Keith lobbied Coca Cola Headquarters in Atlanta on his 10 Minute Rule Bill, which requires soft drinks companies to reduce the amount of sugar in their drinks, and put some of their profits back into diabetes research.
In 2010 Coca-Cola had profits in excess of £21 bn. A single can of Coca-Cola contains up to 8 teaspoonfuls of sugar.
Keith Vaz raised his 10 Minute Rule Bill with Coca-Cola’s Health Director, and also discussed increasing the proportion of their products which are no-sugar and the work they are doing in low-income countries, as well as health education programmes they run in the USA.
“As a type-2 diabetes sufferer, this is an issue of great concern to me.
I was delighted to hear that Coca-Cola are increasing their portfolio of sugar-free soft drinks, and investing in health education programmes. However, soft drinks companies must reduce the amount of sugar in their drinks to make a real difference to the growing obesity and diabetes epidemics.
It is vital that manufacturers take responsibility for the costs to society of high-calorie products. Diabetes costs the NHS £1 million per hour but 80% of it can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle.”