By Justin Worland
December 1, 2015

An anti-obesity research group backed by Coca-Cola is to be dismantled following media reports calling into question whether members of the organization communicated inappropriately with their corporate sponsors.

The Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN) advocated increased exercise to combat obesity ahead of changing dietary habits, a position that contradicts the consensus view that people should adapt their diet to combat obesity. An Associated Press report published last week showed members of the research group communicating extensively with Coca-Cola executives about how to establish the group “as the place the media goes to for comment on any obesity issue.”

Despite the recent flood of negative publicity the group said in a statement posted to its website that it was shutting down due to a lack of resources. “GEBN is discontinuing operations due to resource limitations,” said the statement. “We appreciate the commitment to energy balance that the membership has demonstrated since our inception.”

Write to Justin Worland at justin.worland@time.com.

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