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| Opinion |

Miami Beach Forms Unhealthy Alliance With The Coca-Cola Company

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In a shameless act of pure greed, the City of Miami Beach has formed a beverage sponsorship agreement with the Coca-Cola Company.

This does not mean that when exiting the MacArthur Causeway onto Fifth Street that you will drive past a sign that reads Welcome to Coca-Cola Miami Beach. It does mean that Coca-Cola is now the exclusive non-alcoholic beverage of Miami Beach.

The SunPost reports that vending machines at parks and other public areas will sell Coca-Cola brand soft drinks exclusively, as will the concessionaires at the Fillmore, the Miami Beach Convention Center, and other Miami Beach locations.

Coca-Cola will provide the city with millions of dollars as well as free products in exchange for its non-compete status. But at what cost to the city and its reputation?

Coca-Cola consumption has been linked to cancer, high blood pressure, liver disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and tooth decay. Not only is the product causing damage to Americans, but the company heavily targets the people of developing countries, even offering its products at lower prices - to make sure that the poor can get a taste. In these developing nations, Coca-Cola is even given to infants.

A few years ago I was diagnosed with diabetes and mild osteoporosis. My doctor told me that the two health conditions were directly related to my Coke habit -- about one 2 liter bottle per day. Even I, who fortunately or not live in a country where I can access information literally at the touch of a button, was surprised.

I mean come on, doc. I knew that drinking Coke wasn't exactly good for me, but drinking it gave me what?

So imagine the citizens of countries who are so off the grid and out of the loop that they have never even seen a computer, let alone used one, chugging down their feel good drink du jour.

If I, an American-born, tech-savvy, educated consumer was shocked that Coca-Cola consumption had given me diabetes and osteoporosis, do you think that they are aware of the health risks involved?

The funny thing is that I'd be willing to bet that a large portion of the residents of Miami Beach either do not consume sodas at all or do so sparingly. Miami Beach is known worldwide as home of the body beautiful. Residents walk, bike, blade, and run. They eat organic. They work out at the gym. They drink water.

They do not chug down the official non-alcoholic beverage of Miami Beach.

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