More than 20 doctors joined Contra Costa Health Services Director Dr. William Walker on October 28 at the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez to protest the new partnership between the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Coca-Cola Company. Dr. Walker, a 25-year member of the AAFP, resigned from the organization saying he could not support an organization that claims to promote public health while joining forces with a company that promotes products that put our children at risk for obesity, heart disease and early death.
Dr. William Walker's Statement on the AAFP partnership with Coca Cola
My name is Dr. William Walker. I'm the Director of Contra Costa Health Services, the Health Officer for the County and until this month a 25-year member of the American Academy of Family Physicians.
I'm here today to announce my resignation from the organization and to explain why the doctors who are here with me today and I feel so strongly about recent action by the organization that we are publicly acting.
Recently the American Academy of Family Physicians announced an alliance with the Coca Cola Company to promote healthy eating. I am appalled and ashamed of this partnership between Coca-Cola and the American Academy of Family Physicians. How can any organization that claims to promote public health join forces with a company that promotes products that put our children at risk for obesity, heart disease and early death.
When I sent in my resignation, their response was that the Coca-Cola partnership offers AAFP an opportunity to work with a major consumer products company to educate patients on making better choices. That is ridiculous. Having the soda industry create materials about making the right choices is like having the fox guard the hen house. This is reminiscent of when the tobacco industry enlisted doctors to endorse cigarette brands as 'mild'.