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Coke ad says working off calories can be fun

NEW YORK — Coca-Cola is taking on obesity, this time with an online video showing how fun it could be to burn off the 140 calories in a can of its soda.

In the ad, the world’s biggest beverage maker asks what would happen if people paid for a can of Coke by first working off the calories it contained. The ad, which notes that it typically takes 23 minutes of cycling to achieve that, shows a montage of people on a giant stationary bicycle happily trying to earn a can of its cola.

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‘‘It’s so clever on so many levels, but it’s twisted too,’’ said Michele Simon, a public health lawyer and author of ‘‘Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back.’’

Coca-Cola’s video comes as soft drinks have faced growing criticism from health advocates who say they fuel obesity and chronic diseases related to diet.

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