There was good news last week about the Gates Foundation dumping about $1 billion worth of stock in Coca-Cola and McDonald’s. Whether it was a sign that the Foundation realizes these companies don’t have a rightful place in a portfolio of an organization promoting health and well-being or that their financial analysts are smart on the prospects of these companies, or both, it’s a good sign. My newest Al Jazeera America column, out soon, talks about the recent stumbles of McDonald’s. I could have written a similar piece about Coca-Cola.

There is no denying the diet-related public health crisis any longer. Today, almost one third of young people and more than two thirds of adulst are overweight or obese, reports the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. My daughter has classmates in elementary school who are getting their teeth pulled because they’re already so decayed from sugar. Complications from diet-related diabetes are leading to spiking amputations in the United States, numbering more than 1 million today. Companies like Coca-Cola whose profitability depends on pushing sugary drinks and McDonald’s, which also pushes sugary fare, are a key force in our nation’s health crisis, dumping their stock is the least we can do.

Photo: World Economic Forum

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