Preview: Unreported World: The Town Addicted to Coca Cola

Coca Cola is beloved, but the reality behind the brand isn’t as sweet. Photo: Channel 4

In this episode of Unreported World, we meet families in Mexico who are in the midst of a health crisis. In the midst of Covid-19 and a diabetes epidemic, the combination is sending people to early graves.

In Chiapas, on of the poorest states in Mexico, Coca Cola rules everybody’s life. Residents of the state drink on average 821 litres a year, almost 16 litres a week, five times the national average.

Guillermo Galdos travels to San Cristobal to investigate the drink’s prevalence, and speaks to one family who sell the drink, but are also feeling the effects of a sugar-soaked lifestyle. Blighted by ill health, they rely on the drink for an income.

Coca Cola says it’s constantly reducing the amount of sugar in its product. As the Mexican government introduce a sugar tax in a bid to wean the country off fizzy drinks, Guillermo finds that Coca Cola has become enshrined in indigenous customs and rituals, where it’s even used by local shamans to treat diabetes.

Unreported World – Friday at 7.30pm on Channel 4