Shaq’s participation in Let’s Move! program draws protest

A consumer safety group is protesting Michelle Obama’s decision to enlist Shaquille O’Neal to promote her Let’s Move! anti-obesity campaign. [WATCH VIDEO]

The retired NBA star’s line of Soda Shaq Cream Soda drinks, created in collaboration with AriZona Beverages, makes him a poor pitchman for healthy living, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

“A celebrity like him shouldn’t have it both ways: 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,” the nonprofit health advocacy group said in a statement on Wednesday.

{mosads}The soda line was launched in June. It comes in four flavors: vanilla, blueberry, strawberry and orange. Each 23.5 oz can features O’Neal’s face and contains 270 calories and 72 grams of sugar, which adds up to 17 teaspoons.

“Sugary drinks are one of the leading culprits behind obesity in kids and adults, and one of the most important messages coming out of an anti-obesity campaign should be for Americans to drink fewer sugary drinks,” the group added.

On Tuesday, the White House announced that the first lady would be appearing at a Washington elementary school this week along with O’Neal, track star Allyson Felix and gymnast Dominique Dawes. 

Soda Shaq is available at 7-Eleven stores across the country.

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