Tom Brady took shots at Coca-Cola and Frosted Flakes in a recent interview, calling one poison and questioning whether the other is actually a food. Both Coca-Cola and Kellogg have fired back, but the war is far from over.
In a recent interview on Boston’s WEEI 93.7FM, Tom Brady found himself defending his business partner and personal trainer Alex Guerrero against allegations made in a Boston Magazine article.
The Boston Magazine piece called Guerrero a “glorified snake-oil salesman” and indicated that the FTC had once barred the man from claiming to be a doctor.
In what appeared to be an attempt to defend Guerrero, Brady attacked America’s thriving junk food industry. First, he took a jab at Coke, calling it “poison for kids.”
“You probably go out and drink Coca-Cola and think, ‘Oh yeah, that’s no problem.’ Why, because they pay lots of money for advertisements that think that you should drink Coca-Cola for a living? No. I totally disagree with that. And when people do that, I think that’s quackery. And just the fact that they can sell that to kids? That’s poison for kids.”
Fox Business reports that Brady used to be on Coca-Cola’s payroll as a spokesman for Glaceau Smartwater. The initial deal was inked back in 2007 and ran for three years.
There are certainly arguments to be made regarding sugary drinks and childhood obesity, and a lot of people like to rail against the dangers of aspartame. But poison?
Brady caught some flak on social media for the statement.
— Christopher Harless (@100mphvomit) October 5, 2015
— Ryan Smith (@Ryan22881) September 5, 2015
Maybe Brady was serious when he called Coke poison, and maybe it was hyperbole or rhetoric in defense of his business partner. Either way, Coca-Cola felt the need to clear the air.
In a response released to Fox Business, a representative from Coca-Cola said, “all of our beverages are safe and can be enjoyed as part of a balanced lifestyle.”
The representative also pointed out that the ingredients and nutritional info of Coca-Cola products aren’t exactly secret. Everything is printed right there on the label, as required by law.
“As a responsible beverage company and marketer, we prominently provide calorie and sugar information for our beverages so people can choose what makes sense for them and their families.”
Brady isn’t likely to accept that explanation or roll back his accusation that Coca-Cola is “poison for kids.” According to the four-time Superbowl winning quarterback, food companies lie to us all the time.
“I think we’ve been lied to by a lot of food companies over the years, by a lot of beverage companies over the years. But we still do it. That’s just America,” Brady said in the same WEEI interview where he called Coke poison. “We believe that Frosted Flakes is a food.”
And there you have it. Tom Brady doesn’t think Frosted Flakes is food.
Is Frosted Flakes nutritious? Opinions may vary on that subject, but according to Kellogg, it’s plenty nutritious. Is it a food, though?
Maybe that statement was also hyperbole, just like the one where he called Coke poison. Or maybe he really doesn’t think Frosted Flakes is food. Because it clearly is food, whether or not Brady thinks kids should be eating it.
Like Coca-Cola, Kellogg felt the need to come out in defense of its products actually being food.
“Cereal is a delicious and nutritious breakfast,” Kris Charles, spokesperson for Kellogg, told Fox Business. “Numerous studies show that a cereal breakfast is associated with lower BMIs (body mass index) in both children and adults.”
Charles also pointed out that a regular serving of Frosted Flakes, eaten with skim milk, clocks in at just 150 calories and provides nutrients like calcium and B vitamins.
That certainly sounds like food.
What do you think about Tom Brady calling Coca-Cola “poison for kids” and questioning whether Frosted Flakes is food? Is this an important conversation we need to have about kids and nutrition, or was Brady just blowing smoke to defend his business partner?
[Photo credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images Sport]