Early Start's new website

Head to http://www.cnn.com/shows/early-start for your news.




January 15th, 2013
06:43 AM ET

Will Coca-Cola's new anti-obesity ad make a difference? Elizabeth Cohen explains

Coca-Cola, the world's most valuable brand, has joined the fight against America's weight problem. The soda giant launched a campaign aimed at "finding meaningful solutions to the complex challenge of obesity" on Monday. Critics claim the new ad is hypocritical. CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen explains the goal of this new campaign this morning on “Early Start”.

According to advocacy groups, the ad will have little impact, Cohen reports. “The Center for Science in the Public Interest says this is not meaningful,” she says. “They say that Coke is basically trying to do damage control. That Coke has seen what Mayor Bloomberg has done in New York, at limiting soda sizes and availability, and they don't want other people to do it, so that’s why they think they’re doing it.”

However, Coke refutes that claim, saying that they’re trying to make a meaningful contribution to the fight against obesity, and they say with all of their no-calorie and low-calorie products they actually have made a meaningful contribution.

Posted by
Filed under: Obesity • Sugar
October 8th, 2012
08:11 AM ET

Too fat to serve? Kevin Ammerman on losing 160 lbs to join the US Army

Mission: Readiness is a group of senior retired military leaders that calls childhood obesity a national security issue because it compromises military recruiting. A report by the group says that one in four young Americans is too overweight to serve in the military. Military recruiters told 34-year-old Kevin Ammerman that he was one of them, so he lost 160 pounds in order to enlist in the US Army. He joins John Berman on “Early Start” this morning to talk about his mission accomplished.

Ammerman, whose younger brother is serving in the military, says he’s always talked about enlisting and grew up in a family with a lot of respect for the military. "That was one of the major reasons for me,” he says. A big key for losing weight for Ammerman was to have to want to do it, “and you have to do want to do it enough that you’ll write down what you’re eating.” Steps like this led him to his ultimate achievement, and the new recruit is now heading to boot camp.

Ammerman responds to the statistic from Mission: Readiness regarding 25% of young Americans are just too overweight to serve. “That’s a problem,” he says. “I’m actually able to outperform guys who are in their 20s...the battery of tests you have to take to determine what job you’re in, a lot of younger people are not scoring very high at all. And it’s kind of troubling."

Ammerman’s biggest personal fear heading into boot camp is that people may expect more from him because he is older than most recruits. “I’m worried I’ll let somebody down or something like that.”

Filed under: Military • Obesity
June 1st, 2012
11:47 AM ET

Coca-Cola rep responds to NYC sugary drink ban, says physical activity also important in fight against obesity

Coca-Cola vice president of science and regulatory affairs Rhona Applebaum on NYC Mayor Bloomberg's sugary drink ban.

Filed under: Obesity
June 1st, 2012
11:03 AM ET

NYC health commissioner Farley on city obesity crisis: Limit on sugary beverages makes 'awful lot of sense sense'

A war on soda is raging this morning. The fallout continues from a controversial new policy proposal here in New York City by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who facing some very sharp criticism over a proposal that would limit the amount of soda that can be sold in a single container.

Critics are saying the city is really overstepping its bounds here. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, though, is defending the idea.

"We're not taking your right away to buy soda in a supermarket which we don't regulate," Bloomberg says. "You can still buy a 32-ounce can of full sugar drinks or bottle, but in a restaurant, they can't serve more than 16 ounces in any one cup."

The limit is also set to apply to movie theaters, food carts and concession stands, and it's being submitted to the city's board of health on June 12th.

This morning on "Early Start," New York City's health commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley explains the proposed plan and respond to the chorus of criticism that erupted when the plan was announced.

Filed under: Obesity
May 31st, 2012
08:05 AM ET

A sugary drink ban in NYC? Alina Cho reports on Mayor Bloomberg's controversial plan

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is ready to enact a city-wide plan that would be a big first in the fight against obesity. But, it comes with a lot of controversy.

Bloomberg wants to ban the sale of sugary drinks over 16 ounces at all city restaurants, movie theaters, and even the ballpark. Bloomberg has been out front on this issue of health and fighting obesity in New York City, including championing the ban on smoking in restaurants and a city-wide ban on trans fats.

Here's why: The city's Health Department released a public service announcement where you see a man drinking a tall glass of fat, with copy saying 'Drinking one can of soda a day can make you 10 pounds fatter a year. Don't drink yourself fat.'

The ban would "not" affect diet sods, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks or alcoholic drinks. And it would not extend to grocery or convenience stores.

The mayor is taking this action because obesity is such a big problem in this country. More than a third of all Americans are considered obese. You may think with all the walking people do in New York City that the rate would be lower. Not so. More than half of New York adults are considered obese or overweight and the health commissioner blames sweetened drinks for "half" the increase in obesity rates over the past 30 years.

The city has also done research into the obesity rate, and found that higher obesity rates are more common in neighborhoods where soda consumption is high.

The New York Board of Health has to approve the measure, and if all goes as planned the ban could take affect as early as next March.

SOUND OFF: Do you think Mayor Bloomberg's plan is a smart way to attack the obesity problem in the country, or will people find ways around it?

Filed under: Obesity