Imagine you had a multibillion-dollar industry that was (a) enormously profitable and (b) under frequent attack from public health researchers because (c) it’s demonstrably bad for the health of your customers.
This was, of course, the story of the tobacco industry, and it is – right now – the story of the sugar-sweetened beverage industry. Like the cigarette makers, the peddlers of soda cannot do much about any of this: they owe it to their shareholders to maintain those profits, and the products they sell evidently cannot, no matter how hard they try, be tinkered with to change factors (b) and (c). 
Even if the beverage industry were composed of the nicest people in the world, it will not stop marketing to children unless it’s made to; indeed, these marketing efforts are within the rules of the game, however deadly they may be. The outcome of those rules and the marketing they allow is pandemic obesity and all the costs associated with it, which have been detailed enough elsewhere to pass over here.
Read the rest of this column here.