'Renegade Pharmacist' infographic stirs Coca-Cola health debate

The infographic claimed to show what happens to the human body in the minutes after consuming a can of Coca-Cola. Yet some media outlets say it has its facts wrong.

The soft-drink giant pushed back against an infographic that went viral this week
The soft-drink giant pushed back against an infographic that went viral this week

An infographic targeting Coca-Cola’s flagship brand that claims to show the negative effects of drinking soda went viral this week.

The infographic, created by former pharmacist Niraj Naik, who refers to himself as "The Renegade Pharmacist," trended on Twitter and Facebook on Thursday. It claims to show what happens to someone’s health in the first hour after drinking a can of Coca-Cola.

Although the chart was posted on Naik’s website in May, it piqued the Internet’s interest this week when it was reposted by the Truth Theory, according to The Blaze.

Asked for comment, Coca-Cola defended the contents of its flagship product.

"Coke has been enjoyed by millions of people around the world for 129 years," the company told PRWeek in an emailed statement. "The product contains sugar, this is not something we hide. Like all food and drinks, Coca-Cola can be enjoyed as part of a balanced lifestyle."

Other than its statement, Coca-Cola has not posted any messages about the infographic on social media or its website.

Although media coverage and Twitter posts on Thursday mostly took the infographic seriously, with many expressing disgust with the soda giant, the discussion shifted on Friday morning.

A number of media outlets, including BuzzFeed and Gizmodo, highlighted what they say are factual inaccuracies in Naik’s chart.

Naik also received 155 comments on the article since the chart resurfaced, many of which refuted his claims.

An article by First Post said the infographic doesn’t reveal anything the public doesn’t already know.

"And although opinions about the accuracy of the information in the infographic may differ and the details will be debated, the fact that aerated drinks are not good for the body, cannot," the article read. "And while no one will ever suggest that the consumption of fizzy drinks is healthy, it is a certainty that these beverages will remain popular with the masses."

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