A D.C.-based nutrition group blasted former U.S. Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan for appearing in a Coca-Cola ad for the Sochi Games–and holding a non-diet Coke!–while sitting on First Lady Michelle Obama’s Presidential Fitness and Nutrition Council.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a healthcare nonprofit, also blasted the Obama administration for undermining the integrity of the Council by endorsing Kwan.
The group said that five other athletes were guilty of being “endorsers of sugar drinks.”
“When the Council chooses a celebrity to deliver its public health messages, it gives that celebrity a ‘halo,’ to use the jargon of the public relations industry,” the group says. “The question is whether the Council is OK with Coca-Cola and other sugar-drink producers renting that halo for their purposes?”
The group has previously said that those on the council are “required to comply with stringent Federal laws pertaining to conflict of interest and other ethics regulations.”
“You can’t do a photo-op with the first lady promoting exercise one day and sell disease-promoting sodas the rest of the year,” an official from the group had previously said.
Michelle Kwan is married to a Democrat who is running to be the governor of Rhode Island. Clay Pell, Kwan’s husband, is the grandson of the late Sen. Claiborne Pell, for whom the Pell Grants are named.