Isn't it ironic that the multi-million-dollar companies that are most 'part of the problem' like to pretend that they're 'part of the solution'?

That's all I could think of when learning about Pepsi's big social-media-based "goodwill campaign" surrounding the SuperBowl this weekend. The company hopes to wow the country by relinquishing those coveted SuperBowl TV ad spots — reported to cost about $3 million this year — and vowing to spend the money on public grants for good works instead.

At the campaign website,, people can submit and then vote on favorite ideas for initiatives in health, arts and culture, food and shelter, the planet, neighborhoods and education. Pepsi will offer up to 32 grants in amounts of $5,000 to $250,000.

Sounds good. But the irony runs deep.

Pepsi Co. has poured a ton of money and effort into positioning itself as a catalyst for healthier living, to be sure. See their Human Sustainability and Healthy Weight Commitment campaigns.

But who are they kidding, really?




This is a company that in 2008, generated over $40 billion in revenue from snack foods and beverages, the bulk of which are "empty calories."  Their product portfolio reads like a roster of the nutritionally inept "snacks" (with the word "food" being the questionable term) that has made America fat: sugary drinks including Pepsi itself, Mountain Dew and Gatorade (one of the most-abused beverages, with 30g carb, 29.5 of them sugar, per 8 oz. bottle of orange flavor) — along with Fritos, Cheetos, Doritos, Tostitos, and supposedly alternative brands like Izze fruit drinks, which parade as natural, healthy options, but are in fact pure sugar.

To boost their health-promoting image, Pepsi Co. even launched a new nutritional research lab at Yale University in December.  They're certainly knocking themselves out to look like they're part of the solution.  Now stop for a moment to think why...

Bingo! You got it! Because they're a MAJOR offender in stuffing America full of salt, fat, and sugar.  That's what their products are: fat-makers, devoid of any real nutritional value.

Their various campaign websites talk a lot about "whole grains, fiber, fruit, vegetables, key vitamins and minerals"... But THAT'S not what they're feeding this country, is it now?

While Pepsi pours money into all these goodie-two-shoes prevention campaigns, I pose this challenge: Just what is Pepsi Co. doing about the 21 million Americans who already have diabetes?

That of course includes the rising rates of Type 2 diabetes in children, where companies like Pepsi do their most heinous pandering...

I say we challenge them to pay for FREE DIABETES EDUCATION all across the country. Every person diagnosed should have access to no-nonsense coaching on BG management and nutrition, up to eight sessions per year.

This was the proposal I wanted to submit to Pepsi's SuperBowl "Refresh" campaign, but the site is currently closed for entries (?), slated to re-open on March 1.

Browsing the Health category, I saw a few mentions of obesity and providing healthcare coverage for the uninsured, but nothing specific to diabetes.

I say: Step it up, Pepsi. As Oprah was just trumpeting last week, diabetes is dangerously on the rise, and you are unmistakably part of the problem!


Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For more details click here.


This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.