ARTICLE: Coca-Cola’s sneaky, evil politics: How Big Soda twisted race and used the Koch Brothers to fight a tax




When I first came to the New York City health department in the summer of 2007, then-health commissioner Tom Frieden asked me what he should do about obesity. What was a middling problem in the 1970s had by then erupted into a public health crisis killing some 100,000 Americans a year. Two-thirds of Americans were overweight or obese and one in nine adults had Type 2 diabetes. Like many others in public health, I saw the source of the obesity epidemic as a toxic food environment, especially cheap, calorie-dense, ready-to-eat foods and beverages, offered at arm’s reach everywhere from office vending machines to hardware stores. I didn’t have a good answer. Frieden surprised me by saying that he thought the single best thing we could do was tax soda. And with that he started down a course that would shape the nation’s response to the epidemic. Read More