The University of Colorado School of Medicine is returning a $1 million contribution from Coca-Cola to start a group dedicated to putting an end to obesity.
The money had been provided for setting up the Global Energy Balance Network, which said it was working on an "evidence-based approach to ending obesity."
After a New York Times report noted it had received funding from Coke in August, the group has been slammed for trying to play down the role sugary drinks played in fuelling weight gain and instead playing up the importance for physical activity.
The president of the group, James Hill, is a professor at the university.
"While the network continues to advocate for good health through a balance of healthy eating habits and exercise, the funding source has distracted attention from its worthwhile goal," the university said yesterday in a statement.
In a statement, Coca-Cola said it agreed with the university that the money would instead be given to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
"While the network continues to support a vigorous scientific discussion of the contributions of dietary and physical activity behaviours to the obesity epidemic, it has become evident that the original vision for GEBN has not been realized," Coca-Cola said in a statement.