In 2006, soft-drink manufacturers committed to abstaining from advertising in Europe to children under 12 on television, online and in print and to refrain from sales in primary schools, according to the Union of European Beverages Associations.
Coca-Cola started airing TV advertisements this week urging consumers to pay attention to calories of beverages, including its own, and noted its low- and zero-calorie products.
The WHO's 2003 report disregards evidence suggesting that refined carbohydrates have metabolic effects comparable to those of sugar, Willett and Ludwig said.
"Efforts to reduce sugar intake are appropriate, but they should form part of a broader effort to improve the quality of carbohydrates," they said. "Action should be taken at many levels, including education programs, improvements in food and drinks provided in schools and work sites, and supplemental nutrition programs for people with low incomes."