Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, the Grammy-award winning pop star and wife of rapper/mogul, Jay-Z, has come under attack for her recently announced endorsement partnership with Pepsi-Cola.
In a letter to Beyoncé, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has urged her to retract her likeness from promotions for Pepsi products, citing the nation's rising health issues such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay—all of which are linked to diet choices that include excessive levels of sugar from high fructose corn syrup-laden products. (Beyoncé has not publicly responded to the letter as of the time of this article.)
The pop star and recent mother has reportedly entered into an agreement to receive $50 million from PepsiCo for her endorsement deal, which includes a performance at the Super Bowl Pepsi Halftime Show next February. "You occupy a unique position in the cultural life of this country and are an inspiring role model for millions of young people," wrote CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson in a letter he sent to the star. "Your image is one of success, health, talent, fitness, and glamour. But by lending your name and image to PepsiCo, you are associating those positive attributes with a product that is quite literally sickening Americans."
Beyoncé and husband Jay-Z are also residents of New York City where Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration recently passed a city-wide ban on 20-ounce sizes (or larger) of sugary sodas--including Pepsi products, in an effort to help reduce the incidences of obesity and related illnesses rampant in the city.
The likelihood of a child developing obesity and related conditions increases by 60 percent with every sugary drink consumed per day, according to the CSPI. The risk for developing type 2 diabetes increases by 25 percent per soda per day; and for men, each soft drink (per day) has been connected with a 19 percent increase in the risk of developing heart disease.
The CSPI recently targeted PepsiCo's Frito Lay's division for its release of a caffeinated addition to the Cracker Jack line called Cracker Jack'd, which contains 70 milligrams of caffeine per each 2-ounce serving.
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