The Corner

Fighting Childhood Obesity, One Soda Sale at a Time

Michelle Obama made an interesting choice in spokesman for her anti-obesity campaign: Shaquille O’Neal.

Sure, he’s a retired NBA star who’s been vocal about diabetes and children’s health — but lately, he’s also been making his money selling Soda Shaq, a 23.5-ounce pop with his face emblazoned on it.

The flavors are kid-friendly, including vanilla cream soda, blueberry cream soda, orange cream soda, and strawberry cream soda. But they’re also tooth-rottingly sweet. Per magnum-sized can, Soda Shaq has 270 calories and 17 teaspoons of sugar. Apparently a can isn’t a “serving size,” though, and Soda Shaq is actually being marketed as a semi-healthy alternative to other carbonated beverages.

“Made with real Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla extract and pure cane sugar at only 90 calories per serving, Soda Shaq is putting up some serious defense against competitors,” a news release from 7-Eleven and AriZona gushed. “Fans can satisfy their sweet tooth without the guilt from the very first clean and refreshing sip.”

Shaq knows better, at least when it comes to his own health: Last year, he told Sanjay Gupta that he tries “to stay away from the sodas, and I try to stay away from the candies.”  

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