODA.

WHY:   SODA is the new TOBACCO.

Please join our twitter posse to inundate the #PepsiHalftime hashtag with the TRUTH about SODA.

Thank you,

Dr. Kevin Strong & the Dunk the Junk crew. 

Video below has audio of NFL superstar Tom Brady calling SODA "poison for kids."