Coca-Cola South Africa/flickr
Here is another one you can't make up. An article in Pediatrics, entitled "Malnutrition and the role of the soft drink industry in improving child health in sub-Saharan Africa," advocates for fortifying soft drinks with micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
Oddly, it does this after explaining how consumption of soft drinks actually "perpetuates problems of undernutrition in children, pregnant women, and other vulnerable populations in the developing world." Why? Because in "sub-Saharan Africa, for example, distribution of soft drinks and other beverages produced by soft drink companies is extensive, and consumption is high given the extensive poverty in this part of the world."
The authors justifiably complain about how little attention has been paid to the ways in which soft drink companies perpetuate malnutrition.
But instead of suggesting public health measures to counter the well documented effects of soft drinks on rising rates of obesity or on tooth decay rates among children in developing countries, the authors want soft drink companies to add vitamins and minerals to the drinks.
The Bill Gates foundation recently partnered with Coca-Cola in Uganda to increase production and distribution of mango and passion fruit juice as a way to stimulate production of local mango and passion fruit juice and meet Coca-Cola's demand for increased fruit to stimulate sales; however, such a partnership should also ideally involve micronutrient fortification, because Coca-Cola estimates that this partnership will extend sales in coming years. The World Economic Forum recommends fortification of food and beverages by private companies as an approach to reduce malnutrition, to boost a productive workforce, and to stimulate the global economy.
Translation: Coca-Cola's economy.