Beyonce Defends Working With Pepsi After Obesity Backlash

Beyonce Knowles, the 31-year-old singer, recently explained why she had no problem promoting Pepsi despite the backlash that she received from some who felt she was advocating for obesity.

Last year Knowles announced a $50 million deal with Pepsi to appear on a limited edition set of Pepsi cans but some health advocates cautioned her against it. While Knowles' deal with Pepsi enabled the Grammy Award-winning singer to star in a television advertisement for the brand, perform at the Superbowl "Pepsi Halftime Show" and feature her likeness on some cans, the Center for Science in Public Interest says that the singer is also promoting an unhealthy lifestyle. According to the CSIP, if people consume one Pepsi can per day the likelihood of children becoming obese is increased by 60 percent, while men increase their risk for heart disease by 19 percent.

Two Pepsi drinks per day could increase an individual's risk for type 2 diabetes by 25 percent, according to the CSPI. However, Knowles recently revealed her reasoning for becoming involved with the brand.

"Pepsi is a brand I've grown up seeing my heroes collaborate with. The company respects musicians and artistry," Knowles told Flaunt magazine recently. "I wouldn't encourage any person, especially a child, to live life without balance."

Knowles insisted that there was nothing wrong with enjoying Pepsi in moderation.

"When you work out, take care of your body, rehearse as hard as I rehearsed in the commercial, I think it's great to have a Pepsi or Diet Pepsi when you want one," Knowles told Flaunt. "It's all about choices."

The singer's comments come after Michael F Jacobson, CSPI executive director, wrote directly to Knowles on the organization's website in an attempt to get her to back out of her Pepsi deal in order to promote a healthy lifestyle.

"You occupy a unique position in the cultural life of this country and are an inspiring role model for millions of young people," Jacobson wrote to the singer. "Your image is one of success, health, talent, fitness, and glamour. But by lending your name and image to PepsiCo, you are associating those positive attributes with a product that is quite literally sickening Americans."